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VOTER GUIDE: Trump and Biden on the issues, plus Green & Libertarian candidates

Though polls show just 6 percent of voters say they are undecided concerning the presidential race, Metro Voice is making available this presidential voter guide comparison of the major candidates for the office including Republican, Democrat, Green and Libertarian parties.

READ: The Democrat and Republican Party platforms compared.

PRESIDENT

DONALD J. TRUMP

Republican Party

Incumbent

President Trump has kept his promise to uphold the RNC Platform by defending religious freedom, instituting policies to uphold the sanctity of life, taking decisive action to strengthen our military, securing our borders, eliminating burdensome federal regulations, simplifying the tax code, renegotiating unfair trade agreements, and moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.2 “Just weeks after helping to broker peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), President Trump [was] nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. ‘For his merit, I think he has done more trying to create peace between nations than most other Peace Prize nominees,’ Tybring-Gjedde … [said]’.”3 (Christian Tybring-Gjedde is a member of the Norwegian Parliament and chairman of the Norwegian delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.)

 

ABORTION: On January 19, 2018, President Donald Trump said that his administration “will always defend the right to life.… We are protecting the sanctity of life and the family as the foundation of our society.” “As most people know … I am strongly pro-life, with the three exceptions: rape, incest and protecting the life of the mother – the same position taken by Ronald Reagan.” Donald Trump, twitter.com, May 18, 2019.

Trump’s major actions on abortion during his first two years in office were: signing into law a resolution that allowed states to withhold federal funding for health care providers that perform abortions; reinstating the Mexico City Policy, which prohibited foreign aid and federal funding for international NGOs that performed abortions or offered related services; and proposed modifying the Title X family planning program making family planning clinics that refer patients or resources with abortion providers ineligible to receive funding. Additionally, healthcare providers would not be required to provide abortion counseling if it violated their moral or religious beliefs.

In addition, he has appointed hundreds of pro-life judges across the nation, including three pro-life Supreme Court Justices.

ECONOMY: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; the first major tax reform signed in 30 years; provided tax relief for 82% of middle-class families; doubled the Child Tax Credit to $1,000 per child; nearly doubled the standard deduction, cut taxes for small business by 20%, providing $415 billion in tax relief for small business owners, alleviated the tax burden on over 500 businesses, resulting in $482 billion invested in new American projects, repealed Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate; lowered the corporate tax rate from one of the highest in the industrialized world from 35% to 21%. Launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, which advanced women’s full and free participation in the global economy and allocated $50 million for the fund. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. labor market remained strong in 2019, as the unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent, the lowest rate since 1969. Levels of long-term joblessness and involuntary part-time employment continued to trend down.

EDUCATION: The President’s FY2018 Budget Request included $1 billion in funding grants for public school choice and $250 million to promote private school choice. In his FY2019, budget President Trump proposed a $5 billion federal tax credit for donations that fund scholarships to private and vocational schools, apprenticeship programs and other educational opportunities. His administration successfully implemented the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to empower states to better educate their students. To date, 35 states and the District of Columbia have had their ESSA plans approved. They also implemented year-round distribution of Pell grants. Low-income students now have access to funds over summer and winter breaks, so they can earn their degrees faster with fewer loans. The Trump Administration reformed the student loan servicing process to improve customer experience and lower costs. They have modernized the way FSA offers and services student loans. The Department of Education provided $359.8 million in federal assistance to 20 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist with the cost of educating students displaced by natural disasters.

HEALTHCARE: “… Donald Trump has proposed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with a proposal titled ‘Healthcare Reform to Make America Great Again’. … recommended reforms include full deduction of premiums for individual health plans on federal tax returns, providing block grants to finance state Medicaid programs, and allowing insurers to sell insurance across state lines. His goal: To assess how each of these reforms, when implemented individually, would affect insurance coverage, consumer out-of-pocket spending on health care, and the federal deficit. Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, critics have advocated that the law be repealed and replaced with an alternative set of reforms.”4 COVID-19: The World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern over the coronavirus outbreak on January 30, 2020. The following day, President Trump introduced a temporary ban on the admission of people who were in China 14 days prior to their travel to the United States. “… Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, praised ‘the original decision that was made by the president’ to impose travel restrictions to and from China. ‘We prevented travel from China to the United States’, said Fauci, who has worked for multiple administrations. ‘If we had not done that, we would have had many, many more cases right here that we would have to be dealing with’.”5 The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed by Congress with overwhelming, bipartisan support and signed into law by President Trump on March 27th, 2020. This over $2 trillion economic relief package delivers on the Trump Administration’s commitment to protecting the American people from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19. The CARES Act provides fast and direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses, and preserve jobs for our American industries.6

IMMIGRATION: Recommended anti-fraud and abuse measures, protecting the integrity of the H-2B visa program. Announced that last month border officials handled fewer than 40,000 illegal crossings, the lowest rate in two years. With over 100 miles of wall built, he has fulfilled his promise to secure the border. Provided funding to support the National Human Trafficking Hotline. LAW AND ORDER: $98 million in grant funding through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services COPS Hiring Program to allow 802 additional full-time law enforcement officers. Signed Executive Order 13809 to restore state and local law enforcement’s access to surplus equipment from the Defense Department. Created the new National Public Safety Partnership to help cities reduce violent crimes. Expanded Project Safe Neighborhoods to encourage U.S. Attorneys to work with communities to develop customized crime reduction strategies, resulting in a 23 percent increase in arrests for unlawful possession of a firearm. Stands firm that Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization. [See description of Black Lives Matter parent organization under “Ratings/Endorsements,” page 29, this issue.] “What we can never have is mob rule, and the Republican Party condemns the violence in Democrat-run cities.” (RNC Acceptance Speech, 2020)

NATIONAL DEFENSE: “… helped broker a deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel and then another with Israel and Bahrain, uniting the countries in peace and diplomatic relations. The agreements, collectively called the Abraham Accords, are the first of its kind since 1994 and commit the nations to an exchange of embassies and ambassadors and to work with each other in educational, healthcare, trade, and security initiatives, among other fields.7 Put maximum pressure on North Korea to denuclearize. In June 2019, President Trump became the first sitting U.S. President to enter North Korea, holding a historic meeting with Kim Jong Un at the DMZ. The president confronted Iran’s aggression by withdrawing from Obama’s flawed Iranian nuclear deal and ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airbase after the Assad regime used it to launch chemical weapons attacks against civilians. Placed sanctions on North Korea for its use of chemical weapons in the assassination of Kim Jong UN’s stepbrother. He imposed numerous sanctions on the Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela. The Trump Administration has led the world in support of Juan Guaido, the Democratic elected leader of the Venezuelan General Assembly. Has approved more than $250 million in regional aid to address the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Has directly confronted Russia for its threatening behavior, bolstering allies in the region. Has imposed diplomatic penalties on Russia including the expulsion of more than 50 Russian intelligence officials and the closing of two Russian consulates. Placed sanctions on Russia for its use of chemical weapons involving an attempted assassination of a former KGB spy in Britain. Led support for Ukraine’s Armed Forces to help Ukraine improve its defense. Has pressured NATO allies to meet their spending commitments and by the year 2019, NATO allies have increased their spending by nearly $100 billion since 2016. Under Trump, the National Defense Authorization Act established the United States Space Force (a new branch of the military), ensuring American dominance in space, and modernizing the U.S. military to meet the security needs of the 21st century. It granted $738 billion for defense spending including the first ever paid family leave and much needed 3.1% pay raise for our troops. He revived the National Space Council to develop and implement a new national space policy and strategy.

Ratings and Endorsements: Citizens United Political Victory Fund; Fraternal Order of Police; Huck Pac; All state right to life organizations have endorsed Trump including locally: Kansans for Life; Missouri Right to Life PAC; National Right to Life; The International Union of Police Associations plus hundreds of other police organzations.

For a full list of endorsements across the nation, click here.

WEBSITE: Making America Great Again, www.promiseskept.com.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN

Democrat Party

Joe Biden was born in Scranton, PA but raised in Claymont, DE. Received BA, University of Delaware and JD, Syracuse University. Married with two sons (one son deceased) and one daughter (deceased); widowed; remarried with one daughter. U.S. Senate (1972-2008); ran unsuccessfully for president in 1988 and 2008; elected 47th Vice President of the United States (2008), serving two terms with Barak Obama.

ABORTION

“As president, Biden will be a champion for improving access to health care and the health of all by: Expanding access to contraception and protect the constitutional right to an abortion … Reverse the Trump Administration and states’ all-out assault on women’s right to choose. As president, will work to codify Roe v. Wade, and his Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate the constitutional right to an abortion, such as so-called TRAP laws [Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers], parental notification requirements, mandatory waiting periods, and ultrasound requirements.” Source: “Healthcare,” www.joebiden.com. “Despite supporting the Hyde Amendment for his entire public career, Biden reversed his position last summer and now supports federal funding for abortion. Biden has promised to … make support for abortion a litmus test for nominees to the Supreme Court. He has also vowed to make passage of the Equality Act a top legislative priority during his first 100 days as president.8

ECONOMY

Promises to “… end this epidemic [pandemic] and get our economy back on track through bold action; launch a task force reporting directly to me to make sure every dollar going out the door gets to the people who need it — fast; bring the leaders of Congress together to build the next deal.”

EDUCATION

“Outlining a plan that 1) provides educators the support and respect they need and deserve, and 2) invests in all children from birth, so that regardless of their zip code, parents’ income, race, or disability, they are prepared to succeed in tomorrow’s economy.” Competitive wage, help teachers pay off student loans, double counselors in schools, defeat NRA to make schools safer, eliminate funding gap, improve teacher diversity, and pursue desegregation strategies.

HEALTHCARE

On coronavirus pandemic, “ ‘I said, among others, that, you know, you should get into China, get our experts there, we have the best in the world, get them in so we know what’s actually happening’, Biden said. [Claims] ‘there was no effort to do that’. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tried to get into China just one week after China reported the outbreak to the World Health Organization on Dec. 31, 2019.”9 “… Biden said he ‘will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives’,”10 even shutting down the country again. Biden’s aggressive advocacy for LGBT issues extends into his approach to foreign policy. He has promised to install a “point person” for LGBTQ+ issues on the National Security Council and a special envoy at the State Department to combat “homophobia, transphobia, and stigma globally.”11

IMMIGRATION

“ ‘We’re going to restore our moral standing in the world and our historic role as a safe haven for refugees and asylum-seekers’.”12

LAW AND ORDER

Biden … aims to pass legislation abolishing the death penalty at the federal level and offer incentives to states to follow suit. Convicted criminals who would face execution under current law would instead be sentenced to life in prison without parole. His plan also would decriminalize marijuana and expunge past cannabis-related convictions, end the disparity between sentences for powder and crack cocaine, and do away with all incarceration for drug use …. In addition, it would create a $20 billion grant program to spur states to move from incarceration to crime prevention and would eliminate mandatory-minimum sentences.”13

NATIONAL DEFENSE

“Former Vice President Joe Biden said this week that, if elected president, he doesn’t foresee major reductions in the U.S. defense budget as the military refocuses its attention to potential threats from ‘near-peer’ powers such as China and Russia. But internal pressure from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, combined with pandemic-related economic pressures, may ultimately add up to budget cuts at a Biden Pentagon. … Biden avoided any sweeping pronouncements about how defense spending might change in his administration. ‘… we need priorities in the budget,’ Biden said, adding that the Pentagon must invest in emerging technologies. ‘We have to focus more on unmanned capacity, cyber and IT, in a very modern world that is changing rapidly’, Biden said.”14

Ratings and Endorsements: AFL-CIO; End Citizens United; Florida LGBTQ+; MoveOn.org Political Action; National Education Association; Planned Parenthood; Sierra Club; The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence; United Auto Workers; Communist Party USA

For a list of additional endorsements, click here.

WEBSITE: https://joebiden.com/

JO JORGENSEN

Libertarian

Lives in Greenville, SC. Holds a BS, Psychology, Baylor University (1979); MBA Southern Methodist University (1980); PhD, Industrial/ Organizational Psychology, Clemson University (2002). Candidate, U.S. House of Representatives, S.C. (1992); candidate, Vice-President (1996). Founder, Business Consultation Company (2002); Founder, Professional Software Incorporated; President/Owner, Hypertech, Inc.; Senior Lecturer, Clemson University (2006-present). National Marketing Director of Libertarian Party.

ABORTION

Keep the government out of it, no subsidies, no regulations.

EDUCATION

Will work to eliminate the Department of Education and return control of education to where it belongs – with parents, teachers, and students.”

ECONOMY

We need to make government smaller. The real cure for poverty is a vibrant economy that generates plentiful jobs and high wages, combined with an affordable cost of living.

HEALTHCARE

Can reduce the cost of health care 75% by allowing real price competition, and by substantially reducing government and insurance company paperwork. This will make health care affordable for most Americans, while also reducing the cost of legacy programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA. Says the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a tale of two Americas: the one driven by career politicians in Washington, and the one created by the American people. She supports the legalization of marijuana.

IMMIGRATION

Our policies on immigration should be just as free and open. While the ethnicities and countries of origin have changed, the American legacy of what immigration is supposed to be remains the same: different cultures held together by the values of inclusion and acceptance; a shining city upon a hill welcoming the tired, poor, and huddled masses.

LAW AND ORDER

Communities should determine whether police officers are required to wear body cameras. She opposes the government hiring private companies to run prisons, solitary confinement for juveniles, mandatory minimums for people charged with drug possession, and the death penalty for drug traffickers. Her website says convicted . should have the right to vote.

NATIONAL DEFENSE

No U.S. involvement in foreign wars. Bring home over 200,000 military personnel stationed in foreign countries, and no U.S. military aid to foreign governments. No U.S. blockades or embargoes of non-military trade. Peace, at last. Plan is to make America armed and neutral, with the military force to defend America’s shore and soil against any foreign attackers or invaders, protected by an armed citizenry, and a military laser-focused on defending America. Big government mandates and programs created these problems.

Ratings and Endorsements: Grass Roots North Carolina (100%)

WEBSITE: https://jo20.com/

HOWIE HAWKINS

Green Party

Lives in Syracuse, NY. Attended Dartmouth College (1975). Candidate for the following offices: Mayor, City of Syracuse (1997); United States Senate (2006); United States House of Representatives, District 25 (2000, 2004, 2008); New York State Governor (2010); New York State Governor (2014); Vice President of the United States (2016); Governor of New York (2018); President of the United States (2012, 2020). Member, Vietnam Veterans Against the War/Winter Solider Organization, 1972-1975, 2006-present; Co-Founder/National Committee Representative, Green Alliance, 2001-present; National Committee Member, Green Party of the United States, 2001-present; Member, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, 2001-present; Member, Socialist Party United States of America, 1973-present. Priority issues include: Progressive taxes, full employment, health care for all, clean energy, good schools for all communities, economic democracy for economic renewal, sustainable green economy, affordable housing, retirement security, workers rights, fair elections, end the “war on drugs,” reproductive freedom, gay marriage, peace, criminal justice reform, regional planning, local government, grassroots democracy.

Ratings and Endorsements: Green Party U.S.; Socialist Party U.S.A.; Socialist Alternative; Legal Marijuana Now Party of Minnesota; Independent Socialist Group; Colorado Springs DSA; Democratic Socialist of Salt Lake.

WEBSITE: https://howiehawkins.us/

 

Endnotes:

1 “Ballot access for presidential candidates,” https://ballotpedia.org/, accessed September 15, 2020.

2 Holcomb, Colleen, “PAC a Punch Like Phyllis!,” Eagle Forum, https://eagleforum.org/, September 5, 2020, accessed September 15, 2020.

3 Decker, John “Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian official, citing Israel-UAE peace deal,” Fox News, https://www.foxnews.com, September 9, 2020, accessed September 15, 2020.

4 Saltzman, Evan and Christine Eibner, Donald Trump’s Health Care Reform Proposals: …,” The Commonwealth Fund, https://www.commonwealthfund.org/, accessed September 15, 2020.

5 Farley, Robert, “The Facts on Trump’s Travel Restrictions,” FactCheck.org, https://www.factcheck.org/, March 6, 2020, accessed September 22, 2020.

6 “The CARES Act Works for All Americans,” U.S. Department of the Treasury,” https://home.treasury.gov/, accessed September 22, 2020.

7 “President Trump Makes the Middle East Great Again!,” Eagle Forum, https://eagleforum.org/, September 17, 2020, accessed September 18, 2020.

8 Closson, David, “God Help Us – Kamala Harris Voted Against Protecting Already Born Babies from Being Legally Murdered,” Family Research Council, https://www.frc.org/, August 13, 2020, accessed September 15, 2020.

9 Rieder, Rem, “Biden’s False Claim on Trump’s Response to Coronavirus,” FactCheck.org, April 1, 2020, https://www.factcheck.org/.

10 Klepper, David, Josh Boak and Amanda Seitz, “Fact Check: Trump distorts record; Black Lives Matter falsely accused,” The Denver Post, https://www. denverpost.com/, August 28, 2020, accessed September 15, 2020.

11 Ibid., Closson.

12 Burnett, John, “Biden Pledges to Dismantle Trump’s Sweeping Immigration Changes – But Can He Do That,?” NPR, https://www.npr.org/, September 14, 2020, accessed September 15, 2020.

13 Viser, Matt and Sean Sullivan, “Biden announces criminal justice policy sharply at odds with his ‘94 crime law,” The Washington Post, https:// www.washingtonpost.com/, July 23, 2019, accessed September 15, 2020.

14 Gould, Joe, “Biden not planning defense cuts, but they may come anyway,” DefenseNews, https://www.defensenews.com/, September 11, 2020, accessed September 15, 2020.

15 Hagen, Lisa, “Mike Pence: Where He Stands,” U.S. News & World Report, August 12, 2020, accessed September 15, 2020. 16 Ibid. 17 Orr, Gabby, “Trump and Pence try a messaging reboot on economic recovery,” Politico, September 7, 2020, accessed September 15, 2020. 18 “Mike Pence on Education,” On the Issues, https://www.ontheissues.org/, accessed September 15, 2020.

19 Gregory, Holly, “Vice President Pence Talks Faith, COVID-19 and the Economy in Exclusive Interviews,” SpectrumNews 9, https://www. baynews9.com/, September 19, 2020, accessed September 19, 2020.

20 “Mike Pence On Obamacare,” On the Issues, https://www.ontheissues.org/, accessed September 19, 2020.

21 “Mike Pence On Immigration,” On the Issues, https://www.ontheissues.org/, accessed September 15, 2020.

22 Bauer Scott, “Vice President Mike Pence highlights law and order during Wisconsin visit,” Election 2020, Battleground Wisconsin, https:// madison.com/, accessed September 15, 2020.

23 Reuters Staff, “Pence says the world must stand strong against Iran, antiSemitism,” Reuters.com, https://www.reuters.com/, January 23, 2020, accessed September 15, 2020.

24 Wulfsohn, Joseph, “Kamala Harris accidentally touts plans under a ‘Harris administration’ during virtual roundtable,” Fox News, https://www. foxnews.com/, September 14, 2020, accessed September 15, 2020.

25 “U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris’s Statement on Supreme Court Striking Down Unconstitutional Restriction on Abortion …,” SierraSunTimes, https://goldrushcam.com/, June 29, 2020, accessed September 19, 2020.

26 Ibid., Closson

27 Kiely, Eugene, “Kamala Harris Spins Facts on Truancy Law,” FactCheck.org, “BULL” statement, https://www.factcheck.org/, May 14, 2019, accessed September 15, 2020.

28 Merica, Dan, “Kamala Harris unveils immigration plan to expand deferred action, use executive action to provide pathway to citizenship,” CNN News, https://www.cnn.com/, June 12, 2019, accessed September 15, 2020.

29 Olson, Tyler, “Kamala Harris, despite law-and-order rep, repeatedly hit for leniency during prosecutor years,” Fox News, https://www.foxnews.com/, August 13, 2020, accessed September 15, 2020.

30 “Kamala Harris on Homeland Security,” OnTheIssues, https://www. ontheissues.org/, accessed September 15, 2020.

–Thanks to the ConstitutionCoalition for the research of this information.

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