Copyright 2000 The National Journal, Inc.
The National Journal
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September 30, 2000
SECTION: POLITICS; Pg. 3056; Vol. 32, No. 40
LENGTH: 10464 words
Bush and Gore: Issue by Issue: An Update
The following is an update on our recent charts on the presidential
Gore: Supports abortion rights across the board.
Bush: Opposes the use of public funds to provide or to
advocate abortions. Can
be expected to cut federal funds for domestic
family-planning services through
Title X. As Texas governor, signed laws
that restricted state family- planning
funds. Wants to greatly increase
federal funding for abstinence-only sex
federal funding of abortions for Medicaid recipients in cases
incest, and life endangerment. Supports Clinton Administration
federal funding for family planning, including abortion, through
International Family Planning
Bush: Would reinstate the Mexico City
Policy, which during the Administration
of his father, President Bush,
banned overseas family-planning groups that
received federal funding from
providing abortion-related services, even with
Supports the Clinton Administration's reversal of the Mexico City
Bush: Would reinstate the ban that was in effect during his
Administration prohibiting privately funded abortions at overseas
Gore: Supports the Clinton Administration's policy of
personnel to obtain privately funded abortions at military
Bush: Would sign legislation to
ban the procedure.
Gore: Opposes Republican-authored legislation that would
ban the procedure.
Bush: Supports a more
market-oriented approach to agriculture than does Gore.
overseas markets as the best way to boost American farm income.
instate regular federal payments to farmers to stabilize farm
year to year.
Freedom to Farm Act
Bush: Supports eliminating most
federal subsidies, but advocates covering more
commodities under federal
crop insurance. Would phase out the estate tax and
pursue tax incentives to
encourage farmers to save money for lean years.
Gore: Critical of the
market-oriented 1996 Freedom to Farm Act, which
exchanged farm subsidies for
"transition payments" aimed at encouraging
farmers to plant as the market
dictates. Favors targeting federal aid to
small- and medium-sized farms, and
more-aggressive enforcement of antitrust
laws in agribusiness.
Bush: Would call upon the European Union to open its
markets to bioengineered
Gore: Supports federal funding of
bioengineered agricultural products and of
efforts to open foreign markets
for them. But also urges strong scientific
review to address consumers'
safety concerns about bioengineered foods.
Bush: Would push for
fast-track trade-negotiating authority and pursue new
markets abroad for
American agricultural products. Opposes withholding food
and medicine from
countries as part of unilateral trade sanctions or
Supports opening markets and reducing tariffs abroad for American farm
products, despite opposition from labor leaders. Like Bush, opposes
food and medicine in unilateral trade embargoes.
Bush: Supports federal funding for research into effective ways to use
and other biofuels.
Gore: Supports federal funding for research
on ethanol and tax incentives for
Bush: Supports vigorous enforcement of existing laws, but opposes increased
government regulation of the industry.
Gore: Favors increased
consumer-protection regulations in the banking
Bush: Favors Republican-authored 1999 Bankruptcy Reform Act, which is
final action in Congress. The bill would force some bankruptcy
filers to pay
off more of their debts to credit card issuers.
Opposes 1999 Bankruptcy Reform Act on the grounds that it provides
insufficient consumer protections. Backs compromise reforms that would
credit card issuers to provide easy-to-understand information about
interest rates and fees.
Bush: Backs industry position
that consumer-privacy protections in the 1999
Modernization Act are adequate. (Act limits the information
that banks can
share with third parties, but lets them use that information to
additional products to their customers.)
Gore: Supports strengthening the
1999 Financial Services Modernization Act to
prevent banks from using their
customers' personal data for marketing
Bush: Supports provisions enacted in recent financial reforms
community groups filing comments on bank mergers and expansions
report information about their own borrowing. Also supports the
and less onerous regulatory reviews of small banks'
Gore: Supports a review of the new financial
services law's fair-lending
provisions, on the grounds that the rules may
invite small banks to skirt
their obligations to lend to the poor. Also
believes the law's supposed
"sunshine" provisions may actually discourage
public comment on bank mergers
Bush: Wants to set aside one-quarter of the surplus for broad tax cuts, and
has proposed myriad tax credits in areas from education to health care. Has
been less explicit about direct domestic spending, but wants to aid farmers,
boost military salaries, and invest in schools and in research and
Gore: Has been a longtime advocate of fiscal restraint
government and reducing debt; would aim to pay off the
federal debt by 2012.
At the same time, would increase domestic spending in
Bush: Projects it to total $ 265 billion over 10
years after tax cuts, spending
plans, and putting aside Social Security and
Gore: Would establish a $ 300 billion reserve fund after tax cuts,
and Social Security and Medicare funds are put aside. Has outlined
surplus plan that would furnish a Medicare prescription drug
benefit and boost
federal spending on education, law enforcement,
environmental protection, and
eliminate the national debt by 2016.
Gore: Would retire natioanl debt by
Bush: Wants to overhaul the budget process. Would
push for biennial federal
budgets and for legislation that would keep the
government operating even if
some appropriations bills were not signed into
law. Would impanel a bipartisan
commission to eliminate pork barrel
spending. Would ask Congress for new line-
item veto authority,
notwithstanding the Supreme Court's 1998 ruling that the
approved by Congress in 1995 was unconstitutional.
Gore: No specific plan,
although Clinton Administration has supported biennial
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
Bush: Supports raising campaign
contribution limits, but would tighten
disclosure and lobbying rules.
Gore: Has proposed a sweeping reform package that would ban unregulated
and furnish generous public subsidies to candidates. Has pledged to
"soft-money" ban the first bill that he sends to Congress.
Bush: Would bar corporations and labor unions from making unlimited
money" contributions to the political parties. However, would permit
individuals to continue making unregulated soft-money donations.
Gore: Wants to ban all "soft money," including unregulated contributions
unions, corporations, and individuals.
to require Internet disclosure of campaign contributions within a
receipt. Endorsed recently enacted disclosure laws aimed at so- called
political organizations. But does not support requiring other types of
politically active groups to disclose their issue-oriented expenditures.
Gore: Wants to require all politically active groups that broadcast issue
within 60 days of an election to disclose their funding sources.
Bush: Opposes public financing of elections.
Has proposed a public-private Democracy Endowment, which would raise $7.1
billion over seven years to finance the campaigns of general election
candidates who agree not to accept any other private money. "Paycheck
Bush: Endorses so-called paycheck-protection legislation that
labor unions to get members' permission before spending
members' dues on
Gore: Opposes paycheck-protection
Bush: Wants to increase the limit on
campaign contributions to keep pace with
inflation. For example, the
individual $ 1,000 contribution limit would be
indexed to $ 3,400.
Gore: Opposes raising the existing contribution limits.
Bush: Wants to ban members of Congress from asking lobbyists for political
contributions while Congress is in session.
Gore: Wants to require
lobbyists to disclose more about their activities,
including the names of
those to whom they've contributed, and to post that
information monthly on
Bush: Emphasizes the
family's role in child care and wants to give states
discretion in spending
federal grants. Has proposed a $ 2.3 billion " Strong
Children" child welfare reform initiative that would give
states $ 1 billion
in additional resources for preventative services to help
Gore: Proposes a $ 38 billion, 10-year federal program to make child
affordable for working families. Some $ 30 billion of the funding
out of his $ 250 billion middle-class tax cut proposal, the rest
federal budget surplus.
Child Care Tax Credits
double the $ 500-per-child federal tax credit to $ 1,000. Supports
grants that would allow low-income families to choose child care
Proposes bigger tax cuts for adoptive families and $ 2.3 billion for
child-welfare programs over five years.
Gore: Would offer a refundable
tax credit to help parents cover as much as 50
percent of child care costs,
compared with 30 percent today. Low-income
families with no tax liabilities
would receive up to $ 2,400 for child care.
Would offer a $ 500 tax credit
to stay-at-home parents with infants under age
Child Care Standards
Bush: Supports measures, now in place in Texas, that require child care
workers to undergo background checks, receive training, and submit to
spot inspections. As Texas governor, has boosted child care
spending by $ 360
million since taking office.
Gore: Would provide $ 8
billion in grants to states for day care improvements,
provided that they
set up early-childhood reading programs, improve health and
standards, require training and background checks for child care
and perform spot inspections of centers.
Would direct the Health and Human Services Department to work with
establish, administer, and publicize the existence of paternity
Wants to see at least as much federal spending on abstinence
education as on
teen-contraception programs. Wants to study the effectiveness
funded sex education programs.
Gore: Wants states to pass laws requiring all
fathers who owe child support to
pay up or go to work. Wants to strengthen
child-support enforcement and give
credit bureaus data on "deadbeat" parents
and challenge credit card companies
to deny them new cards.
Bush: Has proposed a variety of tax credits and vouchers to
and assist children in foster care. These include $ 300
million over five years
for vouchers to cover college tuition or vocational
training to young people
who "age out" of foster care.
adoption legislation while in Congress, and touts the Clinton
Administration's enactment of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1998-a
bill authored by congressional Republicans-which was followed by a 29
increase in the number of children adopted from foster care.
Bush: Opposes quotas and racial preferences.
Has proposed initiatives to
assist the disabled, but takes issue with hate
crimes legislation now pending
on Capitol Hill.
Gore: Strongly backs
affirmative action; supports legislation to expand
federal prosecution of
hate crimes; defends gay rights; supports programs to
assist the disabled.
Pledges that "the first civil rights act of the 21st
century" will be a ban
on racial profiling by police.
what he calls affirmative-access programs. His "Texas 10
automatically admits those students who graduate in the top 10
their high school class to any state college or university. Would
federal funding for historically black colleges and Hispanic- serving
institutions. Declined to support the 1999 Nondiscrimination Employment Act,
which extends federal workplace discrimination protections to gays.
breaking down government contracts into smaller sizes to promote
entrepreneurship in all communities.
Gore: Has championed the Clinton
Administration's establishment of an
Education Department Advisory Board to
advise the Education Secretary on ways
to strengthen historically black
colleges. Has worked with the Small Business
Administration to provide
business development and federal contract support to
businesses. Supports pay equity for women.
Bush: Declined to
back a Democratic-sponsored hate crimes bill, saying: "All
crime is hate
Gore: Strongly supports congressional hate crimes legislation.
Bush: Declined to support the 1999 Employment
Non-Discrimination Act, which
extends federal discrimination protections in
the workplace to gays and
Gore: Strongly supports the
Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Persons With Disabilities
proposed a "New Freedom" initiative that would furnish more than $ 1
over five years to promote technologies aimed at further integrating
Americans with disabilities into the work force and into community life.
Gore: Has pledged to move persons with disabilities out of institutions and
into their communities, and to expand their employment and educational
opportunities and health care.
Bush: Would support
tough laws for domestic violence, juvenile offenders, and
Also wants strong penalties and longer prison terms for violent
Gore: Would support tough gun and gang laws, but places greater emphasis
Bush on prevention. For example, would give federal grants to states
crime-mapping software to target crime hot spots. Supports federal
help local governments hire 50,000 new police officers.
Penalty, DNA Testing
Bush: Supports the death penalty for those who commit
violent crimes. Supports
post-conviction DNA testing if, in the context of
all the evidence, it can
help determine guilt or innocence.
Supports the death penalty for heinous crimes; says it has a deterrent
effect. Has not stated a position on post-conviction DNA testing.
Mandatory Drug Testing of Prisoners, Parolees
Bush: Has not staked out a
Gore: Supports mandatory drug testing and treatment of state
release; would furnish states with $ 500 million in grants
to cover the costs.
Bush: Supports a constitutional
amendment that would give victims the right to
be notified of trials and
probation hearings, to give input in plea bargains,
and to be told when a
prisoner's release is imminent.
Gore: Supports a constitutional amendment
giving victims the right to be
notified of trials and probation hearings, to
give input in plea bargains, and
to be told when a prisoner's release is
Bush: Supports aggressive enforcement of
existing handgun laws and prosecution
of gun offenses. Says he would support
legislation to prevent juvenile
offenders from buying a gun when they become
Gore: Would support tough juvenile crime laws and additional federal
for school anti-drug programs.
Embraces high-tech weapons, including ones for a national missile
Gore: Advocates spending increases; would exercise caution on
increase defense spending, particularly for troops' pay and for
Gore: Would continue recent steady increases in defense spending.
National Missile Defense
Bush: Would dramatically expand the proposed
system of ground-based rockets,
probably adding sea-based and possibly air-
and space-based interceptors;
would do so, if need be, at the expense of the
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
with Russia and of arms control in general.
Gore: Would continue President Clinton's cautious course by balancing a
limited, ground-based system against international objections and the
strictures of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia.
Gays in the
Bush: Would retain the current "don't ask, don't tell" policy,
closeted gays and lesbians to serve in the military.
Rejects the current "don't ask, don't tell" policy as unworkable, and
work to overturn the law that bans openly gay and lesbian people from
serving in the military.
Modernizing the Military
increase military research-and-development spending by $ 20 billion
five years and focus research on revolutionary weapons that would " skip a
generation" ahead of current technology.
Gore: Focuses on reorganizing
the Pentagon, particularly streamlining business
practices and increasing
cooperation among the Air Force, Army, Navy, and
Marine Corps, rather than
on developing radically new weapons for each
Bush: Has blasted the Clinton-Gore Administration for underfunding and
overusing U.S. forces, arguing this has eroded their readiness to fight and
win a major war.
Gore: Defends military downsizing as well managed, and
emphasizes that the
U.S. military remains the strongest on Earth.
Bush: Favors a major cut in income tax rates and the
privatization of Social
Gore: Favors targeted tax cuts,
broader increases in spending, but no major
reforms or deregulation of the
Bush: Favors making broad tax cuts, paying
down the debt, and targeting
spending increases and tax credits for
education, health, and defense.
Gore: Favors eliminating the national debt
more than cutting taxes or
Bush: Has said almost nothing about rising interest rates, a major complaint
of U.S. business, but generally supports Alan Greenspan and the Federal
Reserve Board's strategy of raising rates to rein in inflation. Bush
have voiced skepticism that the "new economy" can grow fast without
Any successor to Greenspan would probably be less inclined to
of foreign economies or U.S. banks.
Clinton's tack of praising Greenspan and largely keeping quiet on
Fully endorses the new-economy model. Candidates for replacing
former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, and current Treasury
Bush: Would likely focus on price-fixing cases. On
Microsoft case, has
suggested he'd prefer an out-of-court settlement.
Gore: Has given no indication he would depart from current policy. On
Microsoft, supports action against predatory behavior that impedes
Bush: Supports vouchers and
charter schools, but would expand federal funding
in a few areas, such as
early-childhood education and teacher training.
Gore: Supports greatly
expanding the federal role in education, including
teacher hiring and
training, school construction, and early-childhood
Bush: Would give vouchers to students in schools that remain on a
"failing" list for three years; the vouchers would be worth about $
could be used at a public or private school. Would offer $ 3
billion in loan
guarantees to establish or improve 2,000 charter schools in
the next two
Gore: Opposes vouchers but supports charter schools
and public school choice.
Would use federal money to triple the number of
charter schools to 5,100 by
Bush: Would require
states to annually test pupils in grades 3 through 8.
Would establish a $
500 million fund to reward schools that improve their test
give vouchers to pupils in schools that fail. States that do not
test scores would lose administrative money.
Gore: Would create a $ 500
million Accountability Fund to pay for state
improvement plans. Schools
would have to improve or face being shut down.
Would reward states that
improve their scores on the National Assessment of
Bush: Would consolidate federal funding for teachers;
the move would dissolve
President Clinton's class-size-reduction program and
increase total funding
for teacher recruiting, hiring, and training from $ 2
billion to $ 2.4 billion.
Would expand the current Troops-to-Teachers
program budget from $ 2.4 million
to $ 30 million.
Clinton's effort to pay for 100,000 new teachers. Would offer
grants to poor
school districts to lure top teachers by giving higher
teacher testing and "fast, fair" removal of bad teachers.
Would establish a
Teacher Corps to encourage professionals and high school
graduates to teach.
Bush: Supports federal prosecution of juveniles who bring
guns to school.
Would rate schools on their safety and make the information
Gore: Would offer grants to schools that enforce
zero-tolerance policies for
guns on campus and for alternative schools for
children who have discipline
problems. Unlike Bush, has no formal plan
for rating schools on their safety.
Paying for Education
increase the annual limit on contributions to tax-free education
from $ 500 to $ 5,000; the savings could help pay for education from
kindergarten through college. Boosts the maximum award for Pell grants from
$3,300 to $ 5,100 for college freshmen. Proposes a $ 1.5 billion program to help
states establish merit-scholarship programs.
Gore: Would create tax-free
accounts for education throughout a person's life.
Employers would be
permitted to contribute. Persons could contribute up to $2,500 a year to the
account and withdraw funds without paying taxes if they
used the money for
educational purposes. Would allow families to deduct from
their taxes up to
$ 10,000 a year for college tuition and fees.
Bush: Wants to make Head Start more focused on education, and to require
evaluations of each program's effectiveness. Would spend $ 1 billion
on a new federal reading initiative based on testing, remedial
teacher training. Proposes $ 400 million more a year for
"certificates" for low-income families.
Clinton's proposal to spend $ 1 billion more on Head Start.
Would set aside
money to train preschool teachers. Favors voluntary universal
prekindergarten for all 4-year-olds.
Bush: Says that his $ 483 billion, five-year tax cut will free up capital
investment, help the economy to expand, and create jobs. Shares his
traditional skepticism of federal job training programs.
Supports minimum-wage hikes. Like Clinton, rejects the notion that
spending can create jobs and tacitly shares the GOP view that that job
creation and job training are best left to the private sector. However,
supports some state-based job-training initiatives.
Bush: Has favored an unspecified increase in the minimum wage, provided the
President could rescind it if it is judged to threaten job creation. After
House GOP leaders backed Clinton's plan for a $ 1-an-hour wage increase,
endorsed the $ 1 figure, with his opt-out clause.
Clinton's call for a $ 1-an-hour hike in the minimum wage,
phased in over
two years. But he does not back the additional increases
advocated by some
Bush: Has no specific plan for job training.
His $ 7 billion college education
plan is geared to those just out of high
Gore: Would leave the responsibility for most new job-training
to states and employers, with matching grants used to
encourage new spending.
For example, the federal government would pay half
the cost of an additional
13 weeks of unemployment benefits, to allow a
recipient to complete job
training. Dislocated workers would be helped by
plan to make most college
education expenses tax-deductible.
Bush: Promises a more state-directed, industry-friendly
although his reliance on this approach while governor
of Texas has come under
attack from environmental groups.
a continuation and, in some cases, an acceleration of the
Administration's environmental policies.
that human activity is causing warming, but opposes the 1997
an international pact signed by the Clinton Administration,
force industrial nations to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions.
Supports the Kyoto global-warming treaty.
Bush: Has not
articulated a detailed energy policy, but would furnish tax
ethanol use, and has said that he supports the development of
energy-efficient technologies. Supported provisions in the Texas electricity
deregulation bill that require state utilities to reduce pollution at their
oldest coal-fired power plants.
Gore: Calls for a 10-year, $ 125 billion
energy plan that would help electric
firms retrofit coal-fired power plants;
develop new energy technologies; and
provide tax breaks, loans, and grants
to consumers and businesses who switch
to environment-friendly homes,
factories, and vehicles.
Bush: Advocates flexible cleanup
standards and new financial support to speed
up reclamation and development
of brownfields-- contaminated waste sites in
for more funding to help companies rehabilitate urban brownfields.
state and local governments float bonds to pay for cleaning up
Bush: Opposed tapping the Strategic Petroleum
Gore: Supported tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to
heating oil supplies in the Northeast.
Snake River Dams
Bush: Opposes tearing down four dams on Washington state's Snake River to
protect the seriously depleted local species of salmon and other fishes.
Instead, recommends alternative methods to save the fish.
to hold a "salmon summit" to decide whether to breach the dams
the declining populations of salmon and other fishes in the Snake
Bush: Emphasizes free trade and
internationalism, with an emphasis on
unilaterally asserting American
Gore: Emphasizes free trade and internationalism, with an
cooperative engagement through international institutions such
as the United
Bush: Opposes the Comprehensive
Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and would withdraw
from the Anti-Ballistic Missile
Treaty, if necessary, to build a robust
national missile defense system. Is
generally skeptical of multilateral arms
Supports the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and a renegotiated
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Is generally supportive of multilateral arms
Bush: Would strive to reduce the
role of U.S. forces in peacekeeping missions
around the world by shifting
peacekeeping duties in the Balkans to European
allies, and by shunning
future missions unless vital U.S. interests were at
Strongly supports the use of U.S. forces in recent peacekeeping
Bush: Favors a "one-China" policy, and supports the Taiwan
Enhancement Act, which commits the United States to closer defense
Gore: Supports a "one-China" policy, but
opposes the Republican-crafted Taiwan
Security Enhancement Act.
Bush: Supports tight economic sanctions and international isolation.
Gore: Backs the recent relaxation of sanctions on Cuba to allow for
of food and medicine, and for greater dialogue.
Bush: Would refocus U.S.-Russian relations on security matters. Would likely
oppose further loans to Russia by the International Monetary Fund.
Helped fashion current policy of multilayered engagement with Russians
promote both economic reforms and nonproliferation efforts.
Bush: Would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Gore: Would delay any
decision on moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem until a
Middle East peace
settlement is reached.
Bush: Advocates a timetable for
withdrawing U.S. troops and transferring the
peacekeeping mission to
Gore: Advocates the continued participation of U.S. troops
in a NATO-led
Latin America and Mexico
Supports NAFTA and fast-track trade-negotiating authority, and proposes
hemispheric free-trade area for the Americas.
Gore: Supports NAFTA and
fast-track authority, and proposes a free-trade area
of the Americas.
Bush: Supports continued economic sanctions and advocates
for Iraqi opposition groups seeking to oust Saddam
Hussein. Has publicly
threatened to unilaterally strike any known Iraqi
sites used to produce
weapons of mass destruction.
Gore: Defends the
present policy of economic sanctions and "containment" of
Bush: Has aligned himself with foreign-policy advisers who have
Clinton Administration deal that freezes North Korea's
program, but provides fuel oil to and constructs civil
nuclear reactors for
Gore: Supports the Clinton
Administration's deal that freezes North Korea's
nuclear weapons program,
but provides fuel oil to and constructs civil nuclear
reactors for that
Bush: Supports the paying of past U.S. dues, but
only if U.S.-backed reforms
are fully instituted and the percentage of
peacekeeping dues paid by the
United States is reduced. Has pledged never to
put U.S. troops under U.N.
command. Has called for reforms to make the
International Monetary Fund and
the World Bank less activist.
called for the repayment of all past U.S. dues; advisers close to
support recent proposals for significantly strengthening U.S.
Bush: Proposes dramatic
restructuring and cuts to reduce the size of
Gore: Has been
a longtime champion of "reinventing government." Touts federal
reductions and efficiency gains made on his watch.
Would eliminate 40,000 civil service management jobs. Would give more
government work to private contractors. Would change civil service rules to
reward individual performance.
Gore: Says that the Clinton-Gore
Administration has eliminated 370,000 federal
jobs over eight years. Has not
specifically called for more job cuts,
outsourcing of federal work, or
changes to civil service rules. Supports
giving federal workers more
on-the-job flexibility, as long as goals are met.
Would offer more government services and data online. Would create a
information officer and furnish $ 100 million for computer automation.
Would offer more government services and data online, including his
America initiative, which would target students, the elderly, and rural
Bush: Would establish a bipartisan Sunset
Review Board to eliminate
duplicative and ineffective programs.
Has not stated a position. As an eight-year incumbent, has less reason
challenger Bush to emphasize oversight.
Supports strong enforcement of existing gun laws, and funding for such
federal programs as Project Exile, which brings prosecutors and law
enforcement officials together to target armed, convicted felons and violent
Gore: Supports strong gun control measures.
Checks at Gun Shows
Bush: Supports immediate background checks of
prospective buyers at gun shows.
Gore: Supports background checks at gun
shows, even if they cannot be done
Gun Registration and
Bush: Opposes government-mandated registration of guns.
Supports national, mandatory licensing; supports an alternative to
registration, whereby sellers report identities of buyers to state
authorities; backs photo licenses and gun safety tests for new handgun
Child Safety Locks
Bush: Supports voluntary efforts to equip
guns with safety locks; however,
will sign gun-lock mandates if Congress
Gore: Supports mandatory child safety locks.
Bush: Believes that individuals who pass background checks and a
proficiency test should be able to carry concealed weapons, but
says that this
decision is best left to individual states.
Strongly opposes any laws that loosen the restrictions on carrying
Bush: Advocates reducing the number of
uninsured citizens by subsidizing their
purchase of private health coverage.
Also supports limited patients' rights.
Gore: Supports incremental movement
toward reducing the number of uninsured
citizens, first by expanding
coverage through existing government programs.
Also supports broad patients'
rights legislation, including patients' right to
sue their health plans for
Bush: Would give people who don't have
employer-sponsored health insurance an
annual tax credit of up to $ 1,000
per individual and $ 2,000 per family to
cover up to 90 percent of the cost
of health insurance. The subsidy would vary
depending on income.
Advocates the use of tax credits as a way to make insurance more
for the uninsured. The tax credit would be the equivalent of 25
percent of a
person's health insurance costs.
Bush: Wants to give states more
flexibility in administering the Children's
Health Insurance Program, a
federal block grant, and allow them to expand CHIP
to other eligible people,
including some parents.
Gore: Supports enrolling more children, and some
parents, in the state
Children's Health Insurance Program and in Medicaid.
Would expand eligibility
to include children living at up to 250 percent of
the federal poverty level
(which would make a family of four earning $
41,000 eligible), and make states
responsible for enrolling eligible
Medical Savings Accounts Bush
Wants to make existing
medical-savings-account pilot programs permanent and to
lift the federal cap
of 750,000 on the number of accounts. Would allow all
employers to offer
MSAs, and would let both employers and employees contribute
to them. Would
lower the minimum deductible for accompanying catastrophic
health plans to $
1,000 for an individual and $ 2,000 for families.
Gore: Opposes the
widespread use of medical savings accounts, which he argues
attract healthy people and pull them out of the regular insurance
ultimately boosting costs for others.
Patients' Bill of
Bush: Supports giving patients in federally governed health
plans a limited
ability to sue their health plans for denied medical
Gore: Wants a broad patients' bill of rights that
allows people who are denied
medical services to sue their health plans.
Bush: Would make the cost of long-term-care insurance
fully deductible, and
establish a personal tax exemption for home
Gore: Wants a $ 3,000 tax credit for home caregivers. Has not
proposed a tax
break for the purchase of long-term-care insurance because he
wants to see
quality improvements in that market.
Bush: Would allow small businesses to band together across state lines and
form association health plans, in order to buy health insurance through bona
fide trade associations.
Gore: Would give tax credits to small-business
employees who join health care
purchasing cooperatives, which could be run
by nonprofit organizations or
other groups. Opposes association health
Bush: Would let local public housing
authorities give low-income renters up to
a year's worth of rental vouchers
in a lump-sum payment, to cover home-
purchase costs. Would permit the use
of Section 8 vouchers to subsidize
monthly mortgage payments. Would furnish
$ 1 billion in federal homeownership
assistance over five years.
Supports President Clinton's call for $ 690 million for 120,000 new
8 vouchers for fiscal 2001. Would also increase support for the
Urban Development Department's Home Investment Partnership program
Community Development Block Grant program.
Calls for changes in structure and policy of the Immigration and
Gore: Supports changes in laws to allow families
to stay together; supports
Clinton Administration policies intended to
streamline the naturalization
Bush: Would divide
the INS into two agencies-one that handles enforcement of
immigration law and one that focuses on naturalization. Calls for a $500 million
funding increase over five years to improve service through
Gore: Would encourage the agency to separate enforcement and
operations more clearly, but opposes creating two separate agencies.
the Administration's call for more than $ 200 million in additional
funding, most of it for enforcement and border patrols.
Bush: Calls for an unspecified increase in the number of
H1-B visas for high-
skilled foreign workers.
Gore: Would increase the
number of H1-B visas offered annually from 115,000 to
200,000, but would
raise the fee for them and use that money for education
Bush: Calls for a six-month deadline for processing
Gore: Supports Clinton Administration efforts to streamline
the process with a
goal of reducing the time of processing applications to
Bush: Would change INS policy so that
spouses and children of permanent legal
residents can more easily obtain
visitor visas while their applications for
permanent residency are pending.
Gore: Supports provisions that would more easily allow families to stay
together; would allow immigrants to have their papers processed in the
States, rather than in their home countries.
Status of Refugees
Bush: Has declined to take a position on recent legislation proposed by
Democrats on Capitol Hill that would relax restrictions on Central American
and Caribbean immigrants fleeing human rights violations.
recent legislation authored by Democrats on Capitol Hill that
Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Haitians fleeing human
violations to become legal immigrants. (At present, only Cubans and
Nicaraguans enjoy that privilege.) The legislation also would make it easier
for long-term migrants to obtain permanent legal residency.
Bush: Advocates making greater use of the nation's natural
handing over more authority for land use policies to the
Gore: Would expand the land preservation policies of the Clinton
Bush: Would encourage land
conservation with tax credits for private parties
and local governments.
Recommends abolishing the inheritance tax so landowners
won't be tempted to
sell property to developers to pay taxes. Supports full
funding of the
federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, with a mandate that
50 percent of
the proceeds be spent on state and local conservation efforts.
Recommends setting aside more federal lands and paying for them with new
mining royalties from other federal property. Calls for $ 2 billion in tax
incentives to protect wilderness areas from development. Supports the use of
habitat conservation plans, under which landowners agree to preserve local
Bush: Supports increased domestic
production and exploration, including in the
protected Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Would continue the
current moratorium on offshore
drilling in California and Florida.
Gore: Opposes new oil exploration in
Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Would go beyond the current
moratorium on oil-exploration leases off the
coasts of California and
Florida and ban new drilling under existing leases.
Bush: Opposes President Clinton's policy of protecting federal lands by
designating them as national monuments.
Gore: Supports President
Clinton's designation of new national monuments.
Would reverse Clinton Administration proposals to protect 43 million
of road-free national forests. Recommends more logging on all national
Gore: Supports Administration proposals to bar new road-building
untouched national forest lands, but would take the issue further
Alaska's Tongass National Forest in the road-free designation.
prohibit logging in those wilderness regions.
Bush: Opposes expansive readings of the Constitution by judges.
supporter of measures to discourage proliferation of
Gore: Has opposed measures that would limit class action suits and
access to courts.
Bush: Favors a reduction in
what he sees as a proliferation of frivolous civil
lawsuits that he argues
undermines U.S. competitiveness. Favors making losers
in civil lawsuits pay
costs of litigation. Would push class action cases into
Favors a cap on punitive damages.
Gore: Opposes efforts to limit
non-economic damages or cap punitive damages or
otherwise limit recoveries
for workplace injuries. Opposes limits on class
Bush: Advocates additional private-sector health
plan choices for Medicare
beneficiaries, including options with prescription
Gore: Defends the rights of the elderly to remain in
service health insurance plans if they so desire, and
advocates a prescription
drug benefit that applies to all Medicare
Bush: Wants to build on the work of the
National Bipartisan Commission on the
Future of Medicare; its leaders
recommended opening up Medicare to more health
plans as a way to give the
elderly more choices while lowering costs.
Gore: Advocates rooting out
waste, fraud, and abuse and giving Medicare more
competitive tools, so long
as beneficiaries are protected from premium
inflation. Would bar HMOs that
leave Medicare from re-entering for four years.
Supports spending $ 48 billion over four years to fund state assistance
programs that would provide prescription drugs to low-income seniors. Would
furnish another $ 110 billion over eight years for broader Medicare reforms
that would give seniors a choice of health plans, including plans providing
prescription coverage. Seniors living in poverty would get full or partial
subsidies for prescription insurance premiums, depending on their income
levels. All other seniors would receive 25 percent of the premium costs for
coverage, as well as catastrophic protections after $ 6,000 in out-of-pocket
Gore: Would create a prescription drug benefit that would
cover half the cost
of medicines up to $ 5,000 with no deductibles, and
after $ 4,000 in out-of-pocket payments. Elderly
people with annual incomes
below $ 11,000 would pay no premiums or
Bush: Has not taken a position on Gore's proposal
to put Medicare in an off-
Gore: Wants to put Medicare
in an off-budget lockbox, so that savings from
Medicare cannot be spent on
Bush: Proposes a unified trust fund for
Medicare Part A, which covers
hospitalization, and Medicare Part B, which
covers doctor visits. Also
supports doubling federal funding for Medicare
over 10 years, but has not said
where the extra money would come from.
Gore: Advocates using $ 75 billion of budget surplus money over 10 years to
extend the life of Medicare's hospital insurance trust fund until at least
Bush: Proposes to restore $ 40 billion in
Medicare funding that was lost to
doctors, hospitals, and other Medicare
providers as a result of the Balanced
Budget Act of 1997.
use $ 40 billion in budget surplus money to restore funding to
other health care providers that was lost as a result of the
Bush: Has endorsed "opt-in" rules under
which companies must get their
customers' explicit approval for use of data
collected from each transaction.
"The principle ought to be (that) people
should not be able to use your
information or mine without permission."
However, it is not clear whether
these proposed rules would apply only to
particularly sensitive data, such as
medical and financial information, or
to all transactions, including routine
online purchases. Has generally
adopted a free-market, anti-regulation
approach to economic matters, but has
also expressed some sympathy for
citizens unwilling to provide extensive
personal details required by the
Gore: Promotes an
"electronic bill of rights" that would allow consumers to
learn how much
companies know about them and how the data is used. It would
also block the
transfer of that data to other companies. But while supporting
new laws to
protect financial and medical privacy, Gore also supports self-
by the online industries, possibly giving them greater freedom to
and share personal data. Would also propose a law banning the sale of
Security numbers, and would provide citizens with "digital keys" to
them to view information held by the federal government about them- such
retirement data or medical records-without exposing the data to others.
Bush: Says government should turn first to
faith-based organizations to help
needy people. Would extend the role and
reach of charities and churches,
communities and corporations, synagogues
and mosques, and mentors and
Gore: Defends separation of
church and state.
Bush: Would establish an
Office of Faith-Based Action in the Executive Office
of the President. Would
remove barriers to faith-based groups' participation
in government programs.
Gore: Supports allowing states to enlist faith-based organizations to
basic welfare services as long as there is a secular alternative and
no one is
required to participate in religious observances to receive
the use of faith-based organizations as a substitute for
Bush: Would offer competitive
grants to faith-based groups for programs that
address problems such as the
needs of children of prisoners. Would expand the
deduction to people who do not itemize on their tax
returns, would promote a
new charitable state tax credit, and would provide
incentives for corporate
Gore: Supports public funding for faith-based organizations, but not
exclusion of government programs. Calls for more private support for
Religion in School
Bush: Lamented recent Supreme
Court ruling that public school districts cannot
allow students to lead
stadium crowds in prayer before high school football
student-led prayer and posting of the Ten Commandments in
Gore: Opposes government-mandated prayer in public schools.
Bush: Would promote technology innovation with
free-market policies, increased
government research, free trade, and legal
reforms to curb lawsuits.
Gore: Would promote technology innovation with
free-market policies, increased
government research, and free trade.
Bush: Has endorsed a five-year moratorium on any federal
law allowing the
states to collect sales taxes from out-of-state Internet
vendors, and a
permanent extension of the research- and-development tax
Gore: Has supported an extension of the moratorium on any federal
the states to collect sales taxes from out-of-state Internet
economic plan endorses a ban on tariffs imposed on
sales, and supports a permanent extension of the
Biotech and Medical Research
Bush: Would add $ 20 billion to Pentagon research and double health research
spending, but would bar federal funding for experiments on stem cells taken
from human embryos. Also supports a "medical moon shot" program to cure a
variety of diseases.
Gore: Would double spending on health care
research, increase spending on
environmental technologies, and create 20
biomedical computer centers. Would
support federal spending for experiments
on stem cells that were taken from
human embryos by private researchers. His
economic plan criticizes European
countries for unfairly excluding U.S.
Media and Entertainment
Bush: On marketing of violence
and sex to children, has said the industry must
better police itself and do
more "to reduce the violence that our children see
on the screen." Has also
called for more values education in the schools. Dick
Cheney has called for
new rules to foster cooperation among entertainment
companies, along with
internal industry sanctions and a standardized ratings
called on the Internet and entertainment industries to better use
ratings and porn-filtering software to help parents monitor and
their children's media habits. And, "if necessary we will support
strengthening of the current laws that cover false and deceptive
by the movie industry, if the industry does not act by spring
Education and Training
Bush: Would boost government funding for
use of the Internet and computers in
schools. Would bolster math and
science education, and supports vouchers for
students in low-performing
Gore: Would add more Internet links to schools, hire additional
provide more loans for university education.
Divide and Telecommunications
Bush: Generally favors a free-market approach,
but has offered a plan to
extend Internet and telecommunication services to
Gore: Would provide incentives for companies to extend
to rural areas, spend $ 2 billion per year to link
schools to the Internet, and
create centers to help citizens get and use
Bush: Says he is more willing than Gore
to allow large increases in
immigration of foreign-born technical workers to
Gore: Has supported increases in annual H-1B visa awards.
Bush: Proposes allowing younger workers to
divert an unspecified portion (uses
2 percent in his examples) of their
Social Security payroll taxes into
individual investment accounts. Has
pledged to maintain existing benefits for
disabled workers and survivors, as
well as for both current retirees and
workers nearing retirement.
Proposes to use the federal budget surplus to pay down debt and reduce
need for federal borrowing. Would credit the resulting interest savings to
the Social Security system as an accounting mechanism to extend the life of
Bush: Proposes a plan that would not extend the
life of the trust fund, as now
defined, because his plan would siphon
younger workers' taxes out of the U. S.
Treasury in an expensive transition
to private-sector accounts. Has ruled out
tax hikes to bridge the shortfall,
leaving unspecified benefit cuts or a
diversion of general revenues as the
Gore: Relies on federal debt reduction and reduced
interest costs to extend
the life of the Social Security trust fund to 2050.
Advisers say he could
apply additional interest savings as they materialize
to extend solvency even
Would allow workers to move some of their tax payments into the equity
bond markets to invest as they wish. Touts the "wealth creation" potential
of private accounts, which are controversial and would accrue more
dramatically to upper-income investors.
Gore: Would offer workers
supplemental individual tax-free retirement accounts
Plus") matched with government tax credits on a sliding
scale. Workers could
deposit as much as $ 1,500 a year in accounts managed by
institutions and invested in broad-based equities, bonds,
Bush: Acknowledges that individual accounts would
mean less in the way of
guaranteed benefits for the elderly, but says that
nothing about the Social
Security system has been "guaranteed" since 1935,
because Congress has made
and continues to make legislative changes along
Gore: Would add an expensive new benefit: government-matched
similar to 401(k) plans. The Gore plan includes no benefit
reductions to deal
with the anticipated shortfall resulting from too few
workers covering the
costs of too many retirees.
Bush: Would divert an estimated $ 950 billion from federal coffers between
and 2010 into privately managed stocks and bonds, according to one
analysis. Additional revenues would be needed to cover benefits to
retirees, unless benefits are reduced.
Gore: Says his
supplemental accounts plan would cost $ 200 billion over 10
years, but most
independent analysts say the price tag would likely go much
Bush: Has promised not to apply ideological
litmus test on abortion or other
issues in considering nominees to the
Court. Supports "strict construction" of
the Constitution. Has said that he
most admires Associate Justices Antonin
Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the two
most conservative members of the Court.
Gore: Has said that he will nominate
Justices who recognize that the
Constitution is a living, breathing
document. Defends abortion rights and the
landmark Roe vs. Wade decision,
and stated at the Democratic National
Convention that "the last thing this
country needs is a Supreme Court that
overturns Roe vs. Wade." Has said that
he most admires the late Thurgood
Marshall, the Court's most liberal member.
Bush: Favors tax cuts of some $ 483 billion over five
years, including cuts in
the rate structure.
Gore: Favors targeted tax
cuts for specific purposes, as opposed to Bush's
more-sweeping cuts. Favors
modified universal savings accounts, which would
savings for people who cannot take advantage of IRAs or
Bush: Replaces current five-rate structure of 15, 28, 31, 36, and 39.6
with four lower rates of 10, 15, 25, and 33 percent.
make no overall changes to rate structure.
Favors an $ 88 billion tax cut over 10 years for married couples. Would
restore the 10 percent deduction for two-earner families so they could
up to $ 3,000 more than now permitted.
Gore: Would address the
so-called marriage penalty by providing an $ 80 billion
tax cut over 10
years for married couples, which is less than that proposed by
Bush: Would cut the marginal rate by
more than 40 percent for low-income
families with two children, and by
nearly 50 percent for families with one
child. Would increase the existing
child tax credit from $ 500 to $ 1,000 per
Gore: Would expand the
earned-income tax credit by up to $ 500 for families
with three or more
children, and increase by $ 1,450 the maximum income that
couples can earn before their credit is phased out. Favors a $1-an-hour increase
in the hourly minimum wage over the next two years.
Research and Development
Bush: Would make permanent the research-and-development tax credit, which
provides tax breaks to businesses conducting research.
Gore: Would make
permanent the research-and-development tax credit, which
provides tax breaks
to businesses conducting research.
Bush: Would allow people to
make additional contributions to the personal
retirement accounts that would
be established under a Bush Social Security
Gore: Has proposed
"Retirement Savings Plus" accounts that would provide a tax
credit match to
encourage families to save.
Bush: Would expand tax-exempt
bonds that private contractors can receive to
build public facilities to
include schools. Under the plan, the private firms
would then lease the
school buildings to school districts.
Gore: Would provide tax credits for
bonds to modernize up to 6,000 school
buildings. Would also create a college
opportunity program that would provide
tax credits or deductions for college
Earned-Income Tax Credit
Bush: Unlike Gore, has not proposed
expanding the Earned- Income Tax Credit.
Gore: Would expand EITC by
increasing the credit for families with three or
more children and for
Bush: Would eliminate the estate tax.
Gore: Has not proposed eliminating estate tax.
Bush: Would provide tax credit of up to $ 1,000 per individual and $ 2,000
family for those without health insurance.
Gore: Would provide a 25
percent refundable tax credit for families without
Long-Term Health Needs
Bush: Would provide a 100 percent
above-the-line deduction to help people
purchase long-term-care insurance
and would establish an additional exemption
for each elderly spouse, parent,
or relative cared for in the home.
Gore: Would provide a $ 3,000 tax credit
for families that must provide long-
term health care.
Bush: Would fund certificates to help low-income families pay for
Gore: Would expand the child care tax credit
to 50 percent of cost of care for
moderate-income families and make it
Bush: An unabashed free-trader. Wants
free-trade agreements with Latin
Gore: Supports free-trade
policies, but emphasizes "fair trade," a code word
for a get-tough trade
policy. Wants to reduce the trade imbalance.
Trade With China
Supported permanent normal trade relations with China as part of the
requirements for Beijing's membership in the World Trade Organization.
Gore: Supported permanent normal trade relations with China, over opposition
from organized labor.
Labor and Human Rights, Environmental Standards
Bush: Opposes conditioning trade liberalization on progress on labor, human
rights, and environmental issues.
Gore: Supports using trade deals to
improve worker and human rights and to
protect the environment.
Bush: Committed to easing export restrictions on
technologies, but supports trade sanctions to promote
his foreign policy
Gore: Supports relaxing export restrictions
on commercially available
Bush: Hasn't announced a transportation agenda, but has attacked the Clinton
Administration for higher gas prices, and has proposed a modest plan to help
Gore: Supports transportation alternatives to reduce
urban sprawl and help
clean the environment.
set aside $ 145 million over five years to provide easier
access to disabled Americans and would target community and
organizations to provide this transportation.
Gore: Would provide $ 25
billion over 10 years to give Americans more
transportation choices, such as
high-speed rail, light rail, and cleaner and
Bush: Blames today's high gas prices on the Administration's quest
fuel and its failure to develop a comprehensive national energy
argues that the Administration should pressure OPEC to increase
the supply of
oil. Opposes efforts to suspend the 18-cent-per-gallon federal
gasoline tax to
alleviate higher gas prices.
Gore: Blames today's high
gas prices on possible price-gouging by the oil
industry. Would provide tax
credits to Americans who buy energy-saving
vehicles and appliances. Like
Bush, opposes suspending the federal tax on
LOAD-DATE: October 3, 2000