Presidential Candidates on the Issues

The three leading candidates' stands on 12 key subjects. Today: Second of two parts

GEORGE W. BUSH (R) Governor of Texas

Taxes

Provide $1.3 trillion in tax relief over 10 years. Cut all income-tax rates. Abolish estate tax. Double the child tax credit. Expand charitable deductions. Keep Internet sales tax-free through 2006.

Foreign Policy

Work with allies to deal with the "challenges" of China and Russia. Favors China's entry into World Trade Organization. Opposes Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, but would keep nuclear-test moratorium. For free trade, including a new hemisphere-wide deal.

Defense

Develop and deploy missile defense, while reducing the number of US nuclear arms. Focus military on ability to win wars. Shift toward new-generation weaponry.

Crime and Guns

Protect constitutional gun rights. Background checks at gun shows if they are instant. Raise to 21 the minimum age to buy a handgun. Strictly enforce US gun laws. Overall crime policy: tough enforcement; coordinated national and local policing. Supports death penalty.

Civil Rights

No racial preferences; favors "affirma-tive access" (e.g., admit top performers of each high school class to college). No civil union for homosexuals. Keep "don't ask, don't tell" policy in military.

Environment and Energy

Prefers market-based incentives for pollution prevention and cleanup; shift some environmental authority to states and cities. Open part of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration. Invest in "clean coal" technologies.

Campaign Reform

Ban corporate and union "soft money" contributions to political parties. Allow "issue ads" by advocacy groups. Favors "paycheck protection" law to give union members a say in political use of dues.

AL GORE (D) Vice president

Taxes

Add some $500 billion in tax credits over 10 years for earned income, child care, healthcare, education. Exempt more small businesses and family farms from estate tax. Keep Internet tax-free.

Foreign Policy

Deepen alliances and engage "former enemies," including China and Russia. Supports China's entry in WTO. Combat emerging threats: ecological disruption, epidemics, drugs. For Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. For free trade - with protection for environment and labor.

Defense

Develop missile defense, but deployment depends on impact on arms control and overall security. More open to peacekeeping and humanitarian missions abroad.

Crime and Guns

Step up gun control without affecting sporting uses. Mandate three-day wait and photo ID for handgun purchases. Ban cheap handguns. Do background checks at gun shows. Hire 50,000 police officers and 10,000 local prosecutors. Supports death penalty.

Civil Rights

For affirmative action. For a hate-crimes law. Not for homosexual marriage, but favors some contractual rights similar to those of married couples. Homosexuals should serve openly in the military.

Environment and Energy

Create $150 billion trust to promote clean energy and transport (including tax credits for efficient vehicles). Against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. For ratifying Kyoto Protocol on global warming, which would mandate cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions.

Campaign Reform

Ban soft money. Force more disclosure of issue-ad funding. Give free air time to candidates to answer attack ads. Expand public funding of campaigns. Against limits on use of union dues.

RALPH NADER (GREEN) Consumer activist

Taxes

Supports a "progressive" tax code, in which the rich pay a larger share. End "corporate welfare" tax loopholes. Use taxes to discourage sprawl. Tax sales on the Internet.

Foreign Policy

Mediate disputes and use "preventive diplomacy" that sides with workers, not dictators and oligarchs. Supports a global treaty banning land mines. Supports trade, with treaties for unions, consumers, and the environment. Opposes US membership in the WTO.

Defense

Sharply reduce US nuclear arsenal. Withdraw troops from Europe and elsewhere. Gradually cut military spending in half, while remaining the world's strongest country.

Crime and Guns

Require trigger locks and licenses on new guns. Crack down on marketing of weapons to criminals. Pursue corporate crime more vigorously, including a tenfold boost in antitrust funds and a moratorium on mergers valued above $10 billion. Eliminate the death penalty.

Civil Rights

Supports affirmative action and an Equal Rights Amendment for women. Favors restitution to native Americans (including land) and African-Americans. Supports civil unions for homosexuals.

Environment and Energy

Slash greenhouse-gas emissions, fund public transit, and launch a solar-energy program. Put a moratorium on national-forest logging. Phase out nuclear-power plants within five years. Opposes food irradiation. Seeks group buying-power for residential electricity customers.

Campaign Reform

Condemns the influence of special interests in policymaking. Favors a voluntary system of public campaign finance and a soft-money ban. Backs measures to boost third parties.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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