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Campaign '88: Issues Scorecard

The views of the major presidential candidates on seven prominent issues are summarized in the following chart. The positions have been culled from statements made by the candidates, campaign issue papers, and press reports. In many cases, of course, the views presented here are abbreviations of complex policy proposals and should not be regarded as precise statements of the candidates' thinking. THE DEMOCRATS Bruce Babbitt NATIONAL SECURITY

Would stress conventional weapons over nuclear, give existing programs priority over new starts, and give readiness priority over hardware. Supports INF agreement and a 50 percent cut in strategic weapons. Favors SDI research but opposes development and deployment. THE BUDGET

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Proposes a $40 billion deficit reduction plan, with half from new taxes and half from cuts in defense and domestic spending. Calls for a ``needs test'' for all federal programs. Supports line-item veto power. Opposes a balanced-budget amendment. TAXES

Advocates a 5% national sales tax in order to reduce the budget deficit. Has proposed taxing social security benefits for individuals who earn more than $25,000 per year and couples who earn more than $32,000. TRADE

Opposes the Gephardt amendment. Would require major partners to balance trade accounts within three years. Exceptions would be granted for developing nations. FOREIGN POLICY

Opposes aid to the Nicaraguan contras. Calls for closer relations with Mexico to help ease its economic crisis. EDUCATION

Advocates guaranteed college loans for the disadvantaged. Would forgive loans of graduates who become teachers or enter other designated means of public service. FAMILY ISSUES

Advocates federally assisted day care based on need, medicaid for all low-income children, and expanded nutrition programs. Supports guaranteed medical care for all children and pregnant women and government catastrophic health coverage for seniors. Michael Dukakis: NATIONAL SECURITY

Stresses improvement of conventional forces and opposes the Midgetman missile program. Supports INF treaty and a 50 percent cut in strategic weapons contingent upon a treaty with the Soviets to do so. Favors research but opposes deployment of SDI. THE BUDGET

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Would reduce the deficit with spending cuts, by stabilizing defense spending at current levels, and by establishing a $500 million fund to create jobs and stimulate growth. Supports line-item veto power. Opposes a balanced-budget amendment. TAXES

Would improve existing tax enforcement before raising any taxes. Advocates a comprehensive - and one-time amnesty - program to collect as much as possible of the $110 billion in federal taxes not paid each year. TRADE

Proposes granting temporary relief to specific industries hurt most by foreign imports under the condition that they modernize to compete more effectively. Opposes an oil import fee. Opposes the Gephardt amendment. FOREIGN POLICY

Opposes aid to the contras. Calls for a cease-fire in the Gulf, an embargo on arms sales to Iran/Iraq, and the creation of a ``multilateral peace keeping force.'' EDUCATION

Advocates creating incentives for people to become teachers. Would establish an education and job-training program for welfare recipients with day care provided. FAMILY ISSUES

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. Richard Gephardt NATIONAL SECURITY

Would cancel MX missile and B-1 bomber programs. Supports INF treaty as step to further arms reductions. Suggests a test ban on nuclear weapons above 1 kiloton. Advocates scaling back SDI to the laboratory and banning all testing for the next 10 years. THE BUDGET

Would reduce the deficit by $30-40 billion annually with spending cuts and increased revenues. Opposes line-item veto power and a balanced-budget amendment. TAXES

Advocates a fee on imported oil and calls for closing tax loopholes. TRADE

Author of the Gephardt amendment, which proposes import quotas or tariffs against countries that maintain large trade surpluses with the US. FOREIGN POLICY

Opposes aid to the contras. Advocates use of multinational naval force in the Gulf. EDUCATION

Advocates closer ties between schools and corporations with jointly sponsored job training programs. Suggests IRA-type college savings plan. Proposes stipends to encourage graduate study in engineering, math, science, and foreign languages. FAMILY ISSUES

Would make prenatal care available to all women on welfare. Advocates child care for all AFDC recipients engaged in education or job training programs and gradually increasing funding to make child care available to more moderate- and low-income families. Albert Gore NATIONAL SECURITY

Supports INF treaty as a step to further arms reductions. Urges that the US and Soviet Union shift to single-warhead mobile missiles as a deterrent to both from launching a first strike. Supports limited SDI research but opposes deployment. THE BUDGET

Would call bipartisan summit conference to forge new consensus on spending, fiscal policies, with everything except social security benefits subject to negotiation. Would reduce deficit with reduced farm subsidies, defense savings, and lower postal subsidies. TAXES

Would increase taxes only as a last resort. Would close tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy and seek to improve tax compliance. TRADE

Opposes the Gephardt amendment but supports some trade restrictions in extreme circumstances. Emphasizes need for greater competitiveness to increase US exports. FOREIGN POLICY

Supported US shows of military force in Grenada, Libya, and the Gulf. Opposes military aid to the contras. Endorses Arias peace plan with full compliance by all parties, including the Sandinista government. EDUCATION

Stresses eliminating illiteracy and restoring federal funding for education to pre-Reagan levels. Advocates gradually lengthening the school year and working to improve teacher salaries. Proposes welfare reform that includes day care, education, and job training. FAMILY ISSUES

Advocates incentives to employers for on-site child-care centers, flexible work schedules, and encouraging schools to provide before- and after-school care. Supports bill to provide parental and medical leave for employees. Gary Hart NATIONAL SECURITY

Calls for less expensive, more effective weapons. Supports INF treaty as a step toward further arms reductions. Favors cuts in SDI. THE BUDGET

Advocates a budget package that would reduce the deficit to $41 billion by 1993. Calls for cuts in military spending of $44 billion over the next five years through unspecified military reforms and trims on farm subsidies. TAXES

Advocates increased taxes for the wealthy. Supports an oil import fee and greater taxes on tobacco, liquor, and certain luxury items. TRADE

Opposes tariffs and quotas. FOREIGN POLICY

Opposes aid to the contras. Advocates reliance on economic and diplomatic initiatives in foreign relations rather than military force. Calls for more attention to Latin America, Asia, and Africa. EDUCATION

Advocates higher salaries for teachers coupled with competency tests and in-class evaluations. Suggests lengthening the school year. Calls for more adult educational retraining and more foreign-language instruction. FAMILY ISSUES

Supports federally funded child-care services and child-care tax credits. Jesse Jackson NATIONAL SECURITY

Has suggested cutting up to 25 percent of defense spending. Would cancel MX, Midgetman, and Trident submarine missiles. Would withdraw American troops from Europe and require NATO allies to pay more for their own defense. Supports the INF treaty. Opposes SDI. THE BUDGET

Would shift 4 percent of federal budget away from defense, toward education and housing. Proposes a $60 billion American Investment Bank (financed by 10% of public employee pension funds) to be used for housing, infrastructure repair, and mass transit. TAXES

Has suggested raising taxes for the wealthy and large corporations. Favors oil import fee as a last resort with rebates for homeowners and consumers in the Northeast and farmers in the Midwest. TRADE

Proposes to help develop Latin America, creating a market there for American goods. Calls for tax incentives to keep plants and jobs in America. Wants closer economic ties with Cuba. Advocates safeguarding workers' rights around the world. FOREIGN POLICY

Opposes aid to the contras. Advocates a Palestinian homeland and Israel's right to security within internationally recognized boundaries. Calls for Japan to contribute more toward Third World development in return for US military presence in the Far East. EDUCATION

Would increase spending for preschool programs like Head Start. Would increase vocational training classes in high schools. Advocates a welfare program that includes training, education, job counseling, and day care. FAMILY ISSUES

Calls for greatly increased spending on day care and a federally administered national health care plan for all Americans. Paul Simon NATIONAL SECURITY

Would curb growth in defense spending. Would do away with the MX missile and B-1 bomber. Supports INF treaty as a first step to arms reductions. Favors very limited SDI research and opposes deployment. THE BUDGET

Supports a balanced budget. Has supported a balanced-budget amendment in the past. Supported the Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction bill. Would review federal programs to cut waste. Would consider line-item veto power for the president. TAXES

Would consider increasing taxes of the wealthy. Would increase cigarette excise tax. Favors an oil import fee (6/gallon increase on federal tax on gasoline) to pay for rebuilding roads, bridges, mass transit systems. TRADE

Would determine what percentage of the trade deficit is due to unfair practices, negotiate the amount with guilty partners, and impose mandatory retaliation if they don't stop such practices. FOREIGN POLICY

Opposes aid to the contras. Would reduce US military presence in Honduras.


Supports increase in teacher salaries. Would double funding for illiteracy programs and fully fund Head Start and basic education programs under Chapter 1. FAMILY ISSUES

Has written an $8 billion jobs program in which those out of work for at least 5 weeks would be considered for a 4-day-a-week job. Training, day care, and transportation would be provided. The fifth day per week would be spent looking for a permanent job.


Advocates push to eliminate chemical, biological weapons. Supports the INF agreement. Favors vigorous SDI research so an informed decision on deployment can be made in the early 1990s. THE BUDGET

Advocates cuts in federal spending to reduce the deficit. Favors a balanced-budget amendment and line-item veto power for the president. TAXES

Has vowed to oppose all tax increases. Proposes a reduction on maximum capital-gains rate from 28% to 15%. TRADE

Opposes protectionism. Favors international negotiations and cooperation to phase out farm subsidies. FOREIGN POLICY

Supports aid to the Contras. Supports freedom fighters and institution of democratic governments around the world. Has serious reservations about Arias peace plan. Supports President Reagan's initiative in the Gulf. EDUCATION

Advocates teacher competency tests. Supports merit pay for teachers and principals. Suggests college savings bonds to help cover college costs. Supports tuition tax credits for secondary education. FAMILY ISSUES

Does not consider child-care a responsibility of the federal government. Calls it a state, local, and private concern. Supports employers who provide day care. Robert Dole NATIONAL SECURITY

Stresses importance of technological superiority. Supports research and deployment of SDI. After initial hesitation, now supports ratification of INF treaty. THE BUDGET

Supports a budget freeze for every federal program, except those that affect the most vulnerable in society. Would enact a balanced-budget amendment. Supports line-item veto power for the president. TAXES

Opposes personal and corporate tax increases. Would close tax loopholes. Suggests user fees for government services. TRADE

Opposes Gephardt amendment, but not opposed to some retaliatory trade practices. FOREIGN POLICY

Advocates aid to the contras. Support freedom fighters in Angola. Supports Reagan administration's reflagging efforts in the Gulf but urges burden sharing by allies for cost of patrolling the region. EDUCATION

Suggests setting up IRA-like accounts for higher education. Advocates a welfare program that would include training, education, and job counseling. FAMILY ISSUES

Proposes a federal grant program to the states targeted at increasing child-care services for low- and moderate-income parents. Pete du Pont NATIONAL SECURITY

Criticizes the INF treaty. Says it will make defending Europe more difficult. Would like the treaty to go hand in hand with reductions of Soviet conventional forces. Supports research and deployment of SDI. THE BUDGET

Would enact constitutional spending restraints on deficits. Says a balanced budget is not as important as a low-inflation, high-growth economy. Proposes phasing out all farm subsidies within a 5 year period. TAXES

Opposes new taxes. Advocates a change in social security - proposing tax credits for supplemental IRA-type accounts. TRADE

Opposes protectionism. Advocates bilateral negotiations to reduce all trade barriers. FOREIGN POLICY

Supports aid to the Contras. Supports use of US military power for diplomatic purposes. Calls it an appropriate response to terrorist attacks. EDUCATION

Would encourage competition in primary and secondary education through vouchers that parents could cash in at either private or public schools. FAMILY ISSUES

Advocates mandatory drug testing in schools, with help for those who test positive. Those who refuse testing would forfeit their drivers licenses for two years. Would replace all welfare with work in public service jobs. Alexander Haig NATIONAL SECURITY

Reserved about the INF treaty because it does not cover conventional forces and long-range missile systems. Supports SDI but does not see it as replacement for nuclear deterrent. THE BUDGET

Would try to hold the defense budget to the rate of inflation as a means of deficit reduction. Advocates multi-year spending cuts to be worked out with Congress. Opposes a balanced budget amendment. Supports line-item veto power. TAXES

Generally opposes an increase in taxes - would raise them only as a last resort. Supports investment-related tax incentives. TRADE

Opposes Gephardt amendment. Favors international reduction of farm subsidies and advocates solving the problem of third-world debt in order to increase export markets. FOREIGN POLICY

Favors aid to the contras. Originally opposed to reflagging effort in the Gulf but is supportive now because to do otherwise would invite Iranian escalation. Proposes return to Camp David process to advance Arab-Israeli peace. EDUCATION

Supports tuition tax credits. Advocates higher teacher salaries. Favors revolving funds and tax-free bonds to cover costs of higher education for those qualified. FAMILY ISSUES

Favors tougher child-support enforcement laws. Would encourage day care inside the schools and suggests tapping senior citizens to provide child care in a home environment. Would encourage states to experiment with workfare programs. Jack Kemp NATIONAL SECURITY

Skeptical about the INF treaty. Would reject any new treaties with Moscow until the Soviets satisfy the terms of every past agreement, ``going back to Yalta.'' Supports early deployment of SDI. THE BUDGET

Advocates balancing the budget through economic growth, not raising taxes, cutting defense, or enacting an amendment. Advocates return to the gold standard. Supports an across-the-board spending freeze on domestic programs except Social Security. TAXES

Is flatly opposed to any increase in taxes. Supports reduction in capital-gains rate to 15%. TRADE

Opposes protectionism. Advocates a North American free-trade zone. Favors bilateral trade agreements that bring mutual reduction of barriers. FOREIGN POLICY

Advocates aid to the contras. Supports freedom fighters in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, and Mozambique. Favors reflagging effort in the Gulf. Is a strong supporter of Israel. EDUCATION

Advocates allowing states to experiment with vouchers. Supports a moment of silence, not state-prescribed school prayer. FAMILY ISSUES

Opposes federally funded child-care programs. Has best record among Republican candidates for giving women high-paying staff jobs. Pat Robertson NATIONAL SECURITY

Would build up a Delta-type strike force to combat terrorism. Favors ``standing up for America'' over ``seeking accommodation with the Soviet Union.'' Opposes INF treaty because of verification problems. Favors early deployment of SDI. THE BUDGET

Would call for $100 billion budget cut to eliminate deficit by 1991. Supports a balanced-budget amendment. Would gradually phase out farm subsidies. TAXES

Opposes tax increases. TRADE

Opposes Gephardt amendment but favors selective sanctions against countries that erect trade barriers. Favors free and open trade but claims it must be fair. FOREIGN POLICY

Supports aid to the contras. Would withdraw diplomatic recognition of Sandinistas and recognize the contras as ``a government in exile.'' Would insist in any agreement with Moscow that the Soviets comply with all prior treaties and leave Afghanistan. EDUCATION

Would eliminate federal Department of Education. Advocates merit pay for teachers. Advocates vouchers for medical care and job training for the poor. Supports voluntary prayer in schools. FAMILY ISSUES

Favors tax policies that reward stable families. Supports home environment child-care programs. Proposes tax deductions to women who want to raise children at home instead of working outside it. Would toughen child-support enforcement laws.

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