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DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION '96

Dueling Platforms: How They Compare

August 28, 1996

ECONOMIC ISSUES

REPUBLICANS

* Charges that U.S. families "are suffering from the twin burdens of stagnant incomes and near-record taxes"

* Calls for across-the-board 15% reduction in marginal tax rates

* Backs legislation requiring a "super-majority vote in both houses" to raise taxes

* Supports a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, phased in over a short period with safeguards for national emergencies

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DEMOCRATS

* Praises the Clinton administration for creation of more than 10 million new jobs during its term; notes that combined rate of inflation, unemployment and mortgage interest rates is lowest in three decades

* Touts President Clinton's plan to balance federal budget by 2002; charges that GOP budget plans targeted programs that would "take Big Bird away from 5-year-olds, school lunches away from 10-year-olds, summer jobs away from 15-year-olds and college loans away from 20-year-olds"

WELFARE

REPUBLICANS

* Says Clinton "with a straight face," is seeking credit "for what we have accomplished" with welfare reform legislation

DEMOCRATS

* Praises Clinton for tempering GOP effort to "punish the poor" in welfare reform legislation

* Urges states to exempt battered women from legislation's time limits on benefits

SOCIAL ISSUES

REPUBLICANS

* Supports a human life amendment to the Constitution that would outlaw abortion, without exceptions

* Endorses Proposition 209, the California ballot initiative that would end government affirmative action programs

* Opposes extending anti-discrimination laws to cover gay men and lesbians; backs federal legislation saying that states need not recognize same-sex marriages

* Says homosexuality is incompatible with military service

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DEMOCRATS

* Supports abortion rights for all women, "regardless of ability to pay"

* Says goal "is to make abortion less necessary and more rare, not more difficult and more dangerous"

* Praises Clinton for "leading the way" to reform affirmative action programs so that they "do not accidentally hold others back. . . . When it comes to affirmative action, we should "mend it, not end it"

* Supports efforts to end discrimination against gay men and lesbians "and further their full inclusion in the life of the nation"

EDUCATION

REPUBLICANS

* Supports educational initiatives to promote chastity until marriage as the expected standard of behavior

* Supports voluntary prayer in school.

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DEMOCRATS

* Calls for $1,000 scholarships for top 5% of high school graduates

* Supports Clinton's proposed $10,000 deduction on taxable income for college tuition

* Supports Clinton's proposed $1,500 annual tax credit for first two years of college tuition

IMMIGRATION

REPUBLICANS

* Would deny public benefits, except emergency aid, to illegal immigrants and their children

* Would amend the Constitution to deny citizenship to children born in the United States to parents here illegally

* Officially recognizes English as the nation's common language

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DEMOCRATS

* While lauding Clinton's efforts to stem illegal immigration, condemns as "mean-spirited and shortsighted" proposals to bar children of illegal immigrants from schools

* Opposes measure in new welfare legislation barring legal immigrants from welfare benefits

* Strongly opposes English-only legislation as "divisive"

CRIME/GUN CONTROL

REPUBLICANS

* Would require adult trials for juveniles who commit adult crimes

* Pledges to "defend the constitutional right to keep and bear arms"

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DEMOCRATS

* Backs Clinton's call for constitutional amendment to protect rights of crime victims

* Calls for veto of any attempt to repeal the Brady Act, which regulates handgun sales, or the assault-weapons ban

ENVIRONMENT

REPUBLICANS

* Calls for allowing states and localities to have a greater role in setting and maintaining natural-resource standards

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DEMOCRATS

* Vows continued efforts to restore Florida Everglades, preserve wildlife refuges and fight any plan to open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling

* Pledges to seek strong international agreement to further reduce emissions that damage the Earth's ozone layer

FOREIGN/MILITARY AFFAIRS

REPUBLICANS

* Charges that Clinton's "weakness, indecision and double-talk have undermined America's role as leader of the free world"

* Endorses national missile defense system for all 50 states by 2003

* Calls for increased military spending

* Opposes women in ground combat

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DEMOCRATS

* Praises Clinton for policies it says promoted democracy throughout the former Soviet Union, accelerated peace process in Middle East and Northern Ireland and stabilized Haiti

* Endorses administration commitment to deployment by 2003 of updated long-range missile defense system for U.S. soil; blasts alternative GOP proposal as "a costly system today that could be obsolete tomorrow"

* Calls for increased efforts to convert "unnecessary or obsolete military facilities" to other uses

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