[Oct. 2016 News] What you need to know before the election

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By Madison Sell ’18 and Christoph Russi ’18

 

The election is officially less than two weeks away, and it will be soon time to vote. It is important to be informed on the upcoming election and the policies of the candidates, especially the policies that pertain to Staples students and others who live in Westport, Connecticut.

Taxing

Trump:

Trump wants to reduce taxes “across the board” and says that “no one will pay so much that it destroys jobs or undermines our ability to compete.” His proposed tax brackets and rates are

  • 12 percent tax on people who make less than $75,000,
  • 25 percent tax on people who make between $75,000 and $225,000,
  • and 33 percent on people who make over $225,000 (for married people).

He also says he wants to eliminate “special interest loopholes” and plans to allow families to fully deduct the cost of childcare from their taxes.

Clinton:

Clinton plans to, “restore basic fairness” to our tax code by closing corporate and wall street tax loopholes. This means that corporations making larger amounts of money than most citizens will not be able to reduce their tax rates easily or for questionable reasons. She also wants to “simplify” and cut taxes for small businesses in order to make sure that they are not being taxed a large amount or missing fair tax cuts. Additionally, she has proposed a 4 percent surtax on taxpayers who make over $5 million a year, according to her campaign website.

Stein:

Jill Stein proposes bringing back the capital gains tax, in order to help close the income gap in America. She says, “America wasn’t meant to be an aristocracy. Twenty-two billionaires have as much money as 50 percent of the US population. We need a progressive income tax, with the rich paying at least at the 55 to 60 percent level.” She has also expressed interest in replacing existing “trickle-down” economic policies with 50 percent tax cuts on lower incomes.

Johnson:

Gary Johnson advocates for the removal of all capital gains-and income taxation and replacing them with, “a consumption tax, kind of a national sales tax called the Fair-tax.” His reasoning behind this is that large corporations can afford to spend the money on lobbyists to get subsidies and tax breaks, whereas small stores, companies, and new corporations cannot afford to do so. “They pay as much as 35 cents on every dollar they earn. When the company pays its employees, the government taxes that money again. We need to stop taxing work, savings and investment.”

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Education

Trump:

Trump’s main focus regarding education reform is “school choice,” meaning he believes strongly in the choice for a private or alternative to public schooling that is assigned by where one lives. He wants to add $20 billion dollars towards “school choice” and “give states the option to allow these funds to follow the student to the public or private school they attend.”

Clinton:

Clinton is known widely for her focus on preschool because of her HIPPY, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters, program, which helps parents to teach their children at home before they start kindergarten. She is also fighting for “debt-free college for everyone”, proposing that “by 2021, families with income up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state four-year public colleges and universities” and that “[people will] never have to pay back more than 10 percent of their income, and all remaining college debt will be forgiven after 20 years.”

Stein:

Jill Stein’s stance on education falls in line with many of the policies and proposals laid out by Bernie Sanders. She supports making public colleges free to attend, citing the GI bill following World War II and its success in advancement of education. She reasons, “Just as a high school education was essential for a young person’s economic security in the 20th century, higher education is essential now in the 21st century–and should be provided for free as well.” She supports replacing existing Common Core standards with, “curriculum developed by educators, not corporations, with input from parents and communities,” as well as increasing federal funding of public schools to “equalize public school funding.”

Johnson:

Gary Johnson disagrees with Common Core standards and believes that “education should be handled at the state and local level instead of the national level.” Johnson wants to do away with the Department of Education, citing that the states that accept federal funding end up losing five cents for every dollar spent on education to pay for federal mandates and regulations, taking millions of dollars out of the classroom. He believes that schools should “have the authority to decide how best to spend educational dollars, not those in Washington,” and that, “Without federal regulations and mandates, schools could choose to purchase new computers, better lab equipment, and maintain after-school sports and music programs even during times of tight budgets.”

Social Issues

Trump:

Trump has “promoted gender equality in a male-dominated industry,” according to the website On The Issues, which supports women’s rights, but has also referred to pregnancy as “an inconvenience for business.” He wants to defund planned parenthood although he has also said it “helps millions,” and “does great work.” In 2000, Trump argued that the U.S. should prosecute hate crimes against gays, but in 2011 said that he was against gay marriage. However, he has finally stated that “after the Supreme Court vote, gay marriage is a reality.” Lastly, Trump believes the confederate flag belongs in a museum, not on people’s houses.

Clinton:

According to OnTheIssues, since 1999, she has argued that “women’s rights are human rights,” and has made her dedication to feminism a primary focus of her campaign and potential presidency. Since 2007, she has been saying that “we have come a long way on race, but we have a long way to go.” However, many people of the black community argue that Hillary is not pro-black, after she had previously referred to black criminals as “superpredators.” Since 2000, she has said that “gays deserve domestic partnership benefits,” even though she was anti-gay marriage in the early 90’s.

Stein:

Jill Stein has a long and reputable history of standing up for minority groups and civil rights. In 2001, she was advocating for marriage equality and in 2011 she was the first pro-gay-marriage candidate in the first gay marriage state. Stein believes that “healthcare is a right, including women’s reproductive rights,” that “marijuana is dangerous because it’s illegal, not vice-versa,” and that the U.S. should “transform from criminal drug system to public health system.”

Johnson:

Regarding whether or not states should have the right to display the Confederate flag, Gary Johnson responded, “Yes, each state should have the right to display any flag they choose.” Johnson supports adding “gender identity” to anti-discrimination laws, and disagreed with President Obama’s initial ruling on gay marriage, stating that, “Instead of insisting on equality as a US Constitutional guarantee, the President has thrown this question back to the states. When the smoke clears, gay Americans will realize that millions of Americans in most states will continue to be denied true marriage equality.”

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