Sunday, October 29, 2000

Our Agenda 2000 Scorecard

Bush, Gore on the issues

        • Social Security: Bush
        Al Gore's plan plays a shell game with the debt and Social Security trust fund, and perpetuates big-spending entitlements. George W. Bush's plan at least begins to loosen Americans' dependency on a government system that can't sustain its promise for many more decades.

        • Education: Bush
        Both candidates exaggerate the role of the president in education. Mr. Gore would increase federal control to deliver what unions want most: more money. Mr. Bush would respect local control and flexiblity, using federal dollars to reward better results. The union monopoly protected by Mr. Gore is not working. It's time for more accountability and competition.

        • Energy/Environment: Gore
        Mr. Bush can be counted on to favor U.S. oil producers over foreign imports, but it's less clear he would promote conservation or energy alternatives. Mr. Gore's environmental record is more sensible than his “end is near” alarms in Earth in the Balance. He talks scary, but votes centrist.

        • Taxes: Bush
        High taxes eat away at your paycheck and stunt economic growth. Every dollar grabbed by taxes means fewer wage raises and fewer jobs created, while government expands. Mr. Gore's tax plan is a smoke-screen that hides huge spending increases — more “Government Knows Best” fine print. Mr. Bush's fair and substantial cuts could give taxpayers welcome relief. There's no contest: Mr. Bush's tax cuts are better.

        • Health: Gore
        Mr. Gore proposes a prescription drug benefit for all Medicare beneficiaries. Mr. Bush wants to restructure Medicare and offer drug subsidies that would encourage people to shop for their own plan. Mr. Bush's promise has troubling gaps. Mr. Gore's plan is very expensive. If the goal is assured coverage, Mr. Gore comes out on top.

        • Judiciary: Bush
        Mr. Gore clearly favors judicial activism on certain social issues such as abortion. Mr. Bush refuses to make any specific issue a test for his court nominees. Mr. Bush is more likely to appoint judges and justices who respect the rule of law and constitutional principles — and do not view the courts as an all-powerful tool to advance an ideology.

        • Military/Foreign Policy: Bush
        U.S. military readiness has slipped through the 1990s. Further neglect invites hostile nations or groups to attempt aggression. Mr. Gore is part of an administration in deep denial about military preparedness. Mr. Bush would need to forego some of his tax cut, but he is more likely to rebuild the military to protect U.S. economic and security interests.

        • Leadership: Bush
        Mr. Bush's record as Texas governor is one of sound policy accomplishments across party lines. Mr. Gore, joined at the hip with Mr. Clinton, has less to show. Mr. Gore has the edge in details, but Mr. Bush has a better big-picture vision.

        • Character: Bush
        Each candidate has his flaws. Neither can be described as a “self-made man.” Mr. Bush can seem remarkably callow. Mr. Gore's problem is honesty. Neither is reassuring, but Mr. Gore's disturbing habit of torturing the truth gives the character edge to Mr. Bush.

        • Social issues: Bush
        Both candidates are good men who care about others. But we favor Mr. Bush's positions on social issues, especially on abortion, where Mr. Gore is rigid and out of touch. We like Mr. Bush's emphasis on self-reliance. He is less polarizing.


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- Our Agenda 2000 Scorecard
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