Anderson platform stakes out positions for independent candidacy
Independent presidential candidate John Anderson now has a platform for his "National Unity Campaign." Political observers say that the 317-page document, released during the Labor Day weekend, contains few positions that Congressman Anderson did not articulate during his primary campaign. But they add that the platform gives voters the policy compendium they have been seeking in an effort to ferret out the "Anderson difference."
Following are some highlights of the positions taken by the National Unity ticket of Anderson and his recently named vice-presidential running mate, former Wisconsin Gov. Patrick J. Lucey.
National defense and foreign policy. Anderson would maintain "essential equivalence" with the Soviets militarily, while "modernizing and diversifying" strategic weapons to meet "evolving threats" to the US deterrent. He opposes the MX missile system and advocates strategic weapons systems he deems "cost effective," such as the Trident submarine, upgrading the B-52 bomber, and cruise missiles.
The Illinois candidate backs vigorous, verifiable arms control, a short-term, comprehensive ban on nuclear testing, and proposal of "supplementary measures" to SALT II based on Senate reservations to "make possible" ratification of that document. The platform also calls for modernization of the Western alliance's theater nuclear forces, while leaving open the door to negotiations with Soviet leaders to limit such theater nuclear weapons.
On the Middle East, the platform states that a lasting peace must "encompass the principles affirmed in the Camp David accords." Anderson opposes a Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan. He supports free and unimpeded access to all holy places in Jerusalem by "people of all faiths." And the platform backs an open and undivided Jerusalem. It adds that at the end of the peace process, "as a final act of settlement," the US would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and would move the US Embassy to that city.
As to China policy, Anderson would "abide by both the letter and the spirit of the Taiwan Relations Act."
The economy and employment. To deal with inflation, Anderson's administration would "invite" unions and management to negotiate "fair and realistic" wage-price guidelines to cope with inflation. Compliance would be "encouraged" through "tax-based" incentives. Anderson opposes mandatory wage and price controls "in the absense of sharp and prolonged increases in the rate of inflation."
The platform calls for federal expenditures of more than $2 billion a year for youth employment training and state and local education programs. Particular emphasis is given to disadvantaged youth and those who are out of school. It proposes a "youth opportunity wage incentive" exempting eligible youths and employers from social security taxes during "the first months" of employment.
Anderson favors "enterprise zones" in inner-city areas, established by reducing corporate, capital-gains, payroll, and property taxes, and formulating "new tax incentives" to attract business.
The platform seeks an industrial development council, chaired by the President, including representatives from labor, management, and government. The council would review government policies affecting industry, seek to foster closer ties between labor and management, and encourage industry to "adapt to rapid changes in international economics, technology, and consumer preferences."
Women's rights. The Anderson-Lucey ticket is committed to ratification of the proposed Equal rights Amendment. It opposes a constitutional ban on abortions and supports public funding of "family planning services and other efforts to enable women to find acceptable alternatives to abortion."
Energy. The platform contains the now-familiar 50-cent-a-gallon asoline tax proposal. Income from tax would be returned to individuals through cuts in payroll taxes and through increases in social security benefits.
Anderson seeks incentives to substitute non-petroleum energy sources for oil, for increased energy conservation by business and individuals, and for improvements in transportation technology.
On nuclear energy, "we will . . . make certain that installation of any future plants is preceded by demosntration of satisfactory standards and action on the nuclear waste question." The platform pledges continual assessment of nuclear energy to determine if other energy supplies may be phased in, in preference to nuclear systems.
Environment. An Anderson presidency would "guard and consolidate" recent environmental gains. But it also would insist that proposals for major changes in environmental standards be accompanied by economic impact studies showing direct costs and employment and energy implications.