Friday, September 03, 2004

Presidential Platforms: Part 1

Instead of going into detail on the Presidents speech I figured I'd go into where George Bushs idea for America and Jonh Kerrys idea for America are. I won't go into detail on every issue but I will try and hit the big ones. These come directly from the candidates web sites.

ECONOMY:

Bush

Many of the tax cuts - including the new, low 10 percent tax bracket, the reduction in the marriage penalty, the doubling of the child tax credit, the phase-out of the death tax, and the increase in small business expensing - are set to expire. This tax relief must be made permanent so families and businesses can plan for the future with confidence.

Kerry
When John Kerry is president, middle-class taxes will go down. Ninety-eight percent of all Americans and 99 percent of American businesses will get a tax cut under the Kerry-Edwards plan.
As president, John Kerry will cut taxes for businesses that create jobs here in America instead of moving them overseas. John Kerry and John Edwards will also stand up for workers by enforcing our trade agreements.

First, I have to say that no President creates jobs. The policies they use may make it easier for companies to hire but, they do not create them.

The thing that strikes me is that Kerry says he will lower taxes to the middle class and to businesses but, he doesn't go into detail about how he will do it. I'd like a little more detail on how he will do it.

Bush will continue with the policy he has had for the past 4 years. He goes into much greater detail about how he will acheive what he wants.
The President's Opportunity Zones initiative encourages private and public investment within needy communities. In exchange for reducing local barriers to growth and development, these Opportunity Zones would receive tax benefits to encourage businesses to locate, invest, and hire new workers in the community. The plan includes incentives to spur the development of residential construction. These areas will also receive priority consideration for Federal education, job training, and housing funding.

His site continues with 6 steps to acheive this.
Make the Research and Development Tax Credit Permanent - President Bush will push to make the R&D tax credit permanent and propose reforms to the credit to make it a more effective catalyst for private sector research.

Increase Federal R&D Funding - The President's 2005 Budget provides a record $132 billion for R&D - a 44 percent increase from 2001. The President completed the doubling of the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to over $28 billion and increased the National Science Foundation budget by 30 percent.
Increase Support for Basic Research - The President's 2005 budget requests an all-time high of $26.8 billion for basic research.

Promote Broadband Innovation - The President has set the goal of making affordable broadband access available to all Americans by 2007. Innovation will be possible through next-generation technologies such as ultra high-speed wireless services.

Make the Ban on Internet Access Taxes Permanent - The President has signed into law a two-year extension of the Internet Access Tax moratorium. In addition, he has called on Congress to pass legislation to expand the moratorium to cover broadband and make it permanent.

Improve Math and Science Education - President Bush understands the importance of strong math and science skills in a globally competitive economy, and has proposed initiatives to improve math and science instruction in our schools and encourage students to enter these important fields. His proposals include:
The Presidential Math and Science Scholars Fund, which will allow low-income students to receive up to $5,000 to study math or science in college.

The Math and Science Partnerships Program, which will provide funding to promote strong teaching skills for elementary and secondary math and science teachers.
Expanding loan forgiveness, from $5,000 to $17,500, for highly qualified math and science teachers who teach in low-income schools. The $40 million Adjunct Teacher Fund, which will encourage professionals with core content knowledge, especially in math and science, to teach middle and high school courses.
Funding to expand the State Scholars program to all fifty states. This program encourages high school students to take more rigorous courses, especially in math and science, to prepare them for college and the workplace.

I don't want to seem like I am favoring one candidate over another but, Kerry's site has no information on how he will acheive what he want.

ENERGY:

Bush
Increase Domestic Energy Exploration and Production

Initiate Environmentally Safe Exploration - President Bush will seek to promote environmentally sound domestic oil production in just one percent of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which could provide up to 1 million barrels of oil a day for nearly 20 years.

Promote Natural Gas Production - President Bush will provide incentives to develop natural gas production from deep formations in shallow waters in the Gulf of Mexico, but not off the coast of Florida.
Build an Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline - President Bush will work to ensure construction of an Alaska natural gas pipeline to increase domestic natural gas supplies.

Promote Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) - President Bush will facilitate construction of LNG terminals to meet growing demands for natural gas.
Continue Energy Partnerships - President will continue to develop a North American energy partnership to develop closer energy integration with Canada and Mexico.
Help Build Refineries - President Bush will remove unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles to help build new refineries to increase domestic capacity.
Utilize Nuclear Power - President Bush will ensure a future for nuclear power as a viable and emissions free energy source.

Modernize the Electricity Grid
Ensure Greater Electricity Reliability - President Bush will work to modernize our electricity grid, establish mandatory reliability standards, and encourage new transmission investment, in order to help prevent a repeat of last year's blackout that affected 50 million people.

Encourage Use of Efficient Technologies - President Bush will provide incentives for deployment of efficient technologies for storage and transmission of energy, further contributing to the reliability of our electric grid.

Promote Conservation
Support Energy Technologies - The President's plan will provide $4 billion in tax incentives to spur the use of energy technologies.
Help in the Construction of Energy-Efficient Homes - President Bush will fulfill his commitment to provide $1.4 billion over ten years to make homes more energy-efficient.

Improve Vehicle Fuel Economy - President Bush will advance a broad strategy to foster development of new technologies, provide a $4,000 tax credit to purchase hybrid gasoline-electric and other highly fuel efficient vehicles, and improve the Corporate Average Fuel Economy program to increase fuel economy in a way that saves lives and American jobs.

Support Clean Coal Technology

Develop Clean Coal Technology - President Bush will continue his commitment to provide $2 billion over ten years to develop clean coal technologies.
Promote Markets for Clean Coal Technology - President Bush will implement a market-based approach to cutting air pollution that will create a nearly $50 billion technology and services market for clean coal rather than forcing a shift to other fuels to meet air standards.

Pursue FutureGen Initiative - President Bush will lead this international public-private partnership to create the world's first zero-emissions coal-based power plant, producing electricity and hydrogen while capturing carbon dioxide.

Increasing Alternative and Renewable Energy
Expand Use of Ethanol and Biodiesel - President Bush will work to secure passage of a renewable fuel standard requiring five billion gallons of ethanol or biodiesel in motor fuels by 2012.

Encourage Renewable Energy - President Bush will work to extend the tax credit for production of electricity from renewable resources including wind, solar, and biomass.

Develop Hydrogen Technology - President Bush will continue his $1.7 billion, five-year initiative to development for hydrogen technologies, including automobiles, homes, and businesses powered by hydrogen fuel cells with virtually no pollution.

Support Energy R&D - President Bush will dedicate research and development funding to increase America's energy security, including advancing and promoting clean energy resources from renewable sources like wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower and developing the next generation of energy-efficient technologies such as high temperature super-conducting wires.

Very detailed and goal oreinted. I can't find anything I disagree with.

Kerry
Explore And Develop New Energy Sources
Tomorrow's energy economy will be fueled by new energy sources. The Kerry-Edwards plan will invest in the research and exploration needed to turn ideas into fuel and develop renewable energy sources.

Develop Tomorrow's Technology Today
Under the Kerry-Edwards plan, America will take the lead in developing the new technology and production methods needed to ensure that resources such as coal and natural gas are used more efficiently and cleanly, and fully integrated into the New Energy Economy.

Make America Energy Independent Of Middle East Oil
Our security in the war on terror demands an end to our dependence on Middle East oil. Under the Kerry-Edwards plan, we will strengthen our national security while growing our economy and protecting our environment.

These are all good ideas but, they don't show how they will happen, other than investment. There are no details to go into on his energy platform. He needs to give me some meat here. Just saying you'll do it doesn't work, show me how.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY:

Bush
Budget Enforcement Legislation - President Bush has sent to Congress budget enforcement legislation to restrain the growth in spending and offset proposed increases in mandatory spending.

Line-Item Veto - President Bush proposes a Constitutional line-item veto linked to deficit reduction that would provide authority to reject new appropriations, new mandatory spending, or limited grants of tax benefits whenever the President determines that the spending or tax benefits in question are not essential Government priorities. All savings from the line-item veto would be used for deficit reduction and could not be used to increase other spending.

Implementing the President's Management Agenda

Since the beginning of his Administration, President Bush has sought to make Government more accountable, more responsive, and more results-oriented. With the help of the President's Management Agenda (PMA), departments and agencies are held accountable for the success of their programs.

Specifically with the help of the PMA, departments and agencies will continue to:

Ensure Results - Six hundred programs, accounting for $1.4 trillion in spending, have been assessed to date, and the remaining six hundred programs will be assessed within the next two years. Managers are held accountable for identifying areas where performance can be improved for each program, and taking the necessary actions to achieve better results.

Reduce Waste - Managers are being held accountable for keeping program costs to desired levels, eliminating an estimated $35 billion or more per year in improper payments, and ensuring that our over $300 billion in real property is needed and performing.

Improve Efficiency - Managers are being held accountable for determining whether it is more efficient to obtain commercial services from Federal employees or from the private sector. The projected savings from this competitive assessment, when fully implemented, are over $5 billion per year.
Hold Employees Accountable - Agencies are installing performance evaluation systems to more clearly define what's expected of each employee and how the employee is performing relative to those expectations.

Improve Customer Service Levels and Employee Performance - OMB has installed disciplines to ensure that the annual $60 billion expenditure on information technology delivers customer and management benefits far in excess of the cost, on-time and on-budget.

This is my major problem with Bush. He spends way too much of my money. All of the above sound very good but, will they happen, judging the last 4 years, I'd have to say no.

Kerry
John Kerry will cut the deficit in half during his first four years in office. He will end corporate welfare as we know it, roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and impose a real cap to keep spending in check. And when John Kerry puts forward a new idea, he'll tell you how he's going to pay for it.

Again, very nice ideas. How will they be implemented?

EDUCATION:

Bush
Reforming America's High Schools: President Bush will provide $250 million annually to extend state assessment of student reading and math skills.


A Bold New Direction in Education Reform: President Bush believes that education is the key to opportunity and America’s best tool in an increasingly competitive global economy. This means that every child deserves a world-class education and every worker deserves the support of a Government that makes a lifetime of learning a top priority.

President Bush is continuing his efforts to improve early childhood education through the Healthy Start, Grow Smart program, including his proposal to strengthen Head Start. The President will:

Strengthen Head Start: Focus Head Start more clearly on school readiness, and allow states to integrate Head Start programs into their existing pre-school preparedness efforts in order to make better use of combined Federal and state resources. The President will give priority consideration for funding to states that have a coordinated early childhood plan involving Head Start, pre-K, and child care services.

Promote Literacy: Train parents in early literacy through Head Start.

Continue to Fund Research: President Bush will fund development of the most effective curricula and programs for teaching children early literacy and math skills; establish developmentally appropriate measurements; and identify effective adult and family literacy programs.

Expand the Reach Out and Read Program: Expand Reach Out and Read, which seeks to make early literacy a standard part of pediatric primary care.

Expand Healthy Start, Grow Smart: Continue and expand distribution of Healthy Start, Grow Smart booklets to provide parents the information they need to enhance their children’s early development.

Engage Faith and Community-Based Organizations: Help provide parents with the skills they need to advance their children’s healthy development.

Increase Minority Outreach: Increase outreach efforts to minority families to better disseminate effective early childhood development strategies.


Kerry
Continue Reform And Put A Great Teacher In Every Classroom
Great teachers are the foundation of a great school. As president, John Kerry will enact a new bargain that offers teachers more, including better training and better pay in troubled schools, and asks for more in return, including fast, fair ways to make sure that teachers who don't belong in the classroom don't stay there.

Offer 3.5 Million After-School Opportunities Through "School's Open 'Til Six"
John Kerry and John Edwards are strong supporters of after-school programs. They give students extra help, keep them out of trouble, and offer peace of mind to working parents. The Kerry-Edwards "School's Open 'Til 'Six" initiative will offer after-school opportunities to 3.5 million children, through programs that are open until 6 p.m. and offer safe transportation for children.

Make College Affordable For All And Expand Lifelong Learning
As president, John Kerry will offer a fully refundable College Opportunity Tax credit on up to $4,000 of tuition for every year of college and offer aid to states that keep tuitions down. And he will launch a new effort to ensure that all of our workers can get the technical skills and advanced training they need.

I think both have good ideas, I only wish Kerry would go into some detail.

Reader BOB and I were having a discussion on this topic last night on another forum. Is the answer really throwing more money into a failing system? Do we need to searh for new ways of doing things when it comes to education? I think we do but, I don't have any answers to this.