The Candidates: Everything You Need To Know

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By Peter Bauer
Contributing Editor

After watching both the Republican and Democratic debates last week, it appears that voters have
two basic choices.  On the right side there are conservatives candidates who are looking to beef up national security, lower corporate taxes, and “let the market decide” many functions of the federal government: education, insurance, homeland security, etc.  On the left side, liberals are looking to end the war, stop special interest groups, and fund education, health insurance, and energy independence.

Three things in particular struck me as interesting between the two debates.

1.  Dennis Kucinich was not present at the debate, and the Democratic field has shrunk to six as far as Corporate Media events are concerned.
2.  Allan Keyes was added to the Republican side, bringing their total up to nine candidates.  In his limited air time he let fly a series of well scripted rants that over ran his allotted time, drawing boo’s from the crowd on more than one occasion.
3.  Duncan Hunter accused Mitt Romney’s former company The Bain Corporation (part of the same conglomerate as The Carlye Group where George H. W. Bush is a founding member) of selling technology to the Chinese and dealing with Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

I thought about trying to crunch the entire four hours of debate into a few hundred words of political thought and analysis, but decided instead to let the candidates speak for themselves.  Emphasis was added to highlight key issues. Here is all you need to know:

National Deficit

Is the national deficit a national security issue?

Giuliani- Don’t rehire people who retire.
-Reduce corporate tax from 35% to 25%
-Eliminate the “Death Tax.”
-Major reduction of civilian spending.
-Give People more choice, more money to spend.
-Tax exemption for people to buy their own (health insurance, education).
-More people buying means the price will go down.

Ron Paul- We spend, borrow, tax, and print too much money. 
-We’re in the midst of a currency crisis because we have lived behind our means.
-If we going to spend money, we should do it at home.
-We maintain which we can’t afford.  We’re in 130 countries, and could start to cut there. There’s no need for sacrifice.

John McCain- If you lose your economy, you use your military
     -In five years we’ll be energy independent.

Thompson- Save the Bush Tax cuts coming up again in 2010.

What would you run a deficit for?

Romney-Only the things that are necessary.
-Cut workplace training.
-Cut teenage pregnancy programs because people are still getting pregnant, so obviously they’re not working.
-We should use the Free Market to allow health insurance, improve school with choice, performance pay for teachers.   

How would you balance the budget?

Obama- Invest in education, infrastructure, fair trade deals.
-End the war in Iraq.
    -We have to overcome special interest groups.

Bidden- Eliminate war, tax cuts for top 1%.
-Cut $20 billion from military.
-Invest in education, health care, environment.

Dodd- Bring an end to the War in Iraq.

Energy Independence

Huckabee- We’ve done no harm if we leave our children a cleaner earth.
-The government should be the market for alternative energy.  Let it be a market place that creates the demand to lower the price.

Clinton- It should be a new form of American Patriotism.
-We cannot sustain the current energy profile in this country.

Edwards- Oil and Power companies stand in the way of change.
-Patriotism can go beyond military.
-We need to leave America better than they found it.  That is our moral responsibility. 

What can you accomplish in your first year?

Giuliani- Stop Islamofascism.
-Cut corporate taxes.
-Reduce size of federal gov’t by cutting civilian programs.
-Gain energy independence.

Paul- End the War and bring the troops home.
-Become diplomatically credible once again.
-No more preemptive war.
-Peace.

Romney- Overwhelm Global Jihad and keep the world safe.
-Stronger military, economy, family values.

Obama- End this war in Iraq in a responsible way
    -Use diplomacy in the region.
    -Bring in Attorney General to review all Bush’s Executive Orders.
    -Provide health care.

Bidden- Stop the War
-Abandon Bush policy on torture, renditions, prisoners.
-Take on the interest groups and insure all children in America.

Richardson- All troops out within a year.
-Universal health care.
-Energy revolution- It’s a domestic and national security issue.
-I'm
going to follow the Constitution- bring back habeas corpus, abandon
torture, rejoin Geneva Conventions- we won’t be the policemen of the
world anymore.

Dodd- Close the divide in our country.
-End the war.
-Robust diplomacy.

Edwards- I will end the war, close Guantanamo, and give you back your Civil Liberties.
-We have a small group of entrenched interest, corporate power, corporate greed.  The most wealthy people in America are controlling what’s happening in democracy.

Clinton- End the era of Cowboy Diplomacy.
-End Bush’s War on Science
-Send me everything Bush vetoed.
-Review all Executive Orders.

Foreign Policy/Trade

Obama- NAFTA needs to be amended so that the labor and environmental agreements are enforceable. 
-It is hard for us to be true our values of human rights when we have Guantanamo and no Habeas Corpus.

Tancredo- Iraq is a battle against radical Islam.  It is a threat to Western Civilization.

Paul- Obey the constitution.
-We should be careful of the enemies domestic.

Giuliani- Enforce NAFTA- it’s brought more jobs to America.
- Free trade and a global economy is what we’ve always wanted.
- How much can we sell to these people as they’re coming out of poverty?