As the 2016 presidential election approaches, let’s take a look at the remaining candidates and their views on important issues.
Hillary Clinton was born in Park Ridge (a suburb of Chicago, Illinois) on October 26, 1947. A graduate of Wellesley College, she met her husband Bill at the Yale Law School. She later married President Clinton after moving to Arkansas, where he was elected governor. Hillary served as First Lady in 1992, then again in 1996, when Mr. Clinton was re-elected President. She became the first female senator from New York in 2000. She ran for president in 2008, but the Democratic nomination was given to Barack Obama. Obama, after winning the election, recommended Clinton for Secretary of State. She accepted the nomination and was officially sworn in on January 21, 2009. She announced her bid for president in a video posted on April 12, 2015.
Hillary Clinton supports the government funded program Common Core and the No Child Left Behind Act. She believes that it is specifically suited to students’ needs and learning styles. Clinton has been very instrumental in education reform; while in the Senate, she served on the Health, Education and Labor Committee. She helped develop the No Child Left Behind Act, an Act of Congress that aims to give every student a supportive, well-rounded education. Clinton supports teachers and educators, believing that they have the highest impact on a student’s growth and achievement. She asserts that teachers are currently not adequately educated and equipped with the resources they need to help students succeed academically. Clinton advocates for increased funding, which she would invest in teachers’ education and training.
Clinton takes a strong stand on making colleges more affordable and reducing student debt. She has formulated a plan to address the problem of affordability: the New College Compact. Under the Compact, college tuition and student loans would be dramatically reduced through a variety of factors, including state and federal funding and investment. Colleges themselves would be responsible for keeping their tuition affordable. Interest rates on student loans would drop significantly and Income-Based Repayment (a method of customizing student loan payments to the income of the student) would become more dominant and effective. The whole plan costs three hundred fifty billion dollars over ten years and would be paid for by limiting tax expenditures for high-income taxpayers.
Clinton fully supports all efforts to increase citizenship opportunities for immigrants. She believes that anything short of granting immigrants full citizenship would make them second class citizens. Supporting Obama’s decisions on immigration, she vows to expand on him by allowing more immigrants work permits and deportation protection. She is a strong advocate for DREAMers (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), and specifically wants parents of DREAMers who have deferred action to be applicable for work permits and other protections. In the event that Congress would fail to pass legislation, she promises to take executive action as president.
As president, Clinton would promote a growth and fairness economy. She firmly believes that business owners need to share their profits with their employees. Also, she supports the Buffett Tax on high-income households (where high-income individuals are required to pay at least 30% of their income on taxes). To help bring tax relief to small businesses, she would award a $1500 tax credit to businesses that are hiring or training new workers. Clinton would additionally impose taxes on multinational businesses that benefit overseas. Finally, she supports the New Markets Tax Credit and Empowerment Zones; systems that help low-income communities manage their funds.
Clinton endorses the Affordable Care Act, and, if president, will defend and expand on it. She would seek to broaden its’ coverage while slowing its’ costs. The ever-escalating costs of prescription drugs would be regulated to keep them affordable and to stop pharmaceutical companies from profiting. Measures would also be taken to keep unexpected costs out of health bills. Additionally, Clinton is concerned with deductibles, which she describes as too expensive for most Americans to easily afford. She will require three deductible-free consultations or visits per year for all American citizens, excused by employer and insurer. Congress would also grant assistance in the form of tax credits to families whose medical costs go over 5% of their income.
Clinton is willing to address the plight of Americans in rural communities who have trouble accessing good quality healthcare. She would expand access through telehealth, which is the delivery of medical services via technology. She would push states to quicken the licensing processes for telemedicine.
Donald Trump was born on June 14, 1946 in Queens, New York. He transferred from Fordham University to the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics. He joined the Trump Organization (family real estate business) and became involved with Manhattan building projects. Trump then expanded his real estate empire by developing buildings and acquiring property. He became a well known public figure after starring in the reality TV series The Apprentice; he soon announced that he was considering running for president in 2012. Not garnering much support, his potential run for candidacy died away. On June 16, 2015 he announced his candidacy for president under the Republican party.
Donald Trump has stated his intentions to cut funding for the Department of Education based on his numerous objections to the Common Core. Trump wants students to have a local education; he believes that under the Common Core students are being educated by the government. He proposes that either funding for the Department of Education be significantly cut or the department itself be abolished, both acts that would reduce federal spending.
Trump bases his plan for immigration reform around protection and enforcement. Believing that Mexico has been sending its’ criminals and disadvantaged across America’s Southern border, Trump proposes a quick fix: a wall across the border. This would effectively seal the border and reduce the many of America’s costs (welfare, education, housing, and healthcare for immigrants). It would also lower crime rates across the country; some undocumented immigrants are suspected to have committed crimes while in America.
Also included in his plan for immigration are defensive laws. If president, he vows to triple the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and ensure that they are better equipped to handle their jobs. All illegal immigrants currently residing in America would be deported and the penalties for overstaying a visa would be increased. According to Trump, birthright citizenship, or the granting of citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants, should and would be eliminated.
Under a Trump administration, American workers would have much more benefits than immigrant workers. Hiring employers would be required to consider American applicants first. Instead of giving green cards to foreign workers, they would be encouraged to hire from the existing pool of unemployed people. Additionally, efforts would be made to end welfare abuse by certifying that immigrants can afford to pay for housing and healthcare before entering the country. Trump, saying that too much money, time, and effort is spent on refugee programs for children, would start programs to help orphaned and disadvantaged American children.
Under Trump’s tax reformation plan, middle-class Americans would significantly save on taxes. All single individuals with incomes less than $25,000 and couples with combined incomes of less than $50,000 would be exempt from the income tax. The tax code would also be shorter and simpler. Instead of the seven tax rate brackets, there would only be four: 0%, 10%, 20%, and 25%. This would result in massive savings for Americans, as the four rates are all spectacularly low (with 0% being exempt from taxes). Several deductibles, such as the marriage penalty (when couples file their taxes together and lose more money than if they had filed them separately), would disappear altogether. He believes that the lower tax rate would encourage consumer spending, therefore boosting the economy.
To encourage economic growth, Trump has stated that businesses of any size would not be required to pay more than 15% of their income in taxes. The low tax rates would also discourage corporate inversions. Trump’s plans for tax reform would be paid for by the money earned from closing up the loopholes in the tax code for wealthy families and large corporations.
Trump, who would repeal the Affordable Care Act based largely on its’ inefficiency, proposes a universal healthcare system, in which all American citizens would be covered. He has not elaborated further on his plan for healthcare.