News Column

Platform Differences: Republican vs. Democratic Views

October 2004, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine

The Republican View

George W. Bush

Minimum Wage
No specific plan, but will consider any reasonable proposal that gradually phases in an increase of the minimum wage, provided it does not place undue cost on employers.

Signed the Jobs and Growth Act in May, which is expected to benefit 8 million low-income families. A family of four earning $40,000 a year will see its income tax burden reduced from $1,178 to $45.
Supported Republican tax cuts that reduced by more than 17 percent the income taxes paid by the bottom 80 percent of taxpayers.

Opposes undocumented-worker amnesty programs.
Proposes giving undocumented immigrants in the United States temporary worker status, allowing them to travel legally between the United States and their home countries. Legal status given to immigrants through this initiative would last three years, with one opportunity for renewal, during which time they could apply but receive no special advantage for permanent residency.
Signed legislation intended to achieve a maximum processing time of six months for all immigration applications by 2006.

Small Business
The president's tax plan allows small businesses with up to $325,000 in new investments to write off the first $40,000.
The 2001 tax law created a tax credit to help small businesses pay for the first three years of administrative expenses of a new pension plan.
For the first time, the U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded small businesses more than 25 percent of its primary contracts, totaling $6.2 billion, as well as simplified the process by which small businesses apply for loans.
Supports creating Association Health Plans allowing small businesses to join and negotiate less expensive employee health insurance plans.

Health Care
Seeks improved access to health care for 1.6 million additional people through the creation of 332 new and expanded health-care sites in rural areas and urban neighborhoods.
Would increase funding for screenings for diabetes and cervical cancer, both of which impact Hispanics at a disproportionately high rate.
An estimated 3 million Hispanics on Medicare will benefit from the president's 2003 Medicare legislation, which increases choice among health insurance options, offers new prescription drug coverage and increases access to comprehensive health screenings and preventive care.
Supports the federal Department of Health and Human Services' five-state pilot program to improve flu vaccinations in minority communities.

Increase funding for Pell Grants by 7 percent to $12.9 billion, helping an estimated 5.3 million low-income families pay for college.
Strengthen funding for Hispanic Serving Institutions (colleges and universities with at least 25 percent Hispanic enrollment) through improved technical assistance, public-private partnerships, and sound fiscal management.
Spend $681 million teaching English
to students with limited abilities in
the language.

Signed the American Dream Downpayment Assistance Act, which helps at least 40,000 minority families a year buy a home by assisting them in making down payments and covering closing costs.
Directed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to simplify the home-buying process and increase home buyer educational initiatives.
Eliminate down payments for 150,000 first-time home buyers in 2005.

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