On The Record - Page 4 of 5
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On The Record

cutting middle- and low-income programs such as college tuition assistance and heating oil assistance. These votes show Sen. McCain, who backs Bush’s Iraq war policy, as proposing to extend Bush’s tax policy and thus suggests that he will continue to spend huge unfunded amounts on the Iraq war. The continued growth in the federal deficit, in the face of the weakened dollar, would handcuff McCain in addressing the current economic downturn and undoubtedly lead him to the same laissez-faire approach taken by Bush. Both Clinton and Obama have proposed more aggressive measures to address the downturn, and these votes indicate their willingness to balance their stimulus plans with fiscal responsibility.”

Robert Smith, Ph.D., a political scientist at San Francisco State University
“Each of the three candidate’s records on social policy issues are well within the mainstream of their parties’ political ideology. I suspect that as president, none of them would push many programs that specifically target disparities between blacks and whites. Interestingly, Obama’s teen pregnancy legislation struck me as being very Clintonian, in that it creates a program that assists people but with the intent to also alter their behavior, much like the former president’s welfare reform program. There was a lot of controversy over whether welfare reform did more harm than good for black people. Obama’s bill has a certain kind of political appeal, but doesn’t address the real causes of poverty and dispossession among blacks, such as access to education and jobs. As president, McCain will likely follow the Republican party line of less government, and the two Democrats would continue the legacy of former President Clinton, which is you don’t talk about race; you talk about the middle class and programs that help everybody and the benefits will trickle down.”

Stephen Zunes, a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco
“Though more independent-minded than many of his fellow Republicans on a number of issues, John McCain appears at least as willing as has President Bush to apply military force overseas to advance America’s political and strategic goals. He supports an escalation in U.S. military involvement in Iraq and has threatened war against Iran as well. Despite having recently shifted her position on Iraq in favor of an eventual withdrawal of U.S. combat forces, Hillary Clinton’s voting record, public statements, and foreign policy advisers indicate a foreign policy perspective on the hawkish wing of the Democratic Party, which appears more open to embracing exaggerated and alarmist reports regarding potential national security threats, supporting the unilateral use of military force over negotiations, and minimizing the importance of international law and building international coalitions. Barack Obama, like his rivals, has also embraced a willingness to use military force in situations such as Afghanistan, though he has consistently opposed the war in Iraq. His public record, however, indicates that he would be more prone to examine the actual evidence of potential threats before reacting, work more closely with America’s allies to maintain peace and security, and seek negotiated settlements


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