Through the debates this past month, the American people had the opportunity to listen to the candidates and their platforms. Governor Bush presented a platform in which he trusts the American people; whereas Vice President Al Gore advocated a platform for a larger government that would exert more control in an individual’s life.
Governor Bush outlined his education plan that would leave no child behind. He believes parents should have the choice to take their children out of failing schools and enroll them in better public school. He also believes that parents should have the option of using their portion of the federal funding to pay for tutors, charter schools or private schools. Regarding college education, Governor Bush has proposed plans to increase Pell Grants, and secure funding to pay for a third of the cost for low-income students that have excelled in high school to attend a public university.
Another key issue in the debates was health care and prescription drugs. Governor Bush believes that the individual should be the sole person to choose their health plans or prescription drugs. Al Gore, on the other hand, intends to have the government help with these personal choices and does not entrust citizens to make these choices for themselves. Bush proposed a plan that will give a low-income to middle class family a $2,000 health credit. This health credit can be used to purchase the health plans and prescription drugs of their choice.
The debates also focused on the issue of what to do with the government’s surplus funds. Governor Bush advocated that this money should be used to pay down the national debt and then returned to the taxpayers who earned it. Unlike Gore, Bush believes that the money should not be used to increase government spending continuing to bloat the government bureaucracy. Instead, Bush wants a tax cut that will treat middle class and low-income families fairly. For example, he realizes that low-income families pay the highest marginal tax rate. His plan will cut this rate to allow these families to move into the middle class.
During the debates, Governor Bush proposed a revolutionary plan to privatize Social Security. Privatizing Social Security and allowing individuals to invest their money in safe government securities would yield greater earnings for workers when they retire. Americans would have the option of using these privatized accounts or continuing to put their money into the existing system. This proposal is truly a solution that will guarantee that current college students will collect Social Security when they reach retirement.
Defense and foreign policy was another main issue in each debate. Under the Clinton-Gore administration, Americans have seen a decline in military preparedness. It is essential that American soldiers are not on food stamps and that they have the necessary equipment to defend our freedom. Governor Bush plans to increase pay, restore morale and ensure that our military has the technology needed to defend our country and our allies. He also intends to engage in a foreign policy that defends democratic values throughout the world, but does not use our military forces as the world’s policemen.
The debates also talked about other issues like the environment, gun control, crime and increased government efficiency. Regarding all these issues, Bush has proposals that will guarantee a cleaner environment, put trigger locks on guns, decrease crime and improve the government bureaucracy.
One issue that was seen through Gore’s own statements was whether voters could trust him. Throughout the debates Gore used what he insisted to be true stories and anecdotes in order to illustrate his points. Many of these stories were proven to be false or extremely exaggerated. This should call into question Gore’s credibility and voters should ask if they can truly trust the vice president.
Governor Bush will be a president that trusts the American people and can be trusted by all Americans. During the next four years, Governor Bush will lead America down a path of prosperity, and will assure that Americans’ freedoms are protected for generations to come. The current administration has had its chance. They have not led. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney will.
-The writer is chairman of the GW College Republicans.