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2004 US Elections Analysis: From Dean to Kuchinich

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I was wondering if someone could help me with the direction of the following quesiton for my political science project:

Outline the positions of all declared candidates for the presidency of 2004. Include the Libertarian, Democrat, Republican, Socialist, Green Party, and any other declared candidats. Include their positions on social security, foreign policy, taxes, spending, immigration, and any other information available. Include references.

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Solution Summary

The solution is an extensive analysis of the 2004 Political Election. The solution dissects and presents the varied platforms, beliefs and proposed policies of key US Presidential Candidates from Dean to Kuchinich on isses like taxation, health care, terrorism, oreign policy as well as social welfare.

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I've tried to give as complete an account of the candidates positions as possible. Also, a good source for lingering questions is www.issues2000.org, although some of that info is outdated - especially concerning President Bush.

I did not include Braun or Gephardt since they both have already withdrawn from the race. I hope this answers your questions.

Howard Dean - Democrat (liberal Democrat - although he did govern Vermont from the Center)


Repeal the Bush tax cuts, and use those funds to pay for universal health care, homeland security, and investments in job creation that benefit all Americans. (Dean was in favor of repealing all the Bush tax cuts originally, but has backpedaled recently)
- Set the nation on the path to a balanced budget, recognizing that we cannot have social or economic justice without a sound fiscal foundation.
- Create a fairer and simpler system of taxation.
- Assure that Social Security and Medicare are adequately funded to meet the needs of the next generation of retirees.


First, and most important, in order to extend health coverage to every uninsured child and young adult up to age 25, we'll redefine and expand two essential federal and state programs -- Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Right now, they only offer coverage to children from lower-income families. Under my plan, we cover all kids and young adults up to age 25 -- middle income as well as lower income. This aspect of my plan will give 11.5 million more kids and young adults access to the healthcare they need.

Second, we'll give a leg up to working families struggling to afford health insurance. Adults earning up to 185% of the poverty level -- $16,613 -- will be eligible for coverage through the already existing Children Health Insurance Program. By doing this, an additional 11.8 million people will have access to the care they need.

Many working families have incomes that put them beyond the help offered by government programs. But this doesn't mean they have viable options for healthcare. We'll establish an affordable health insurance plan people can buy into, providing coverage nearly identical to what members of Congress and federal employees receive.

To cushion the costs, we'll also offer a significant tax credit to those with high premium costs. By offering this help, another 5.5 million adults will have access to care.

Third, we need to recognize that one key to a healthy America is making healthcare affordable to small businesses.We shouldn't turn our back on the employer-based system we have now, but neither should we simply throw money at it. We need to modernize the system so employers will have an option beyond passing rising costs on to workers or bailing out of the system entirely. Fortunately, we have a model of efficient, affordable and user-friendly healthcare coverage: the federal employee health system.

With the plan I've put forth to the American people, we'll organize a system nearly identical to the one federal workers and members of Congress enjoy. And we'll enable all employers with less than 50 workers to join it at rates lower than are currently available to these companies -- provided they insure their work force. I'll also offer employers a deal: The federal government will pick up 70% of COBRA premiums for employees transitioning out of their jobs, but we'll expect employers to pay the cost of extending coverage for an additional two months. These two months are often the difference between workers finding the health coverage they need, or joining the ranks of the uninsured.

Finally, to ensure that the maximum number of American men, women and children have access to healthcare, we must address corporate responsibility. There are many corporations that could provide healthcare to their employees but choose not to. The final element of this plan is a clear, strong message to corporate America that providing health coverage is fundamental to being a good corporate citizen. I look at business tax deductions as part of a compact between American taxpayers and corporate America. We give businesses certain benefits, and expect them to live up to certain responsibilities.

- will protect the civil rights of immigrants detained by the Department of Homeland Security.


-First, defeat the threat posed by terrorists, tyrants, and technologies of mass destruction.
Second, strengthen our alliances and ensure Russia and China are fully integrated into a stable international order.
Third, enlarge the circle of beneficiaries of the growing world economy.
And fourth, ensure that life on our fragile planet is sustainable.

Dean has been against the war in Iraq since the beginning because he did not see it as an imminent threat. He also stresses multilateral action and deplores the so-called "us vs them" attitude of the Bush administration.

He made a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations that outlined his views more specifically. You could probably find it at www.cfr.org.

JOHN KERRY - Democrat (liberal Democrat)


-Reviving American Manufacturing
To create new manufacturing jobs Kerry will provide new tax breaks to manufacturers who produce goods and create jobs in the United States. He will provide relief for manufacturers that provide quality health care and retirement. John Kerry will strongly enforce trade laws to assure that American industries are on a level playing field with our trading partners. To guarantee that American manufacturing will be strong in the future, John Kerry will invest in research and development, give tax incentives to help industries upgrade, and work to assure a highly qualified workforce.

-State Tax Relief and Education Fund to Create Jobs and Stop Painful Budget Cuts
This fund will stop the education cuts, tuition increases and tax and fee raising that are inhibiting our economic growth and causing layoffs. This fund includes $5 billion to stop state cuts in health care that hurt workers and patients and $5 billion for homeland security to stem layoffs of police officers and fire fighters. Kerry is also will give additional money to states by fully funding the No Child Left Behind education law and special education.

-Provide Tax Relief to Middle Class Families
we should keep the middle class tax cuts that Democrats fought for in 2001 and 2003. Specifically, he wants to protect the increases in the child tax credit, the reduced marriage penalty and the new tax bracket that helps people save $350 on their first level of income. He strongly disagrees with Democrats who want to repeal these tax cuts because it would cost a typical middle-class family with two children an additional $2,000. John Kerry wants to give more tax breaks to the middle class with new tax credits on health care and college tuition. These tax cuts are part of his plan to restore the economy and cut the budget deficit in half in four years.

-Prepare Americans for 21st Century Jobs by Opening the Doors of College for All
will create a new "College Opportunity Tax Credit" that will make four years of college affordable for all Americans. He will provide a credit for each and every year of college on the first $4,000 paid in tuition - the typical tuition for public colleges. The credit will provide 100% of the first $1000 and 50% on the rest.

-Making Corporate America Live by America's Values
will restore investor confidence with strong enforcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission and he will stop corporations from keeping bank Accounts in Countries like Bermuda to Avoid Paying Taxes.

-Protect the American Worker
He supports increasing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation. He will improve workplace health and safety while fighting for fair overtime rules and a worker's right to join a union. He also believes that workers need more protections against corporate fraud.

-Restore Fiscal Discipline to Washington
has put forward a sensible plan that will at least cut the deficit in half in his first term, while investing in economic growth and investing in workers. To restore fiscal discipline and strengthen our economy, Kerry will repeal Bush's special tax breaks for Americans who make more than $200,000. He will cut excesses in government and reign in out of control spending. And he will implement the McCain-Kerry commission on corporate welfare to undermine the special interest groups that make it hard to cut tax loopholes and pork barrel spending projects.

-Earned Legalization
supports a proposal that will allow undocumented immigrants to legalize their status if they have been in the United States for a certain amount of time, have been working, and can pass a background check.

-Close the Pay Gap
Women still earn, on average, only 73 cents for every dollar earned by men.
-Expand Economic Opportunity for Women
as President he will work to expand the number of women-owned businesses and eliminate the glass ceiling that has kept talented women out of the top positions in government and corporate America.

wont support major cuts that cause premium increases and cutbacks in benefits.
Quality Care in All Parts of the Country - Rural and Urban
Won't Force Seniors into an HMO
Many politicians have plans to push seniors into HMOs to get prescription drugs or affordable premiums. John Kerry will assure that seniors can pick the health care that's right for them

Kerry also wants to cut the costs of prescription drugs and wants a prescription drug plan run by Medicare.

Securing Afghanistan
supports a long-term commitment to creating a stable and democratic Afghanistan after our military objectives were accomplished. Calls on the U.S. to work with our coalition partners and the United Nations to secure a lasting peace so that the conditions that gave rise to the terrorist threat can never recur. "

-Winning the Peace in Iraq
Senator Kerry supported legislation authorizing the use of force if necessary to disarm Iraq and remove the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. Greater international involvement is necessary if we are to win the peace as effectively as our troops won the war. By involving NATO, troops from other countries, and the United Nations, Senator Kerry believes that we can best achieve our goal of helping the Iraqi people to create a stable and democratic Iraq.

-Working for Peace in the Middle East and Security for Israel
John Kerry sees the Bush Administration's road map as an acceptable approach for reinvigorating the peace process. Failure to remain actively engaged will lead to further difficulties down the road and set the prospects for peace farther back. John Kerry believes we must work actively to encourage an end to the violence and to help the parties take the steps outlined by the road map - which both Israelis and Palestinians find difficult. Wemust support the end game of two states; Israel and Palestine, living side by aside in peace and security... Kerry believes that a challenge of this magnitude and importance can only be met by successful and engaged Presidential leadership - leadership that he will provide as President.

Giving Our Military the Tools and Support it Needs
providing our military with the resources necessary to meet the complex challenges of 21st century warfare. A modern military means smarter, more versatile equipment; better intelligence; advanced communications; long-range air power; and highly mobile ground forces."

Promoting Democracy and Respect for Human Rights

Fighting HIV/AIDS

Supporting Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Measures
-an proponent of arms control and non-proliferation measures in the Senate. He fought against withdrawal from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which he viewed as a step backwards in our efforts to promote an international non-proliferation regime.

-to address the threat to our national security posed by unsecured weapons of mass destruction, Senator Kerry supported legislation providing American expertise and funding to the nations of the former Soviet Union to help secure nuclear stockpiles, a program that he now supports extending to other countries.

-Increasing America's Energy Security
"Setting a national goal of reducing our reliance on Middle East oil within this next decade is critical to the long-term national security of the United States."

-Plan to Respond to the International and Domestic AIDS Crisis

JOHN EDWARDS - Democrat (Populist Democrat)

-Instead of giving tax breaks to companies that move their headquarters overseas, we should offer tax incentives for companies to manufacture here in America. We should be exporting American products, not American jobs
-Promotes stregthening the Middle Class and Corporate Responisibilities

-Invest in Americas Teachers.
-Create New After-School programs.
-Strengthen America's High Schools.
-College for Everyone.

-Track down and stop terrorists.
-Tighten our border security.
-Protect our most vulnerable targets.
-Improve domestic readiness.

-A Responsibility to Cover Every Child
-Help Individuals and Businesses Struggling Most
-Control Health Care Costs and Improve Quality
-Protect the Health Care Safety Net

-Help poor and middle-class Americans build their wealth - cutting taxes on home ownership and savings for these Americans.
-Create a tax code that reflects our values.
-Restore fiscal responsibility so that this generation does not pass its problems on to the next generation
Help Working Americans Build Their Wealth

The American Dream Tax Credit
will offer a matching tax credit of up to $5,000 to help those who need it to cover a down payment on a first home.

Incentives to Invest and Save
-Edwards will cut capital gains taxes for 95% of Americans. For these taxpayers, he will create a $1,000 exclusion from capital gains taxes, as well as $500 dividend exclusion. He will also lower the long-term capital gains rate for middle-class families.

Matching Savings Accounts for Retirement
Edwards will give Americans who have the most trouble saving today a chance to save through matching savings accounts.

He will match $1 in private savings with as much as a $1 refundable tax credit for savings, up to a limit of $1,000 per couple, for Americans with incomes up to $50,000. A working family that saves and receives the maximum under this plan every year from age 25 to retirement will have a nest egg of $200,000, on top of other savings.

Create A Tax Code That Reflects Our Values

Edwards will make the tax rate for the unearned income of the wealthiest 1 percent equal to the top income tax rate on earned income for middle-class families consisting of teachers, nurses, and secretaries. Edwards will set the top rate on capital gains at 25 percent for people earning over about $400,000, less than the top ...

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