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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Explore the issues: 2016 presidential race

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Voters have heard ad nauseam about Hillary Clinton’s emails, Donald Trump’s misogynist and racist actions and Gary Johnson’s Aleppo flub, but as Election Day approaches, it’s time to talk issues. Following is a rundown of where the candidates stand on just a handful of issues, but the Recorder encourages all voters to go beyond this article and research the issues at length in order to make an informed decision on Nov. 8.






Clinton has proposed legislation that would help end racial profiling, provide federal matching funds for more police body cameras and overhaul mandatory minimum sentencing.



Johnson pledges to eliminate unnecessary laws that put too many people in jail. He also plans to focus on individuals saddled with criminal records, mandatory minimum sentencing, the “seriously frayed relationship between law enforcement and those they serve” and the failed War on Drugs.



Trump has described himself as the “law and order” candidate, but has not specifically addressed plans. He has endorsed a former New York City policy called “stop and frisk.”




Clinton is proposing tax increases on the rich, including a minimum 30 percent tax on incomes over $1 million and higher taxes on big inheritances. Most taxpayers would see little or no impact on their tax bill, but the government might look different. She’d use the added revenue to expand domestic programs.



Johnson advocates for the elimination of special interest tax loopholes, to get rid of the double-taxation on small businesses, and ultimately, the replacement of all income and payroll taxes with a single consumption tax that determines your tax burden by how much you spend, not how much you earn.




Trump is intent on cutting taxes. He’d collapse the current seven income tax brackets, which peak at 39.6 percent, into just three tiers with a top rate of 33 percent, slice the corporate income tax and eliminate the estate tax. Analysts say the wealthy would benefit disproportionately.




Clinton wants to make preschool universal for all 4-year-old children within 10 years by providing new federal dollars to states. She also pledges to support HBCUs.



Johnson believes we should eliminate the federal Department of Education, Common Core and other attempts to impose national standards and requirements on local schools. 



Trump proposes to spend $20 billion during his first year in office to help states expand school choice programs. He wants states to divert an additional $110 billion of their own education money to help parents who want their children to go to other schools.




Clinton would overhaul immigration laws to include a path to citizenship, in addition to defending Obama’s amnesty policies, supporting naturalization and integration, closing private detention centers and making sure immigrants receive humane treatment.



Johnson says we should focus on creating a more efficient system of providing work visas, conducting background checks and incentivizing non-citizens to pay their taxes, obtain proof of employment and otherwise assimilate.



Trump has a 10-point immigration plan that includes, among other points, building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, detaining illegal immigrants until they can be removed from the country, terminating Obama’s amnesty policies and turning off the “jobs magnet” that draws immigrants to the U.S.




Clinton says she would spend more on roads, tunnels and other infrastructure and make state colleges and universities tuition-free to most students.



Johnson proposes to get rid of unnecessary laws and taxes that syphon the resources businesses use to create the jobs we need.



Trump says he would cut regulations and taxes to spur more hiring, and renegotiate or withdraw from trade agreements to bring jobs back to the U.S.





Clinton sees international partnerships as essential tools for using U.S. influence and lessening the chances of war and plans to take a “firm but wise” approach when dealing with rivals.



Johnson says he “will move quickly and decisively to cut off the funding on which violent extremist armies depend … repair relationships with our allies … only send our brave soldiers to war when clearly authorized by Congress after meaningful, transparent deliberation and debate.”



Trump calls his approach “America first,” meaning alliances and coalitions would not pass muster unless they produced a net benefit to the U.S. Trump wants to rebuild the military and “end the current strategy of nation-building and regime change.”


Note: Green Party candidate Jill Stein is not on the ballot in Indiana.


Sources: Candidates’ campaign websites, Associated Press reports


Learn more

More details from each candidate’s platform can be found on their respective campaign websites:

  • Clinton: hillaryclinton.com/issues
  • Johnson: johnsonweld.com/issues
  • Trump: donaldjtrump.com/policies
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