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Voter Guide 2000

Presidential Agendas

November 05, 2000

Here are highlights of some policy proposals offered by George W. Bush, Al Gore and three third-party presidential candidates. For more information on these and other issues, visit the candidates' Web sites or http://www.latimes.com/news/politics.

Bios

GEORGE W. BUSH

Republican

Businessman, managing general partner of Texas Rangers baseball team, Texas governor. Age: 54. Running mate: Dick Cheney, former secretary of defense, Wyoming congressman. http://www.georgewbush.com

AL GORE

Democrat

Journalist, Tennessee congressman and senator, vice president. Age: 52. Running mate: Joseph I. Lieberman, senator from Connecticut. http://www.algore2000.com

RALPH NADER

Green

Consumer activist, author, attorney. Age: 66. Running mate: Winona LaDuke, Native American activist. http://www.votenader.com

PAT BUCHANAN

Reform

Commentator, author, advisor in Nixon and Reagan administrations. Age: 62. Running mate: Ezola Foster, former Los Angeles schoolteacher. http://www.gopatgo2000.org

HARRY BROWNE

Libertarian

Investment advisor and author. Age: 67. Running mate: Art Olivier, mayor of Bellflower. http://harrybrowne2000.org

Social Security

GEORGE W. BUSH

Republican

Wants to give workers the option of staying entirely in the Social Security system or investing a portion of their Social Security taxes in private investment accounts, then taking a smaller payout from the program when they retire but supplementing their benefits with the private investments. Has not ruled out raising the retirement age for younger workers as part of a comprehensive reform.

AL GORE

Democrat

Opposes diverting Social Security money to personal investment accounts but would offer a tax credit to low-income and middle-income people to match their retirement investments. The value of the credit would vary according to income. Would use $100 billion over 10 years to improve Social Security benefits for widows and working women. Has ruled out increasing the retirement age.

RALPH NADER

Green

Opposes privatization of Social Security. Would make gradual changes to benefits and the revenue structure as needed. Suggests that, if additional revenue is needed to support the system, funds could be provided by raising the income cap on Social Security taxes or by expanding the tax to cover executive bonuses and stock options.

PAT BUCHANAN

Reform

Would guarantee current recipients benefits under the existing program but would "develop a pay-as-you-go Social Security plan that will secure the system while allowing American workers to begin building personal retirement accounts."

HARRY BROWNE

Libertarian

Calls Social Security a "fraudulent insurance scheme." Says Americans should be freed of Social Security taxes and be allowed to save the money on their own.

Taxes

GEORGE W. BUSH

Republican

Proposes cutting all income tax rates, with lowest dropping to 10% and highest to 33%. Would double the per-child tax credit to $1,000. Charitable deductions could be taken by people who don't itemize. Promises no increase in personal or corporate tax rates. Eliminate the inheritance tax and reduce the marriage penalty paid by many two-income couples by allowing a deduction of 10% of the lower-earning spouse's salary, up to $3,000. Estimated cost: $1.3 trillion over 10 years.

AL GORE

Democrat

Proposes selected tax relief, helping people pay for college tuition, buy health insurance, save for retirement, pay for day care and more. Would eliminate the inheritance tax on farms and businesses worth up to $5 million, raising the tax-protected threshold from the current $2.6 million. Would raise taxes by $130 billion on some corporate transactions and tobacco, and would raise the standard deduction for married couples to ease the "marriage penalty" for those who do not itemize deductions. Estimated cost: $500 billion over 10 years.

RALPH NADER

Green

Calls for "systemwide tax reform," mandating higher corporate taxes and taxes on polluters. Advocates taxes on "things we don't like" and says taxes on urban sprawl, for example, could prompt better planning and zoning. Opposes a flat tax.

PAT BUCHANAN

Reform

Wants to reduce income taxes and eliminate estate taxes and the "marriage penalty." Would impose a 10% tariff on imports and use the revenue to end all taxes on small businesses.

HARRY BROWNE

Libertarian

Would eliminate the income tax. Wants to drastically reduce the size of government by eliminating "hundreds of unconstitutional federal programs." Says excise taxes and tariffs would cover the costs of the smaller federal government.

Education

GEORGE W. BUSH

Republican

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