Where they would lead the country. Summaries of George Bush's and Michael Dukakis's positions on issues facing the nation from position papers, campaign advisers, and various issues `score cards'

ANGOLA BUSH Has supported UNITA rebels working to overthrow the leftist Angola government. Favors negotiations under way among Cuba, South Africa, and the Angolan government to remove Cuban troops from Angola and create an independent Namibia. DUKAKIS Supports current negotiations in the region. Would recognize the Angolan government and end US aid to UNITA. MIDDLE EAST BUSH Promotes continuation of US partnership with Israel. Believes peace must be negotiated, not imposed. Rejects creation of a Palestinian state that threatens Israeli and Jordanian security. Rejects PLO as a legitimate partner unless it renounces terrorism, accepts UN Resolutions 242 and 338, and changes its charter - which currently calls for the destruction of Israel. DUKAKIS Supports direct Arab-Israeli negotiations and rejects a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state or government in exile. Says no settlement that is unacceptable to Israel would be accepted by his administration. Blames Arab leaders for current impasse. Pledges not to sell weapons to Arab countries that refuse to make peace with Israel. Would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem upon the request of the Israeli government. Says there is no role for the PLO in negotiations unless it accepts Israel's right to exist within secure borders, renounces terrorism, and accepts UN Resolutions 242 and 338. NICARAGUA BUSH Has supported humanitarian and military aid for the contra rebels. Is skeptical of Latin American leaders' peace efforts for the region. Supports efforts to restore human rights in Nicaragua. DUKAKIS Opposes military aid to the contras; would support humanitarian aid consistent with the Arias plan and the Sapoa agreement. Advocates working with US allies in the region to support democracy and human rights in Central America. Supports the Arias plan. SOUTH AFRICA BUSH Opposes further economic sanctions against South Africa. Supports moral and psychological pressure on the government and economic empowerment of blacks as a means to end apartheid peacefully. DUKAKIS Calls for comprehensive economic sanctions against South Africa to force an end to apartheid. Endorses bill, initiated by Rep. Ronald Dellums (D) of California, to impose a trade embargo on South Africa and force US companies out of the country, and would encourage allies to do the same. Would increase aid to South Africa's front-line neighbors. SOVIET UNION BUSH Approaches Gorbachev, perestroika (restructuring), and glasnost (openness) with a mix of hope and caution. Worries that reforms can be reversed, believes Soviet military spending is still high, and feels leverage must be continued if an opportunity to promote lasting change within the Soviet Union is to be maintained. DUKAKIS Would work to seize the initiative in relations with the Soviets and challenge them to cut strategic and conventional weapons, reduce regional tensions, stop supporting terrorism, and improve human rights. THIRD-WORLD DEBT BUSH Favors plan initiated by former Treasury Secretary James Baker III, which the Reagan administration has used as a guideline in recent years, to roll over debts, extend new lending, and encourage economic reform in third-world countries. DUKAKIS Favors easing debt burden so third-world nations will not be drained of resources needed for development. Calls on Europeans and Japanese to contribute. BUDGET DEFICIT BUSH Proposes a ``flexible freeze'' on spending to help reduce the deficit. Believes economic growth will increase government revenues. Has vowed not to raise taxes. Supports the balanced-budget amendment and the line-item veto. DUKAKIS Advocates raising revenues through stricter tax enforcement. Would work through Congress to cut waste in military and domestic spending. Would work to bring down interest rates and expand economic growth for more revenues. Won't rule out increasing taxes ``as a last resort'' if other deficit-reduction methods prove inadequate. TRADE BUSH Opposes protectionism. Favors international negotiations and cooperation to phase out farm subsidies. Favors strong enforcement of trade laws. Promotes aggressive negotiations to open new markets for American products. DUKAKIS Advocates free but fair trade. Would keep US markets open to foreign trading partners if they provide access to American goods. Proposes granting temporary relief to critical industries hurt by foreign imports under the condition that they modernize to compete more effectively. Opposes an oil import fee. THE ENVIRONMENT BUSH Supports an unspecified reduction of pollutants that cause acid rain. Calls for American industry to take the lead in a phase-out of ozone-destroying gases. Supports nuclear energy but says that safety and waste disposal must be solved as a ``precondition of its continued use.'' Supports offshore drilling and suggests protecting only certain ``environmentally sensitive tracts.'' DUKAKIS Would raise the Environmental Protection Agency to Cabinet-level status. Opposes offshore drilling of oil in all environmentally sensitive areas. Supports a 1991 ban on ocean dumping and the establishment of a system to track medical waste. Supports the full reductions in the two components of acid rain called for by scientists and environmentalists. Advocates a cost-sharing program of acid rain requirements between states. Would convene an international summit on environmental issues. Opposes construction of new commercial nuclear reactors until safety and waste-disposal problems are solved. TAXES BUSH Advocates reducing the capital-gains tax from 28 percent to 15 percent. Proposes a tax credit of up to 10 percent for oil and gas exploration. Advocates refundable tax credits to low-income families for child care. Supports permanent extension of research-and-development tax credit. DUKAKIS Would stick to the Tax Reform Act of 1986 ``for the sake of consistency and predictability.'' Opposes reduction of the capital-gains tax. SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH BUSH Supports strong commitment to ``big'' and ``little'' science. Committed to completing permanently manned space station by the end of 1996. Advocates a permanent research-and-development tax credit to encourage innovation. Supports the superconducting supercollider. DUKAKIS Would name a special assistant for science and technology, with ``direct access'' to the president. Would restore Cabinet-level National Aeronautics and Space Council to be headed by vice-president. Advocates a permanently manned space station, but gives no deadline for it. Would restore a 50-50 balance to funds for civilian and military research and development (military funds are currently twice those for civilian research). ARMS CONTROL BUSH Proposes to move forward with momentum gained in START negotiations to reduce strategic weapons by 50 percent. Places a high priority on conventional-force reductions, with deeper cuts on the Soviet side. Wants to ban chemical and biological weapons, and to stop spread of ballistic missiles. Has been a steady proponent of the MX missile. Opposes a comprehensive treaty banning all US and Soviet underground nuclear tests, and a moratorium on flight tests of ballistic missiles pending a negotiated stop to such research. DUKAKIS Would work to conclude a START treaty cutting US and Soviet strategic weapons by 50 percent. Favors a comprehensive test-ban treaty and limits on ballistic missile flights. Favors continuing US-Soviet compliance with the SALT II sublimits. Advocates a ban on testing and deployment of antisatellite weapons. Favors continued compliance with the traditional interpretation of the ABM Treaty. Advocates reductions in conventional forces, with deeper cuts on the Warsaw Pact side. Favors verifiable, worldwide ban on chemical and biological weapons. DEFENSE BUSH Would emphasize a balanced modernization program of conventional and nuclear weapons. Supports ICBM modernization and Strategic Defense Initiative (``star wars''). Favors current plans to increase the Navy's fleet of aircraft carriers to 15. Supports Pentagon's ``competitive strategies'' initiative, which calls for concentrated research in areas of US technical strength and Soviet technical weakness (such as ``stealth'' aircraft, which can avoid enemy radar). Would carry out weapons procurement reform, as outlined by the Packard commission, to save money. DUKAKIS Opposes cuts in overall level of defense spending. Would emphasize strengthening the US's conventional forces. Opposes Midgetman single-warhead missile at current cost. Opposes MX missile in rail-mobile basing. Supports the new advanced tactical fighter and Seawolf attack submarine. Supports deployment of the Trident II submarine-based missile, B-2 Stealth bomber, and advanced cruise missile. Favors more funding for airlift, sealift, ammunition, and spare parts. Favors strengthening NATO's conventional forces with advanced technology. Endorses longstanding NATO policy of deterring invasion of Western Europe with nuclear weapons if necessary. Would reduce ``star wars'' to about the 1983 level of basic research. EDUCATION BUSH Proposes a college savings bond to help low- and moderate-income parents save with tax-free investments. Supports granting an additional $500 million in federal matching funds to states that create more magnet schools. Proposes a merit award for schools that show the greatest improvement in students' performance, and would further award merit schools that serve a significant proportion of disadvantaged students. DUKAKIS Proposes a ``student tuition and repayment system'' that would make available more bank loans to college students - to be repaid as a fixed percentage of earnings paid through payroll deductions during the borrower's lifetime. Would create a ``national teaching excellence fund,'' with a first-year investment of $250 million to provide scholarships and loan forgiveness for young people willing to go into teaching, and creation of a national teachers corps. Advocates federal investment in children's educational programs. Proposes $25 million Citizens Literacy Corps to end adult illiteracy. CHILD CARE BUSH Proposes $2.2 billion plan of refundable tax credits (of up to $1,000 per child under age 4) to allow parents to remain in the work force. Advocates making the existing dependent-care tax credit refundable, expanding Head Start to include all eligible four-year-olds, and initiating more employer-sponsored day care. DUKAKIS Proposes the creation of a national day-care partnership project in which the government and private sector would both take action to provide more child-care services. Favors federal standards to ensure that high-quality and safe day care is provided. Has introduced a parental-leave policy in Massachusetts that provides male and female state workers with eight weeks of parental leave. HOUSING BUSH Would work to maintain the lowest possible interest rates to make home mortgages affordable. Would keep the tax deduction for mortgage interest. Advocates a voucher system for rent payments in federal housing programs for the poor. Proposes that urban and rural homesteading programs be used to promote home ownership. Advocates `cooperative ventures' between the private sector and government to boost construction.

DUKAKIS Proposes a national partnership for affordable housing. The partnership would include a ``Home Start'' program to make home ownership more affordable - under which first-time home buyers would be able to use their IRA or 401(k) retirement funds to invest in a home. The partnership would also encourage federal-state-local partnerships, in conjunction with private developers, unions, and other groups, to build new housing. The federal government would provide a $3 billion fund from which matching grants could be drawn to build up to 200,000 new units per year. ABORTION BUSH Supports a constitutional amendment to ban abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and where the life of the mother is endangered. Opposes federal funding of abortion, except where the mother's life is threatened. DUKAKIS Supports a woman's right to choose to have an abortion. Backs medicaid funding of the procedure. ILLEGAL DRUGS BUSH Would make the war on drugs a top priority of his administration. Advocates vigorous law enforcement and increased education on the destructiveness of drug abuse. Opposes the appointment of an antidrug czar, but says his vice-president would coordinate the overall effort against drugs. Supports the death penalty for drug kingpins. DUKAKIS Would appoint an antidrug czar to oversee enforcement and rehabilitation programs. Would double the number of Drug Enforcement Administration agents. Advocates cutting off aid to governments that refuse to cooperate in the drug war, giving incentives to those that do, and in certain circumstances authorizing armed assistance. Would seek international agreements to seize bank accounts containing drug profits. Would use seized drug profits to pay for programs and introduce education programs in schools. Opposes capital punishment in all cases. THE SAFETY NET BUSH Supports increased funding for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) supplemental food program and for Head Start. Favors welfare reform bill recently passed by Congress, which will allot $3.5 billion over five years for education, training, and job programs. Advocates workfare programs initiated by states, not by the federal government. Would improve reach and effectiveness of medicaid - especially for children and pregnant women - by encouraging private-sector and state initiatives. Supports greater education on prenatal care and more child-support enforcement. DUKAKIS Proposes a ``healthy-family initiative'' to provide comprehensive health insurance through employers and establish a presidential task force to recommend the best approach for providing unemployed people with health insurance. Proposes a ``healthy-start initiative'' that would provide prenatal care to all uninsured pregnant women and guarantee vaccinations for all American children. Advocates a rural health policy to save rural hospitals and strengthen the National Health Service Corps.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Where they would lead the country. Summaries of George Bush's and Michael Dukakis's positions on issues facing the nation from position papers, camp...
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today