Bush vs. Kerry:

Bush’s Platform
By Eric Schafer

President Bush plans to continue improving the economy if he wins the 2004 election through his reforms and six-point plan.
For all the families in the United States who have lost loved ones and had their inheritance taxed, Bush plans on stopping this with his call to permanently repeal the Death Tax, which pilfers money off the top of property, money and other things of value handed from one generation to another by wills and legal heredity.
Bush will provide $500 million to the training of the future American workforce in community colleges and vocational schools to keep Americans competitive in the 21st century.
Regarding Bush’s tax cuts, he has signed into law the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 that extends the tax cuts due to expire next year. Because of ‘Bush’s actions, a family of four with an income of $40,000 will save more than $900.’
Also, around 94 million Americans will see a lower tax bill next year, 70 million which are women and 38 million families that have children. This bill will also provide for a $1,000 per child tax credit until 2010.
Had this bill not passed, 94 million Americans in 2005 would see an average increase of $538 on their taxes instead of the decrease of $900. Bush, if re-elected, offers the continuation of the tax cuts whereas Kerry said he would repeal the Bush tax cuts.
Bush has provided an increase of 1.7 million jobs since last August, leaving our unemployment at 5.4 percent. This does not warrant a ‘recessive’ economy status, as economists can tell you.
Since the beginning of Bush’s administration in 2000 the ‘real after-tax income’ is up by 10 percent. Finally, Bush and his administration brought about a 69.2 percent home ownership rate in the second quarter of 2004 and a 51 percent (a 2.1 percent increase from last year) ownership rate for minorities, a new record. The question is, do you want ‘more of the same?’
Bush’s six-point plan to improve the economy entails the following: He wants to help us by cutting taxes, reducing regulation of businesses and by restraining Federal spending. He wants to make us less dependent on foreign oil with his national energy policy, to globalize American trade so that it reaches every nation of every continent, to protect small-business owners and workers from frivolous lawsuits and lower the cost of health care for small businesses and working families by emphasizing ‘association health plans, tax-free health savings accounts, tax credits for employer contributions to health savings accounts and medical liability reform.’
The current administration wants to continue the strengthening of the economy to ensure the United States stays competitive in this constantly changing world.

Eric Schafer is a first-year political science major.
Kerry’s Platform
By Rosanna Mannan

The Kerry-Edwards economic plan is, in many ways, an attack on the economic strategies that President Bush has been implementing in his four years in office. They see Bush’s economic strategies as failures because ‘1.6 million private-sector jobs were lost,’ there was a ‘record $490 billion trade deficit in 2003,’ business investment is down, household income has declined and about ’45 million Americans’ do not have health insurance.
There are four pieces in the Kerry-Edwards economic plan. The first, and presumably most important, is creating ‘good-paying jobs in America.’ Jobs will be created by cutting the corporate tax rate by 5 percent for ’99 percent of taxpaying corporations,’ which will in turn lower costs for companies producing in America. Companies who create jobs overseas will no longer be able to ‘defer paying taxes until they bring back profits to the United States.’ To open markets abroad, there is a plan to enforce trade agreements and trade laws.
The second part of the Kerry-Edwards economic plan calls to ‘strengthen middle-class families by cutting taxes and lowering health and energy costs.’ Tax cuts for 98 percent of families, and a larger child tax credit are planned. High health costs will be lessened though premium relief for the highest cost cases, tax credits, lower prescription drug costs and cracking down on ‘frivolous medical malpractice’ cases. The minimum wage is also proposed to be raised from $5.15 to $7.00 by 2007, so that ‘no one working full-time at the minimum wage will have to raise his or her children in poverty.’
‘Restoring America’s competitive edge’ is the third tier of the Kerry-Edwards economic plan. Kerry and Edwards want to eliminate America’s dependence on Middle East oil by investing in ‘energy independence.’ This includes the production of ‘energy-efficient technologies’ including the production ‘hybrid and hydrogen-powered cars.’
For the education side, a ‘tax credit on up to $4,000 of tuition for four years of college’ is ‘supported.’
The fourth and final part of the Kerry-Edwards economic plan is ‘cutting the deficit and restoring economic confidence.’ Kerry and Edwards want to cut the deficit in half, make health care more affordable and improve schools. The following proposals would be submitted to Congress: rolling back tax cuts for those making over $200,000, the elimination of wasteful subsidies and wasteful offices, the streamlining of bureaucracy and the modernization of the U.S. health system through disease management, lower prescription drug costs and competitive bidding for medical equipment.
Much of the rhetoric used in the Kerry-Edwards economic plan is directed toward creating jobs and improving America’s health and education systems. All three of these issues are arguably of the greatest importance for the upcoming election.

Rosanna Mannan is a first-year informatics major.