CLINTON: To address “the worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II,” Clinton has called for bringing some 65,000 refugees from Syria into the United States as quickly as possible. This represents a 550% increase over Barack Obama’s 2016 goal of 10,000 Syrian refugees, which Clinton describes as merely a “good start.”
STEIN: “We need to do our part for emergency relief and we need to accept our portion of the refugees.” says Stein. “There are refugee associations calling on the U.S. to accept, I believe, 100,000 [Syrians], and that’s the figure we need to be talking about.”
TRUMP: Pledging to suspend immigration from Syria and Libya, Trump says: “We have no idea who these people are, where they come from.”
NOTE: ISIS has vowed to infiltrate the flow of Syrian refugees with its own terrorist operatives; more than30,000 illegal immigrants from “countries of terrorist concern” entered the U.S. through its Southwestern border in 2015 alone; high-ranking government officials like FBI Director James Comey, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, CIA Director John Brennan, and FBI Deputy Assistant Director Michael Steinbach have all said that it is impossible to reliably screen out terrorists posing as refugees.
IMMIGRATION, AMNESTY, & BORDERS
CLINTON:Describing those who wish to enforce immigration law as “obstructionists” whose “backward-looking” mindset is “fundamentally un-American,” Clinton vows to “introducecomprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship” within her first 100 days in office. “My dream, she said in a 2013 speech to a Brazilian bank, “is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.”
Stating that “we have to go back to being a much less harsh and aggressive enforcer” of immigration laws, Clinton pledges to “go even further” than the two unconstitutional executive orders by which President Obama protected millions of illegal aliens from deportation in 2012 and 2014—even though Obama himself had previously said, on more than 20 occasions, that such executive orders would cross the boundaries of legitimate presidential authority.
STEIN: Stein's approach to immigration is essentially a call for open borders and amnesty for anyone who has violated American immigration laws. Advocating the creation of “a welcoming path to citizenship for immigrants” who are in the U.S. illegally, Stein demands that the United States “halt deportations and detentions of law-abiding undocumented immigrants, including the shameful practice of night raids being used to terrorize refugee families.” Stein also favorsthe passage of the DREAM Act, legislation that would: (a) create a path-to-citizenship for illegal aliens who first came to the United States as minors and are still younger than 35, and (b) permit illegal alien students to attend public colleges in the states where they reside, at the same steeply discounted tuition rates available to legal in-state residents.
TRUMP: Under Trump’s plan, immigrants seeking to enter the U.S. would be subject to an “extreme vetting” process that would include an “ideological certification” to ensure that those who are admitted “share our values,” “love our people,” and do not hold extremist views regarding honor killings, “radical Islam,” and “women and gays and minorities.”
Trump has also called for the construction of “an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border”; an end to “catch-and-release” programs whereby illegal border-crossers are set free rather than deported; and the termination of “President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties.”
CLINTON: Clinton supports the “sanctuary” policies that bar police officers and other public-sector employees in some 340 U.S. cities from notifying the federal government about the presence of illegal aliens in their communities. Though sanctuary policies have turned many U.S. cities into very dangerous places, Clinton explains that without such arrangements, “people from the immigrant community … may not talk” to police who are trying to solve crimes there because “they think you’re also going to be enforcing the immigration laws.”
As Xochitl Hinojosa, a Clinton presidential campaign director, puts it: “Hillary Clinton believes that sanctuary cities can help further public safety, and she has defended those policies going back years.”
STEIN: No stated position.
TRUMP: Trump has called the existence of sanctuary cities “an absolutely disgraceful situation,” and has pledged to “block funding” for such locales.
NOTE: Of the 9,295 deportable aliens who were released after their arrest in sanctuary jurisdictions during the first eight months of 2014 alone, some 2,320 were subsequently re-arrested, on new criminal charges, soon thereafter. And before their initial release, 58% of those 9,295 aliens already had felony charges or convictions on their records, while another 37% had serious prior misdemeanor charges.
THE SECOND AMENDMENT
CLINTON: Clinton has stated that crime victims should be allowed to sue firearm manufacturers who lawfully produce guns that are subsequently used in crimes. Such a policy would inevitably cause the firearms industry to disappear, and thus would eliminate the Second Amendment virtually overnight.
Clinton has denounced the Supreme Court’s “terrible” ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, which held that people have a right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes such as self-defense within the home.
When Clinton was asked at a town hall meeting whether she would support a gun-buyback measure similar to the one where Australia had “managed to … take away … millions of handguns” in a single year, she replied: “I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level, if that could be arranged.”
STEIN: Like Clinton, Stein supports Australia's gun-confiscation measure. Further, Stein says that because “there are some 260 people everyday who are injured or killed by gun violence,” “it’s very important that we ban assault weapons for starters.”
NOTE: So-called “assault-weapons” – an ambiguous and largely meaningless term that is generally applied to semiautomatic rifles – account for a mere 1 to 2 percent of all homicides nationwide, whereas handguns account for about half of all homicides. Nor does Stein mention that 62% of all firearm-related deaths are suicides – i.e., tragic occurrences in which “assault weapons” are rarely involved.
TRUMP: Trump’s position on the Second Amendment is as follows: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.” Calling for strict enforcement of gun laws that are already on the books, and for the aggressive prosecution of violent criminals, he adds: “Empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves” because “law enforcement … can’t be everywhere all of the time.”
OBAMACARE / SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM
CLINTON: Clinton plans to “defend and expand the Affordable Care Act” (Obamacare), which has caused insurance premiums and policy deductibles nationwide to skyrocket while almost every Obamacare state exchange in the country has already gone bankrupt.
To address the failure and financial implosion of Obamacare, Clinton proposes to implement a “public option” — i.e., a government-run insurance plan that would “compete” with private insurers. Pacific Research Institute President Sally Pipes explains what this means: “By drawing on taxpayer dollars, this public option would be able to out-price almost every private insurer in the country. Unable to compete, private insurers would be 'crowded out,' leaving Americans with just one choice: a government-operated health care plan that brings the entire health sector under government control.”
This is precisely what Hillary Clinton wants. Indeed, her presidential campaign website candidly states that she “has never given up on the fight for universal coverage.”
STEIN:Stein says she would push for a “Medicare-for-all” system in her first 100 days if elected president. Declaring her intent to “create health care as a human right,” she adds: “Ultimately, we want to go to a single-payer [government-run] system.”
TRUMP: Trump seeks to “repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts”; “establish high-risk pools to ensure access to coverage for individuals who have not maintained continuous coverage”; and “allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, in all 50 states, creating a dynamic market.”
NOTE: The empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of universal healthcare systems in countries around the world is clear. As the Cato Institute puts it: “In countries weighted heavily toward government control, people are most likely to face waiting lists, rationing, restrictions on physician choice, and other obstacles to care.”
HEALTH CARE FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS
CLINTON: Though illegal aliens do not qualify for coverage under Obamacare, the Clinton presidential campaign website says that “Hillary will expand access to affordable health care to families regardless of immigration status by allowing families to buy health insurance on the health exchanges regardless of their immigration status.”
STEIN: Stein is in favor of making illegal aliens eligible for healthcare coverage – with all its government subsidies – under Obamacare.
TRUMP: Trump is opposed to permitting illegal aliens to qualify for coverage under Obamacare.
DEALING WITH ISIS & TERRORISM
CLINTON: The Clinton presidential campaign website calls for “taking out ISIS’s stronghold in Iraq and Syria by intensifying the current air campaign, stepping up support for local forces on the ground, and pursuing a diplomatic strategy to resolve Syria’s civil war and Iraq’s sectarian conflict….”
STEIN: Stein calls for efforts to “freeze the bank accounts of countries that are funding terrorism.” Emphasizing the need to “establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy … and nonviolent support for democratic movements around the world,” she asserts that the U.S. should “cut military spending by at least 50% and close 700+ foreign military bases.” The military personnel who are displaced by these measures, says Stein, should be trained for “jobs in renewable energy, transportation and green infrastructure development.”
TRUMP: In September 2016, Trump said: “I am … going to convene my top generals and give them a simple instruction: They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for defeating ISIS.” In 2015, he stated: “ISIS is making a tremendous amount of money because they have certain oil camps, certain areas of oil that they took away. They have some in Syria, some in Iraq. I would bomb the s--- out of 'em…. That's right. I'd blow up the pipes.... I'd blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left.”
NOTE: ISIS, which evolved out of Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq, grew into the most powerful, well-funded terrorist organization in world history, precisely during Mrs. Clinton's watch as secretary of state. While ISIS launched its campaign of mass rapes, tortures, beheadings, and murders — and gained control over enormous portions of Iraq and Syria — Clinton and President Obama did absolutely nothing to thwart it.
THE SUPREME COURT
CLINTON: When Clinton was asked, in the second presidential debate of 2016, to articulate what would be her chief considerations for selecting nominees to the Supreme Court, she made no mention of fidelity to the Constitution. Instead, she stated that Justices should try to tip the proverbial scales of power, in favor of people who lack wealth and influence: “I want to appoint Supreme Court Justices who … actually understand what people are up against.” In the third presidential debate, Clinton reiterated that “the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people,” and “not on the side of the powerful corporations and the wealthy.” In other words, Clinton prefers Justices who seek to enforce her particular vision of “social justice,” rather than uphold the Constitution as the Framers wrote it.
STEIN: “We need a Supreme Court that stands up for the rights of real people,” says Stein, “and understands that corporations are not people.” The latter portion of Stein's statement refers to theCitizens United Supreme Court decision of 2010, which had struck down a ban preventing corporations and labor unions from funding the production of campaign ads for federal political candidates.
TRUMP: In the third presidential debate of 2016, Trump said the following about the types of Justices he would appoint to the Supreme Court: “They will interpret the Constitution the way the Founders wanted it interpreted, and I believe that’s very important. I don't think we should have Justices appointed that decide what they want to hear. It is all about the Constitution …”
VOTER ID LAWS
CLINTON: Clinton depicts Voter ID requirements as “voter suppression” efforts that are part of a racist scheme to “disproportionately [disenfranchise] African-Americans, Latino[s] and young voters.” Moreover, she says that calls for Voter ID laws are a form of “fear-mongering about a phantom epidemic of election fraud.”
STEIN: Viewing Voter ID laws as fundamentally “unconstitutional,” Stein wishes to “abolish the Electoral College and directly elect the President using a national popular vote.”
TRUMP: Trump strongly favors Voter ID laws, saying: “It’s inconceivable that you don’t have to show identification in order to vote or that the identification doesn’t have to be somewhat foolproof…. If you don’t have voter ID, you can just keep voting and voting and voting.”
* A 2012 report by the Pew Center on the States found that 24 million voter registrations—one-eighth of all registrations nationwide—were either invalid or inaccurate, including more than 1.8 million dead people who were still registered.
* A 2014 study found that 35,570people who had actually voted in North Carolina, had names and birth dates that matched those of voters who had cast ballots in other states.
* A 2006 study found that in New York State, as many as 2,600ballots were cast under the names of people who were dead.
* In 2011, a Colorado study found that of the nearly 12,000 non-citizens who were illegally registered to vote in that state, about 5,000 had taken part in the 2010 general election.
* According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the black voting rate in the 2012 elections surpassed the white voting rate by 2.1 percentage points. In fact, blacks voted at higher rates than whites even in states with strict voter ID laws in place, including Southern states like Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Georgia.
CLINTON: “In an effort to reduce long lines and give more people with family or work obligations an opportunity to vote,” says the Clinton presidential campaign website, “Hillary will set a national standard for early voting, giving voters at least 20 days to vote in the evenings or on weekends before election day.”
STEIN: No stated position.
TRUMP: No stated position.
NOTE: Logan Churchwell, spokesman for True the Vote, an organization that fights to preserve election integrity, puts this Clinton objective in proper perspective: “If you have enough time, you can get people to the polls. It’s not about ideas. It’s about moving bodies.”
SAME-DAY VOTER REGISTRATION
CLINTON: Clinton supports same-day voter registration—which makes it impossible to determine the validity of a registrant's identity and eligibility—as a measure that would “mak[e] voting more convenient or more accessible.”
STEIN: “Enact simplified, safe same-day voter registration to the nation so that no qualified voter is barred from the polls.”
TRUMP: Trumpopposes same-day voter registration because he says it makes it easier for non-citizens to vote.
RACIAL PROPAGANDA & “VOTING RIGHTS”
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: In 2013 the Supreme Court struck down, as anachronistic, a Voting Rights Act (VRA) provision requiring mainly Southern states to undergo — based on the unfounded presumption of their continuing racist tendencies — special federal pre-clearance (by the Attorney General or the Federal District Court of DC) before being permitted to change their election laws in any way (e.g., by instituting Voter ID requirements or reconfiguring their voting districts).
CLINTON: “Hillary will fight to restore the portions of the Voting Rights Act [VRA] that were struck down by the Supreme Court,” says the Clinton presidential campaign website, “to make sure that all citizens enjoy the full protections they deserve — especially in states where they have been disproportionately targeted by laws that restrict voting access to the polls.”
STEIN: Stein seeks to restore the VRA provision requiring federal pre-clearance for any changes to state election laws.
TRUMP: No stated position.
VOTING RIGHTS FOR CONVICTED FELONS
CLINTON: The Clinton presidential campaign website says that convicted felons who “have paid their debts to society and have served their sentences”—and who, incidentally, vote for Democrats about 73% of the time — “should have the right to vote,” and that “Hillary will support legislation to make sure their voting rights are restored.”
STEIN: “Restore voting rights to offenders, including while [they are] in prison.”
TRUMP: Trump opposes voting rights for convicted felons.
NOTE: There are currently 10 states where convicted felons may permanently lose their right to vote. Those penalties were on the books when the felons committed their crimes. And part of paying “their debts to society,” in those states, is permanent disenfranchisement.
CLINTON: Clinton calls for the imposition of a “fair share [tax] surcharge” on “the wealthiest Americans,” to “pay for ambitious, progressive investments in good-paying jobs, debt-free college, and other measures to strengthen growth … and reduce inequality.” All told, Clinton’s proposals call for tax hikes of $1.4 trillion over the next decade.
STEIN: “Rewrite the entire tax code to be truly progressive,” says Stein, and make “the rich pay their fair share of taxes.”
TRUMP: Trump seeks to “reduce taxes across-the-board.” His tax plan states: “If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax…. All other Americans will get a simpler tax code with four brackets—0%, 10%, 20% and 25%—instead of the current seven. This new tax code eliminates the marriage penalty … while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II.”
NOTE: Contrary to claims that high earners do not pay their “fair share” of taxes:
* The top 1% of American earners currently make 21.2% of all income, and pay 45.7% of all federal income taxes in the U.S. * The top 5% of earners, who take in 32.3% of all income, pay 70% of federal income taxes. * The top 20% of earners receive 60% of the nation’s income, and pay 95.2% of all federal income taxes.
THE “DEATH TAX”
CLINTON: Clinton's campaign platform emphasizes that “multi-million-dollar estates” must be compelled to pay “their fair share” of estate taxes, or so-called “death taxes.” Under current tax law, when a person dies, the first $5.45 million of his or her assets are not taxed when they are passed on to their heirs, but anything above that threshold is taxed at a rate of 40%. Clinton wants to impose a 45% tax on every dead person's assets above $3.5 million, rather than above the current $5.45 million figure. In addition, for people whose assets are significantly greater than $3.5 million, Clinton is calling for three additional brackets that would impose death-tax rates of 50%, 55%, and 65%.
STEIN: Asserting that “we need to bring back the aristocracy tax,” Stein wants to raise the estate tax to “at least” 55% on inheritances over $3 million.
TRUMP: The Trump tax plan says: “No family will have to pay the death tax. You earned and saved that money for your family, not the government. You paid taxes on it when you earned it.
NOTE: Bill and Hillary Clinton themselves have made arrangements to avoid estate taxes by creating residence trusts and shifting ownership of their multi-million-dollar New York house into those trusts.
CLINTON: Clinton's presidential campaign website states that she intends to “close tax loopholes” that “reward companies for shifting profits and jobs overseas.” But Clinton refuses to consider lowering America's corporate taxes, which are currently the highest in the world.
STEIN: Stein believes that the government should raise taxes on corporations.
TRUMP: The Trump tax plan says: “No business of any size … will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world.”
NOTE: The top federal corporate tax rate in the U.S. is approximately 35%, while the combined federal and state statutory corporate tax rate is 39.1% — higher than in any other developed nation on earth. American companies would be far less inclined to relocate overseas if the government would simply lower the corporate tax rate to a competitive level and thereby create a better business climate in this country.
THE MINIMUM WAGE
CLINTON:Asserting that “anyone who is willing to work hard should be able to find a job that pays well enough to support a family,” Clinton wants to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $12 per hour immediately, and to $15 per hour “as quickly as possible” thereafter.
STEIN: As the Washington Postexplains, “Stein would establish a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour” for workers, and would “guarantee a minimum income for all Americans” including “those who cannot work because they are sick, disabled, or caring for children or other loved ones.”
TRUMP: Trump haschanged his position on this issue numerous times since August 2015, at which time he said that the federal minimum wage should remain unchanged. In November 2015, he said he would not be opposed to raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. In April 2016, he said he was opposed to raising it. In May 2016, he said he was open to raising it, but did not specify by how much. Four days later, he said that each of the states should decide upon their own respective minimum-wage levels. And in July 2016, he called for raising the federal minimum wage to $10 per hour.
Clinton's professed concern with enabling workers to “support a family” lacks substance. Mostminimum-wage workers are unmarried people younger than 25. Fewer than 20% of them have a family to support. Often they are high-school or college students trying only to earn some extra money, and 60% work only part-time.
Minimum-wage jobs serve chiefly as a vital bottom rung on the economic ladder for young people who have little or no prior work experience, and who lack the job skills that would command higher wages. If the cost of employing minimum-wage workers is made too high, employers will either terminate those workers; scale back the number of hours they work; hire more-experienced workers in order to increase the productivity they (the employers) receive in exchange for their extra financial outlay; or automate their business, allowing machines to do the work that minimum-wage employees used to perform. Consequently, unskilled-labor positions and starter jobs for young people are placed in jeopardy.
According to the Cato Institute, “Decades of research have shown that the minimum wage harms the least-skilled workers from poor families.” Similar results have been found repeatedly in studies conducted all over the world.
POSITIONS REGARDING THE ECONOMIC POLICIES THAT CAUSED THE 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS
In 1977, Democrats passed, and president Jimmy Carter signed, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which was a mandate for banks to make special efforts to lend money to minority borrowers—particularly mortgagors—of meager to modest means. The goal was to help low-income minorities improve their economic condition through homeownership, on the premise that racism in the mortgage lending industry was the reason why the homeownership rates of blacks and Hispanics were lower than those of whites.
In the 1990s the Bill Clinton administration—on the false and unfounded premise that mortgage lenders werediscriminating against nonwhites—made the CRA's mandates much more burdensome. Moreover, the administration threatened to impose massive financial and legal penalties against banks that failed to comply with those mandates. This led to the proliferation of subprime mortgages—loans characterized by higher interest rates and less favorable terms in order to compensate lenders for the high credit risk they were incurring by loaning money to people with weak credit credentials.
These high-risk loans, along with additional government-imposed mandates affecting the mortgage-lending industry, caused the real-estate market to became a proverbial house of cards. “It was ultimately the skyrocketing rates of mortgage delinquencies and defaults,” writes Hoover Institution Fellow Thomas Sowell, “that were like heavy rain in the mountains that caused the flooding downstream.... Government was not passively inefficient. It was actively zealous in promoting risky mortgage lending practices.”
CLINTON: On her presidential campaign website, Clinton pledges to “support families as they save for sustainable homeownership”; “support initiatives to match up to $10,000 in savings for a down payment for those who earn less than area median income”; and “reduce barriers to lending in underserved communities.”
STEIN: Stein aims to “expand rental and home ownership assistance” for people with low incomes or poor credit.
TRUMP: No stated position.
NOTE: The Clinton and Stein policies bear a noteworthy resemblance to those that led to the housing crisis and financial meltdown of 2008.
CLINTON:“Committed to defending Social Security,” Hillary Clinton says that she will “expand the program, especially for caregivers and widows who currently don’t get what they deserve”; oppose “attempts to gamble seniors’ retirement security on the stock market through privatization”; oppose reductions in annual cost-of-living adjustments; and oppose efforts to raise the retirement age. Clinton says that she will be able to “preserve Social Security for decades to come” by “asking” the “wealthiest” and “most fortunate” to “contribute more.”
STEIN: “We will double Social Security benefits to lift seniors out of poverty,” says Stein, vowing to “pay for it partly by ending the regressive SS tax income cap” which currently exempts income above $118,500 from the Social Security payroll tax. Social Security “will be perfectly solvent when the rich are paying their fair share,” she adds.
TRUMP: Trump says “we're going to save Social Security” not by raising taxes or by raising the age of eligibility, but rather, by creating a growing economy.
NOTE: All three plans are highly unrealistic, as they turn a blind eye to the fact that the Trustees of the Social Security Administration report that the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance funds—the major component of Social Security—is operating at an $84 billion annual deficit. The Trustees have predicted a cumulative cash deficit of $1.6 trillion from 2015 to 2026.
CLINTON: Clinton pledges to spend $275 billion to “repair and expand our roads and bridges”; “moderniz[e] infrastructure like dams, levees, and wastewater systems”; and “invest in building world-class American airports and modernize our national airspace system.”
STEIN: “Maintain and upgrade our nation's essential public infrastructure, including highways, railways, electrical grids, water systems, schools, libraries, and the Internet, resisting privatization or policy manipulation by for-profit interests.”
TRUMP: Trump says he wants to “at least double” the level of infrastructure spending proposed by Clinton, meaning that he aims to spend at least $550 billion.
The plans of all three candidates are based on the false premise that infrastructure spending somehow boosts economic growth.
First of all, infrastructure spending has very little effect on overall employment. As the Heritage Foundation points out: “Infrastructure projects are capital intensive, not labor intensive. Road and bridge construction requires a relatively small number of highly skilled workers using advanced equipment and machinery.”
Even more important is the fact that every penny spent on infrastructure is money that has been taken out of the private economy and then laundered through an enormously inefficient, wasteful, and corrupt government bureaucracy. A 2010 Heritage Foundation reportputs it in plain English: “Every dollar Congress injects into the economy must first be taxed or borrowed out of the economy. No new spending power is created. It is merely redistributed from one group of people to another.... Removing water from one end of a swimming pool and pouring it in the other end will not raise the overall water level. Similarly, taking dollars from one part of the economy and distributing it to another part of the economy will not expand the economy.”
THE “SCHOOL-TO-PRISON PIPELINE”
CLINTON: The Clinton presidential campaign website says that Hillary Clinton intends to spend $2 billion to “dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline,” a term connoting the allegedly common practice of using black students' behavioral problems as an excuse for pushing them out of the classroom and into the juvenile-justice system. According to Clinton, “overly harsh” methods of discipline “disproportionately affect African American students.”
STEIN: Stein has condemned the use of “abusive high-stakes testing that forces poor kids down the deadly school-to-prison pipeline.” TRUMP: No stated position.
NOTE: There is voluminous data indicating that differing rates of suspension and expulsion for blacks and whites are not due to race, but rather, are consistent with marked differences in actual schoolyard and classroom behavior.
SCHOOL VOUCHERS FOR POOR MINORITY CHILDREN
CLINTON: Clinton steadfastly opposesthe implementation of school voucher programs, which would enable the parents of low-income, mostly-minority children who attend failing, inner-city public schools, to send their youngsters instead to private schools where they might actually have a chance of succeeding academically.
STEIN: Stein opposes school voucher programs because they would siphon money away from public schools at a point in time when “the funding of education is clearly at a crisis point.” (In fact, per-pupil expenditures for public-school students in the United States are approximately $11,000 per year, higher than the corresponding figures for nearly every other nation on earth.
TRUMP: Trump wishes to reallocate $20 billion from existing federal spending and use it to create block grants for states to apply to tuition vouchers for private schools, charter schools, and magnet schools.
NOTE: Clinton's objectives are consistent with those of the public-sector teachers' unions, most notably the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The chief goal of these unions is to maximize employment opportunities for their dues-paying members. And school vouchers siphon money (and member dues) away from the unions. This is hugely significant because large portionsof the member dues, which constitute the very lifeblood of the unions, are spent on political support for the Democratic Party. The NEA and AFT together spent more than $330 million to influence elections in favor of Democrats from 2007-12.
CLINTON:Statingthat “every child deserves the same strong start” in life, Mrs. Clinton, citing the many “benefits” of preschool, wants to “make preschool universal” for young children by “doubl[ing] our investment in Early Head Start,” which covers kids from birth to age three.
STEIN: Stein wishes to “guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university.”
TRUMP: No stated position.
NOTE:Two large-scale, federally funded studies concluded that Early Head Start programs have no lasting effects on children's social-emotional or academic development (in reading, vocabulary and arithmetic skills). The same record of failure can be seen in the regular Head Start program (for 3-4 year-olds), for which Clinton has likewise advocated billions of dollars in increased annual funding. Two scientifically rigorous, longitudinal studies commissioned by the government reported that Head Start has no measurable lasting impact on cognitive, social-emotional, or health-related variables.
CLINTON: On the premise that “every student should have the option to graduate from a public college or university in their state without taking on any student debt,” Hillary Clinton says that “by 2021, families with income up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state four-year public colleges and universities,” and “all community colleges will offer free tuition.”
STEIN: Stein wishes to “guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university.”
TRUMP: Trump views Clinton’s plan for “free college” as a financially irresponsible course of action. He wants student loans to originate with banks, not with the federal government.
“Free college” does not mean that college professors, administrators, and staffers will suddenly start working for no pay. It means that American taxpayers will be forced to cover the massive costs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, college graduates earn 68% more than people with only a high-school diploma. The eminent broadcaster and author Mark Levin, noting that about two-thirds of Americans never earn a college diploma, points out that there is no moral justification whatsoever for requiring those two-thirds of the population to pay the tuition costs of the one-third who do graduate from college, and who ultimately earn substantially more money than the two-thirds.
For decades, the major driver of skyrocketing tuition costs has been the fact that the federal government has assumed responsibility for covering most student-loan defaults. Knowing that taxpayers would pick up the tab for bad loans, lenders relaxed their standards and made money readily available at low interest rates—even to students with weak credit credentials. This led, predictably, to record levels of borrowing. Colleges and universities, reaping the windfall of this easy access to cash, hadno incentive to keep their operating costs or tuition fees in check. Clinton’s plan, which increases government involvement even further, would inevitably cause tuition costs to rise to even higher levels.
TAXPAYER FUNDING FOR ABORTION
CLINTON: For Hillary Clinton, abortion is a civil liberty that should be funded by taxpayer dollars. To Clinton’s delight, Planned Parenthood—America’s largest abortion provider — receives more than $520 million per year in government funding. Moreover, Clinton has vowed to repeal the Hyde Amendment, a 1976 law that has traditionally prohibited federal funding for abortions.
STEIN:Asserting that “we need to … end the Hyde amendment that denies a poor woman's right to an abortion,” Stein demands that all healthcare policies include coverage for abortion services. Such coverage, she says, is “a human right.” Stein rejects the notion that business owners who object to abortion on religious grounds, should be exempted from offering their employees insurance plans that cover abortion services. “Religion and healthcare have nothing to do with each other,” she says. “It should not be the prerogative of an employer to exercise his personal beliefs in determining the healthcare of his employees.”
TRUMP: Trump has issued a call to make the Hyde Amendment a permanent law.
CLINTON: On March 12, 2003, Clinton went to the Senate floor to speak out against legislation that proposed to ban the procedure of dilation and extraction, commonly known as “partial-birth abortion” — where the abortionist maneuvers the baby into a breech (feet-first) delivery position, permits its entire body to exit the birth canal except for its head, and then uses scissors to puncture the baby's brain and kill it while the head is still inside the mother. Defending the legality of this procedure and condemning Republicans for trying to outlaw it, Clinton argued that any attempt “to criminalize a medical procedure” would compromise American liberty.
STEIN: No stated position.
TRUMP: Trump views this late-term abortion procedure as “terrible” and “not acceptable.”
“CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM”
CLINTON: Clintonsays that Americans everywhere “are crying out for criminal justice reform” because “families are being torn apart by excessive incarceration,” and “children are growing up in homes shattered by prison and poverty.”
STEIN: Urging voters to “support the Black Lives Matter Movement,” Stein contends that “police brutality, mass incarceration and institutional racism” are ubiquitous in the criminal-justice system. To address this matter, Stein recommends that we: “demilitarize police”; “end [the] use of SWAT teams and no-knock raids for drugs and serving papers”; increase spending on social welfare programs that could “repair our communities,” rather than “dump resources into the prison-industrial complex”; “appoint dedicated investigators to investigate every death or serious injury at the hands of police”; “eliminate harsh mandatory sentencing requirements which often result in unjustified sentences”; “replace shoot-to-kill as the only response tactic”; and “train officers in conflict resolution.”
TRUMP: Trump has been mostly silent on this issue. His position on criminal justice is essentially this: “Without law and order, you have a problem. And we need strong, swift and very fair law and order.”
* In 1990, when there were about 1.1 million prisoners in penitentiaries nationwide, there were 1.8 millionviolent crimes committed that year, including 23,440 murders. * In 2014, when there were 2.2 million inmates in penitentiaries nationwide, a total of 1.2 million violent crimes were committed that year, including 14,249 murders. * So, even as the population of the United States grew by 28% between 1990 and 2014, the incidence of violent crimes declined by one-third, and the incidence of murders fell by 39%.
These numbers suggest that putting more criminals in prison has helped to spare at least a million people per year from being victimized by violent crimes, and to save at least 9,000 people per year from being murdered.
RELEASING “NONVIOLENT” OFFENDERS
CLINTON:Asserting that “a significant percentage of the more than 2 million Americans incarcerated today are nonviolent offenders,” Clinton calls for “cutting mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses in half.” “Excessive federal mandatory minimum sentences keep nonviolent drug offenders in prison for too long,” laments the Clinton presidential campaign website, “and have increased racial inequality in our criminal justice system.”
STEIN:“Release nonviolent drug offenders from prison,” says Stein, “removing such offenses from their records, and provide them with both pre- and post-release support.”
TRUMP: Trump has been critical of President Obama’s many commutations of drug offenders’ prison sentences, and he has referred to those offenders as “bad dudes” who should be behind bars.
NOTE: The Washington Examiner reports that “in the federal prison system, 99.5% of those incarcerated for drug convictions are guilty of serious trafficking offenses,” meaning that just 0.5% are in jail for simple possession. Drug trafficking hardly qualifies as a “nonviolent” offense. As the Examiner explains: “77% [of state drug inmates] re-offend within five years of release, with 25% committing violent offenses. Most of these convicted drug dealers are career criminals with long rap sheets.... Drug dealing is inseparable from violent victimization. Illegal drugs kill tens of thousands each year in overdose deaths. More die in violent acts and accidents under the influence of drugs.”
CLINTON: “Climate change is an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time,” says the Clinton presidential campaign website. “It threatens our economy, our national security, and our children’s health and futures.” Specifically, Mrs. Clinton contends that the carbon emissions associated with human industrial activity are a major cause of potentially catastrophic “climate change,” and she has identified the reduction of such emissions as a major priority of her presidential campaign.
STEIN: Stein advocates massive levels of public funding to “enact an emergency Green New Deal to turn the tide on climate change, revive the economy, and make wars for oil obsolete.” She calls for “a WWII-scale national mobilization to halt climate change, the greatest threat to humanity in our history.”
TRUMP: On his presidential campaign website, Trump says that his goal is to “make America energy independent, create millions of new jobs, and protect clean air and clean water.” “Researchers at Rice University in Houston, Texas,” adds Trump, “have estimated we might have two trillion barrels of recoverable oil, enough to last the next 285 years. Technology has changed so much in the last few years that a Goldman-Sachs study has estimated that by 2017 or 2019, we could overtake both Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world's largest oil producer. The oil is there for the taking; we just have to take it. I've never understood why, with all of our own reserves, we've allowed this country to be held hostage by OPEC, the cartel of oil- producing countries, some of which are hostile to America.”
REPLACING FOSSIL FUEL- AND NUCLEAR-GENERATED ELECTRICITY WITH SOLAR PANELS
CLINTON: According to the Clinton presidential campaign website, the goal should be to “generateenough renewable energy to power every home in America, with half a billion solar panels installed by the end of Hillary’s first term.”
STEIN: Stein aims to “create 20 million jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030.”
TRUMP: Trump says investments in solar energy should be made through the free market rather than through government, noting that past government investments in solar energy companies that subsequently went bankrupt have been “a disaster.”
NOTE: Between 2009 and 2012, the Obama administration spent some $90 billion of taxpayer money on “green energy” initiatives, most of which failed because they simply could not compete in the energy marketplace. This included, most famously, $535 million that was fast-tracked to the solar-panel company Solyndra, one of whose major investors was a billionaire donor and fundraiser for Obama. There were also many other federally funded “green energy” companies that received scores of millions, and sometimes hundreds of millions, of dollars in federal tax credits and grants during the Obama-Clinton years, and subsequently went bankrupt.
CLINTON: Clinton's position on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is as follows: “I don’t support it when any locality or any state is against it.... I don’t support it when the release of methane or contamination of water is present. I don’t support it … unless we can require that anybody who fracks has to tell us exactly what chemicals they are using. So by the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place. And I think that’s the best approach, because right now, there are places where fracking is going on that are not sufficiently regulated.”
STEIN: Stein characterizes fracking as a form of “destructive energy extraction” and calls for a complete ban on it. She also calls for bans on offshore and tar-sands oil drilling, mountaintop-removal coal mining, natural gas pipelines, uranium mines, and nuclear power.
TRUMP: Trump is a longtime supporter of fracking, calling it a vital practice that “will lead to American energy independence.”