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Archive for Sunday, October 29, 2000

Bush and Gore on the issues

October 29, 2000

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Abortion

Support abortion rights?

George Bush: No. Only in cases of rape or incest or when a woman's life is endangered.

Al Gore: Yes.

RU-486:

Bush: Said he was disappointed by federal approval of the abortion pill but did not think a president could overturn it.

Gore: Supported approval.

Child care

Bush: Tax relief, including doubling of child tax credit to $1,000.

Gore: Expand existing tax credit for child care expenses so families can claim half of expenses, up from 30 percent.

Education

Bush: $47 billion, 10-year plan. In first five years, $5 billion more for literacy, $8 billion more for college scholarships and grants, $300 million fund (increasing to $500 million) to reward states that improve test scores. Five percent cut in education money to states where performance lags. Let families save, tax-free, $5,000 per year per student. More charter schools.

Gore: $170 billion, 10-year plan. Subsidized preschool, $5,000 raises for good teachers in poor and rural areas, $5,000 more for "master teachers," tougher standards for teachers. $8 billion in 10 years to recruit more teachers. Tax breaks for college savings and expenses, after-school care, $8 billion in school construction. Close schools that fail to meet standards for two years and reopen them under new leadership. More charter schools.

Let federal tax dollars be used to help parents send children to private schools?

Bush: Yes, when public schools in poor areas fail to meet standards for three years.

Gore: No.

Farm aid

Bush: Supports eventual "transition to a market economy." Sets aside extra $7.6 billion for crop insurance over 10 years.

Gore: Promises stronger income-stability programs. Says Freedom to Farm Act, which removed price supports and required infusion of emergency aid for farmers, has failed and should be changed.

Health care

Bush: Tax credit of up to $2,000 per family to help low-income working Americans buy health insurance. Expand tax-free medical savings accounts that can be used to pay for health expenses. Add 1,300 rural health care centers. Create $158 billion plan to cover prescription drugs for the elderly poor and subsidize choice in drug plans for other Medicare beneficiaries.

Gore: Expand federal-state health plan for children, to enroll more children and allow parents to be covered, too. Offer coverage to people whose incomes now are too high to qualify. Tax credit for uninsured people for purchase of individual health policies. Add $253 billion prescription drug plan to Medicare to give free complete coverage to elderly poor and cost-sharing benefit to others. Provide $9 billion more for cancer research.

Retirement

Bush: Give workers option of staying entirely in Social Security system or else investing a portion of their Social Security taxes in individual retirement accounts, taking a smaller payout from the program when they retire but supplementing their benefits with the private investments.

Gore: Opposes diverting Social Security money to personal accounts but offers tax credit to low-income and middle-income people to match their retirement investments. Value of credit varies according to income. $100 billion over 10 years to improve Social Security benefits for widows and working women.

Taxes

Bush: Cut all income tax rates, with lowest rate dropping to 10 percent and highest to 33 percent. Double child tax credit to $1,000. Charitable deductions could be taken by people who don't itemize. Promises no increase in personal or corporate tax rates. Eliminate inheritance tax. Reduce marriage penalty paid by many two-income couples by allowing a deduction of 10 percent of the lower-earning spouse's salary, up to $30,000. Estimated cost through 2010: at least $1.3 trillion.

Gore: Selected tax relief, helping people pay for tuition, buy health insurance, save for retirement, pay for day care and more. $3,000 tax credit for people who need or provide long-term care at home. Eliminate inheritance tax on farms and businesses worth up to $5 million, raising the tax-protected threshold from $2.6 million now. Raise taxes by $130 billion on some corporate transactions and tobacco. Raise standard deduction for married couples to ease marriage penalty for those who do not itemize deductions. Package priced at $500 billion over 10 years.

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