News Column

Platform Differences: Republican vs. Democratic Views

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The Democratic View

John Kerry

Minimum Wage
Raises the federal minimum wage to $7 an hour by 2007 to increase the income of an estimated 7 million Americans.

Institutes a "new jobs tax credit" that, in 2005 and 2006, would cover employers' share of payroll taxes for new jobs in manufacturing, small businesses, and other businesses affected by outsourcing.
Eliminates incentives for companies to move jobs overseas.
Closes tax loopholes and prevent tax deferrals.
Lowers the corporate tax rate by 5 percent, reducing taxes for more than 99 percent of tax-paying companies.

Proposes an immigration reform bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to gain legalization, encourage family reunification, and strengthen U.S. border protections.
Introduces a visa worker program with labor protections.

Small Business
Creates a cabinet-level position to represent small businesses.
Gives small business a voice at the World Trade Organization.

Health Care
Proposes refundable tax credits for as much as 50 percent of the cost of health coverage to small businesses and their employees.
Gives small businesses access to the Congressional Health Plan, which would help save an estimated 15 percent in health-care costs.
Supports restoring benefits to all legal immigrant children.
Seeks to pass a Patient's Bill of Rights to put medical decisions in the hands of patients and their doctors.

Enforces provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Invests in anti-dropout efforts by offering mentoring in middle schools, shrinking big and unsuccessful high schools, and strengthening high school curricula.
Gives states and school districts more resources.
Provides more professional development for teachers.
Expands GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program), which distributes grants intended to prepare poor students to enter college.
Provides a tax credit on $4,000 of
college tuition.
Simplifies the financial-aid process.
Encourages passage of the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act , which would help qualified undocumented high school students achieve legal status to attend college or join the armed forces.
Increases investment in primary-school math and science education and reward colleges that increase the number of science and engineering degrees.
Creates online learning technologies.

Federal Programs
and Contracts

Preserves affirmative action in federal assistance to small businesses and minority-owned businesses that bid for federal contracts.
Expands the SBA 8(a) program, which helps businesses that are certified as socially or economically disadvantaged compete for federal contracts.
Supports and expands loan programs to help small businesses start.
Increases the federal government's venture-capital investments.
Boosts funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a nationwide network of nonprofit centers supporting small and medium-size manufacturers.
Expands the Minority Enterprise Development program, which promotes the growth of minority-owned businesses.
Increases government goal for small business' share of federal contracts.


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