Comparison Chart for Major Party Candidates

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    By Abigail Shaha

    Health Care

    Clinton: Require everyone to get health insurance, subsidized by employers and the government; pay for it by rolling back tax cuts for households earning over $250,000 and savings in the existing system.

    Obama: Require that all children have health insurance; pay for it by rolling back President Bush”s tax cuts for households earning over $250,000; aims for universal coverage.

    McCain: For free-market, consumer-based system; would promote existing children”s health insurance and expand community health centers; has pledged affordable health care for every American without a mandate; says universal health care is possible without a tax increase.

    Romney: For free-market, consumer-based system; opposes mandate; give states flexibility to create programs and deregulate markets; use federal money now used to help states cover care for the uninsured.

    Abortion

    Clinton: Will sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade into federal law; disagreed with Supreme Court ruling to uphold the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act”; judges should protect women”s rights.

    Obama: Opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court”s decision in Roe v Wade; criticized Supreme Court decision that upheld ban on partial-birth abortions.

    McCain: Believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, but has been supportive in the past; supported Supreme Court decision that upheld ban on partial-birth abortions; wants “strict constructionist judges.”

    Romney: Wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and return the issues to the people, but was supportive in the past; supported Supreme Court decision that upheld ban on partial-birth abortions.

    Immigration

    Clinton: Supports a path to legalization for illegal immigrants that includes learning English and paying fines; toughen penalties for hiring illegal immigrants; voted for fence along Mexican border.

    Obama: Supports a path to legalization for illegal immigrants that includes learning English and paying fines; toughen penalties for hiring illegal immigrants; voted for fence along Mexican border.

    McCain: Supports a path to legalization for illegal immigrants that includes learning English and paying fines; voted for fence along Mexican border.

    Romney: No path to legalization; toughen penalties hiring illegal immigrants; finish building border fence.

    Iraq

    Clinton: Voted in 2002 to authorize invasion, now opposed; opposed troop increase; start phased withdrawal within 60 days of taking office with the goal to have most troops out by the end of 2013.

    Obama: Opposed invasion from the beginning; opposed troop increase; withdraw one or two brigades a month to finish within 16 months.

    McCain: Voted in 2002 to authorize invasion, still supportive; in favor of troop increase; against a timetable for troop withdrawal.

    Romney: Supportive of decision to invade; in favor of troop increase; against a timetable for troop withdrawal.

    Economy

    Clinton: $70 billion plan to “jump start” the economy; repeal the Bush tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000.

    Obama: Said his plan for tax relief to middle and working classes would help stabilize the economy; repeal the Bush tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000.

    McCain: Short-term plan is long-term plan: make the Bush tax cuts permanent; eliminate alternative minimum tax.

    Romney: Said eliminating taxes on unearned income for middle class would provide boost; make middle class savings tax-free; make the Bush tax cuts permanent; lower corporate tax rates.

    Education

    Clinton: End No Child Left Behind; improve K-12 system by meeting funding promises of IDEA; recruit outstanding teachers and principals, especially in urban and rural areas; create a new $3,500 college tax credit and increase the maximum Pell Grant.

    Obama: Reform No Child Left Behind; recruit well-qualified and reward expert, accomplished teachers; make science and math education a national priority.

    McCain: Voted for No Child Left Behind; wants more charter schools and vouchers

    Romney: Supports No Child Left Behind and will improve it by giving states that meet or exceed testing requirements additional flexibility in measuring student performance. Will also improve the law by focusing more attention on individual student progress, rather than the overall progress of schools. Focus efforts on fields of math and science.

    Environment

    Clinton: Would develop a new treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol and focus on international attention to solve global deforestation; would focus energy independence with solar, wind, biofuels, hydropower, geothermal and other sources of renewable energy. Would place a market-based cap and trade system to reduce carbon pollution and reduce global warming levels; would oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildfire Refuge.

    Obama: Would implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; wants to lead a new international global warming partnership; would develop domestic incentives that reward forest owners, farmers and ranchers when they plant trees, restore grasslands or undertake farming practices that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

    McCain:Introduced legislation designed to reduce greenhouse gases through a combination of trading markets and advanced technologies; would propose alternative energy sources, including nuclear.

    Romney: Wants to make a global effort to end global warming; would support more drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; would bring clean energy technology to market; would promote clean, efficient uses of existing fossil fuels

    Sources: The New York Times and CNN, http://politics.nytimes.com/election-guide/2008/issues/index.html#/context=index/issue=health

    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/issues/issues.iraq.html

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