On April 30, 1789, the United States of America elected our first president to lead our country. Then every four years thereafter, another president is elected. When election time comes around most Americans do not know anything about the issues involved and/or do not even know who is running. The two current candidates this year are Al Gore, the Democrat, and George Bush, the Republican. Three main issues that both parties deal with are Social Security, Tax Reform, and Education. Depending on each candidate”s political platform, they can be placed approximately on the political spectrum.
Knowing where a candidate stands on the political spectrum, you can assume how he would feel on certain issues. Social Security is a huge issue this year because many citizens are concerned that they are paying the social security tax, but with the current plan, the money will run out by the time they get old enough to use it. Al Gore plans on taking social security and putting it aside and adding the interest gained to it which in his words, “I will keep it in a lockbox. The interest savings, I would put right back into it.
That extends the life for 55 years” (Issues2000. om). Gore”s plan relates to the liberal side of the political spectrum. Normally most liberals believe in more government involvement and less big corporations. He is saying that the social security tax will go into a “lockbox” and no money will be taken out of it leaving it all to the government. “Today liberals view government as protecting individuals from being abused by a variety of governmental and nongovernmental forces, such as market vagaries, business decisions, and discriminatory practices” (Burns 243). This leads into why George Bush is a conservative.
He plans on taking social security and putting it into the hands of our citizens and allowing them to invest their money in stocks. Bush wants to take the money out of the government”s hands and put it in the individual”s hands. “… I”m going to trust [young workers] at their option to be able to manage, under certain guidelines, some of their money to get a better rate of return so that they”ll have a retirement plan in the future… ” (issues2000. com). Basically he is trying allow the “young workers” to control their social security rather than the government.
This issue shows how two different sides of the political spectrum can affect the way they attack a problem. Tax Reform is another issue where both candidates differ greatly. Al Gore believes there should be a tax cut for the lower class and middle class families, but not for the wealthy class. This is true for a normal liberal to say. They believe the government should help those who are in need and leave those who don”t alone. “Liberals… prefer that government take care of the weak, for the strong can nearly always take care of themselves” (Burns 244).
With Gore”s plan, the typical family”s taxes would be the lowest in fifty years. This is definitely taking care of the weak part of society, the typical family. Bush, on the other hand, says he wants a tax cut for everyone. He believes everyone should deserve a tax relief, not just the middle class. This sounds good, but really the biggest cut would be in the upper class, who really do not need a tax cut. This just shows how Bush is being conservative by helping the big businesses, which make up most of the upper class. “Traditional conservatives, in the name of freedom, are emphatically pro-business” (248).
Each candidate tries to show why their tax reform plans are better, but it just comes down to how each candidate relates to the political spectrum. Another big issue this year is Education. Both candidates feel differently about this issue. Al Gore believes that students who attend a failing school would be allowed to go to better school until that school is reopened under new management. He also says that schools that are doing poorly in student achievement would be given a fund to help them improve. Any progressing school would be given financial awards to help them strive to become better.
This is considered a liberal view because he is saying that any weak school will be helped out by the government. In addition, he is supporting the improvement of some schools that are not meeting the standards. George Bush agrees somewhat, but he believes that if a school is failing, they have three years to fix the problems. If they don”t, they will be shut down and are demanded to give some money towards sending the students to other schools. He also says he would require testing be done every year.
The schools that improve would get a bonus while the schools that are failing would lose some federal funds (English handout). Conservatives are also inclined to believe that those who fail in life are in some way the architects of their own misfortune and thus must bear the main responsibility for solving their own problems” (Burns 247). He is conservative by saying that the responsibility of failing schools is to fix the problems themselves. Some parts of this issue, education, Gore and Bush agree on but for the most part, they are like on two different sides of the political spectrum. Knowing where the candidate is located on the political spectrum, each issue can be related to how the candidate feels.
Even though there are many issues a soon-to-be president has to discuss, there are definitely three main issues that affect everyone somehow. They all show a definite side of the political platform by each candidate. Each candidate”s side was relating to one side of the political spectrum such, as Democrats tend to be liberal, while Republicans are considered conservative. Referring back to the first paragraph, maybe we should model after our ancestors back when majority of our citizens actually cared about who was running and how they felt on the issues.
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