Policy Analysis (Updated)

As elections draw closer, the candidates for the upcoming elections have grounded the policies that they would like to set in place as President, and are solidifying the citizens that they will be garnering the most support from during the elections. The policies for these candidates range from healthcare to education and women’s rights, and the candidates’ stances on these policies extend all across the political spectrum, from liberal Democrats to conservative Republicans. While analyzing the policies, the CNN team notes that each candidate will have support from different targeted socio-economic classes, ages, genders, ethnicities and religions on each of the aspects of their policies.

 

Main Principles and Themes

 

According to Hillary Clinton’s policy proposal, her main principles are to ensure the social well being of all citizens of this nation, from the threat of poverty, to the protection of illness and unemployment. It is intended to reduce the disparity that exists in this country affecting those people who are currently experiencing inequality through poverty, lack of education, and lack of medical insurance.

Elizabeth Warren’s main principle and theme of the welfare state are the inequality and the misuse of tax payer’s money. She wants to shift the power structure between citizens and elites so that one group will not have more authority over the other. In addition, Warren wants to expand healthcare coverage to all Americans, especially those who cannot afford regular health care.

The main theme of O’Malley’s proposal is the modern American family. He believes that the nuclear family, a family structure composed of a mother, father, and their children, is a thing of the past. Therefore, the general welfare state of the United States must be updated to accommodate the average family of the United States. He claims that his policies are designed to create a “prosperous haven” for the family, as well as improve the quality of life, relieve pressures, and increase the potential for success for each member of it. O’Malley desires to ensure that basic rights, including the right to marriage, are provided for different types of families. Therefore, O’Malley plans to legalize gay marriage throughout the nation. O’Malley also strongly supports various public assistance programs, including food stamps, old-age pensions, poverty policies, unemployment, and paid parental leave.

The Patrick Campaign’s vision for a healthy, robust welfare state favors strong incentives for school funding, a large amount of tax reform to the current tax code, and a great deal of efforts towards getting children out of poverty. Deval Patrick is dedicated to reforming and funding Government programs aimed at the middle and lower classes. For too long have politicians been expecting the poor to lift themselves up out of poverty, but at the same time defunding the very programs that help people out of poverty. The current Welfare state in America expects people to work themselves out of Welfare.  Patrick has a different approach: he favors reforming and modifying existing social welfare programs in order to make them work towards actually benefiting the poor where and how they need it: in their schools, at their workplaces and through reforms made to tax expenditures.

Paul Ryan proposes a reform that mainly resembles that of President Clinton’s in 1996. He believes the 1996 reform reduced poverty rates and led to a decrease in child poverty rates by 20 percent in the subsequent four years. Ryan’s plan for reform include issuing select funding in block grants to the states, creating a bracketed system that emphasizes employment in the family, and encouraging aid recipients to rise above the system through the aid provided. He believes that the title of being an American has lost its significance because the “American Dream” has been slowly diminishing through reforms and programs that have encouraged Americans to depend on the government rather than encouraging them to rely on their own self. Therefore, he hopes to eradicate “free riders” and the “undeserving” from the list of aid recipients and to provide better services and care to those who need it through the proposed reform. Paul Ryan believes that America’s immigration system is deeply flawed and he must do what he can to fix it. According to Ryan, the fact that 11 million undocumented immigrants are allowed to live in America proves how broken the immigration system is. He feels that our current immigration system should welcome immigrants into the country based on how much they will contribute to our economy rather than based on their relations to our citizens.

Santorum believes in promoting unity under God by having a welfare state that strengthens American families. Most, if not all of Santorum’s plans are extremely conservative and are driven by his religious fervitude. Santorum’s policies also include decreasing federal spending on education in order to promote more parent involvement in the education of their children.

Sarah Palin’s claim over all is to execute policies that will attain the goals of conservatism and free market economy. Palin wants to prevent dependency on government welfare and instead wants to turn these funds into a jump start for families in need and not become a way where families live off of the government.The Palin campaign wants to set a different purpose of welfare, the new approach will be not as a way of life but as small and temporary assistance for people to move towards being fully capable of providing for themselves.

Rand Paul firmly believes in locally-controlled government and believes that Americans should be able to control their own futures and build their own “American Dream” without major interference from the federal government.

Candidates, both republicans and democrats, all aim to help out the American people live in a better society which will be suited to their needs, but it’s important to notice that each party has a different approach. The democrat’s approach includes the support of enhancement of the health, and economic stability of everyone in the country especially of those who are not able to attain it effortlessly such as the middle class and the poor through the larger support in education and provision of healthcare. Republicans, on the other hand, seem to oppose the pampering of the American individual. They have a vision of making the welfare system an encouraging system to teach them independence through the decrease in supportive welfare programs, finding their own employment and education funds for their well-being.

 

Welfare State

 

The size of welfare state increasing is discussed in every candidate’s proposal. The democratic candidates believe that a larger welfare state is necessary. Having a larger welfare state will allow there to be more programs provided to citizens who need it. According to Clinton, expanding the welfare size is crucial to enhancing the lives of many American individuals especially those who live under the minimum accepted level means. It is all intended for a more prosperous and better future of the people. She believes that by providing more support and better enhanced programs, the American people will be more suitable to attain their goals and will become more confident which will make it easier to get out of poverty. In order to accomplish this she plans on strengthening the current social security and healthcare programs, and making education more achievable.

When it comes to Universal Healthcare and education, Warren wants to establish a program that will allow citizens to have access to free and/or affordable health care. Warren’s program will allow citizens to get the help they need, without having to worry about the bills. Also, Warren wants to create a college loan reform to lower student’s interest rates. It will be a great way for students to go to college without having to worry about money, and/or have regrets about pursuing a higher education. O’Malley believes the provision of universal education and health care may result in the general rise in the quality of life in America, as citizens will be healthier and more educated. In addition to her student loan and universal health care, Warren propose to lower housing discrimination amongst colored people by creating a housing reform. This will give minorities the opportunity to live in nice neighbourhoods, and find homes at affordable rates. Furthermore, she wants to propose a raise in minimum wage to close the gap between the rich and poor. Warren’s proposal will give those who are making minimum wage a chance to change their life and remove themselves from poverty.

O’Malley believes that a large welfare state is necessary for the American public in order to better ensure reaching success, providing recovery and security, and empower individuals. His various policies are all targeted toward helping the middle class and especially people in lower socioeconomic strata through expanding the current welfare state of the United States. O’Malley does not plan to downsize any of the current welfare programs. Instead, he seeks to enlarge numerous welfare programs, including those regarding education, job reform, healthcare and public assistance, because he feels that the welfare state of today is inadequate in addressing the needs of the average American family. The decline of health, wellness, and prosperity among the middle class show a cry for help that the American family needs the assistance of a bigger welfare state.

There are number of potentially positive outcomes that we may see as a result of his policies. First, it will ease a great deal of strain on American families and individuals that are based on financial difficulties. Now that health insurance coverage is secured, parental leaves are paid for, old age pensions are provided, along with various other welfare programs, Americans will be relieved of many financial burdens that threatened bankruptcy; they will no longer have to face many financial situations that used to cause financial insecurity. His policies will not only alleviate stress based on finances, they will also ease worries about receiving quality education and health care. Second, the provision of universal education and health care may result in the general rise in the quality of life in America, as citizens will be healthier and more educated. There may also be the rise of new jobs in the healthcare and education sectors of society. On the other hand, there may be negative consequences seen, such as the provision of unnecessary aid to those who are not in need, and as a result, lack of concentration on those who need governmental support the most. For example, in regards to education reform, O’Malley says his funding will go to “all public schools but most importantly for schools in lower-class neighborhoods.” Does this mean that they will receive more funding or the same amount of funding? It is not clear how the efforts toward education reform will be more focused on addressing the needs of lower-class schools. Another negative effect can be the loss of jobs in the private insurance sector.

In general, the size of O’Malley’s proposed welfare state falls into the democratic belief that it is the government’s responsibility to care for all individuals, while it strikes against republican core beliefs for a limited government. Therefore, the main opponents of O’Malley’s policy proposal will be the republican party platform, because they believe that each person should be responsible for their own well-being, and that it is not the government’s role to intrude on the private lives of the American public.

The winners of O’Malley’s policy proposal are mainly the middle class and the lower-classes. Groups that are specifically being targeted to receive help are the unemployed, veterans, new parents, students, and gay couples. On the opposite side of the spectrum are those who will be negatively impacted by his policy proposal, which include those of the highest socioeconomic strata, as they will be affected by progressive tax reforms, and private insurance providers.

The recent trend in welfare state politics have favored “work conditioned” incentives. In 1996, President Bill Clinton passed the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act”, which effectively changed the trend on how welfare in America was thought about. The welfare state in America made a creep towards “earned” incentives; the state gives money to people in need based on their search for a job. The thing is though, that  the money given to families is not enough to be able to survive on. Additional welfare proposals are needed, in the way of education and childcare. President Clinton said the passage of the law would “end Welfare as we know it”. This is not our vision for the future. The recession has had a huge impact on families with children, and it has driven many people below the poverty line. Proponents of PRWORA contend that it’s been a success because welfare and poverty rates have gone down since PRWORA’s passage, but the majority of families who have moved off the TANF rolls have remained in poverty. The Patrick Campaign believes that the worst off Americans, namely single parent households living under the poverty line need more help, not less.

While democrats are determined to enlarge welfare state in order to continue helping American citizens, the republicans aim to have American provide for themselves and their families. They believe that a small welfare state would have a better effect on the growth of the economy as well as the growth of the citizens of the United States. The republicans agree that if the welfare state is too large, people will become too dependent on government aid and will not move out of poverty. Their main goal is to foster less dependency on federal funding.

Paul Ryan plans to reduce funding to the Food Stamps program and aims to have a stricter protocol in deciding the eligibility of citizens to receive aid from the SNAP program in order to promote self-reliance and upward mobility. He feels that citizens should be able to care for themselves rather than depending on government aid to survive. Ryan believes that reducing funding on certain welfare programs will assist our citizens in gaining a better standing of living. He believes that the government should not stand in the way of small businesses because more than half of America’s jobs come from these small businesses. He feels that they are the backbone of our economy. Due to the country’s growing debt, the Paul Ryan candidacy cannot fund all welfare programs. However, they will fund those they believe will help the country grow and will help improve the lives of citizens.

Rick Santorum Santorum is looking to cut welfare funding to “let go of the hands of the American people so that they may begin to swim on their own in the ocean we call America.” In his policy, Santorum states that he will drastically cut down federal funding on education, lessen funding to social services such as Medicaid, cutting, reducing and lowering taxes across the board.

Sarah Palin believes the reason for thirteen million Americans out of a job and forty-six million are in poverty is because of the twenty-six percent incline of government dependency under Obama. Palin strives for an economy to grow and not just to last. Palin plans to steer America in the right direction by removing government because that is the reason why free market is not doing what it is suppose to be doing.  The issue with taxes is not that they are too little it is because government is spending too much which is why Palin plans on cutting taxes, in order to redistribute wealth, rather than raising them. Taxing people who own small businesses will discourage them to invest and Palin knows that investment, competition, and innovation are the main ways to achieve growth-centered economy. Taxing these people less will also begin to take America out of debt.

  According to Palin the administration does not think people can make their own decisions with health insurance and gas mileage. Palin wants to go back to what the forefathers originally strived for which is to serve people and not prosper off of them. America’s problem are implanted in the economy where the people’s success depends on the relationship between the permanent political class and the business people. Palin wants to be the America who works hard for the next generation to live a better life. She does not want to burden the future with its current debts. Instead, Palin wants to focus on what administration has neglected and that is to rebuild the middle class. She wants to take attention away from Washington because so far Washington’s permanent political class  has been worried about its own political future.

Sarah knows that not everyone is promised a success but every one is promised a chance to success and this is what she wants to see if elected to president.

Rand Paul believes that the welfare state should be smaller than it currently is. He believes that the current size is too large and this causes citizens to be too dependent on their government. If we decrease the size of the welfare state, we will once again promote the ideologies of The American Dream which will motivate people to work harder in order to receive more rewards. This will promote self-reliance, meritocracy, and motivate people to work harder to achieve their goals.

The republicans echo the same concern that Americans who receive government assistance have become dependant on it. They argue that government funds have become more of a source of income for families who receive welfare. They all agree on having a small welfare state because it will benefit the growth of economy as well as of the citizens. The republican party’s goal is to take people out of poverty and they find it necessary to give Americans a little push by reducing or applying stricter policies on some funds suchs as food stamps. By having less or no government funds provided, citizens will be more encouraged work for what they want and need. To the republican this strategy will allow U.S. citizens to truly practice their freedom because they will be doing things for themselves. The sooner republicans get rid of  government the sooner Americans will begin to regain their independence. In contrast, the democratic party plans to either maintain or enlarge the size of welfare state. Their intentions in doing so is to ease financial difficulties that some Americans have. Democrats believe it is their responsibility to provide U.S. citizens with affordable or free education. Therefore, having a large welfare state will be beneficial, because more programs will be able to be provided to those who need it. Each party presents different solutions to America’s current problems but they both want U.S. citizens to succeed whether that be tough love or consistent  guidance.

 

Education

 

Of the eight political candidates in this election, each of them except for Palin and Paul described in detail their visions for the future of education in the United States. From the five policies on education, it is evident that there is a divide between the Democratic and Republican view on funding towards education, as well as the focus of education.

Hillary Clinton believes education is “the key to developing the vitality and success of American citizens”. To Hillary’s campaign, it is very important to strengthen the nation through allowing college students and parents of college students to have easier access to a proper and higher education. She assures that education will allow individuals to learn and gain skills which not only benefit them in the long run when they are looking for jobs, but the economy as well by having more jobs created by those educated individuals.

        Some of the intended policies which will allow Hillary Clinton to succeed with her aim to increase the awareness and practice of education, include the Student Parent Programs in All Four-Year Universities which will allow these highly responsible parents to have a lighter class load, and grants provided to them, expansion of the Blue and Gold Package, which will allow those medical students who lack the financial stability to continue with their  education by allowing families who earn over 80k to receive lucrative tax credits; programs for Underrepresented, Under-privileged, and First-generation College Students, which will allow these students to obtain opportunities to increase chances of obtaining an education,programs Promoting College Awareness and Preparation for College where students will be given the opportunity to study abroad and learn skills for independence; and Increase the Amount of Academic/Athletic Scholarships to Students which will allow better financial stability for students. As we can see this is a big topic that she is focusing on because she knows that education will bring more positive results that no other strategy can. This is a great incentive for the poor to not be left behind. Regarding this policy, it is foreseen that current college students of minority background, and parents in college and everyone else who is in favor of higher education will be in favor of this policy. Since education is a popular topic among the people in the United States, I am sure that this policy will be very influential in both the primary and general elections.

When it comes to Universal Healthcare, Warren wants to establish a program that will allow citizens to have access to free healthcare. This program will allow citizens to get the help they need, without having to worry about the bills. Also, Warren wants to create a college loan reform to lower student’s interest rates. It will be a great way for students to go to college without having to worry about money, and/or have regrets about pursuing a higher education.

O’Malley feels that because America’s youth are “fundamental elements” to the “building blocks for success in this country,” which is the family, it is essential to reform the current education system on multiple levels, including pre-kindergarten, primary, secondary, and tertiary education. O’Malley hopes to help the children of America reach academic success and find self-fulfillment through the introduction of his programs. His main goal is to strengthen the American education system by targeting multiple aspects of schooling, from the teachers to the subject material. O’Malley intends to create a universal pre-kindergarten education and better invest in well-paid, credited teachers and school staff, enforce cultural diversity training. He wants to concentrate funding schools in lower-class neighborhoods and increase funding for extracurricular activities and after-school programs that will help with homework and tutoring. O’Malley also wants to put a greater emphasis on the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in school. He plans to implement college-preparatory programs, to lower tuition for higher education, and introduce “Skills 2 Complete”, a job skills training program in college, designed to better prepare students for their future in today’s job market. Although his education reform applies to all schools in America, he aims to concentrate efforts on schools located in impoverished neighborhoods. By lowering costs of education and providing more programs for citizens of various economic levels, O’Malley hopes to ensure that all American children, regardless of family income, will have equal access to education and as a result, the gap between the rich and the poor will diminish. O’Malley’s education reform will garner support from all who will be directly affected as well as those who support the educational system; this includes teachers, students, parents, as well as various other employees of the educational institution, such as custodians, day care givers, and many other people occupying various positions in the system. A stronger system of education will also benefit society as a whole, because it will potentially create a more competent workforce, produce more jobs, and even result in new advanced research, science, and technologies, which will in turn contribute to a greater sense of national security. O’Malley’s plans for education may pick up support from both party platforms, as education is seen as a collectively beneficial part of American society.

Deval’s National Childcare Initiative will grant funds to public schools around the US in order to provide affordable after school care for poor elementary school students. The NCI would require the children in their program to be fed a healthy meal as well as receive tutoring and help with coursework. As of 2007, more than 80% of all primary and secondary students were enrolled in public schools. This incentive would have a huge impact on American society, and for the better.  It would grant most parents, not just poor parents the much needed leverage that they need to be able to get out into the workforce.The NCI will also offer free classes and workshops aimed at older students. This would provide training for jobs, a duty, that up until now, has been a huge burden on the private sector. Some examples of the training that people will receive, include money management, finance classes, SAT and college preparatory classes, and academic tutors.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Republican candidate Ryan feels that education is extremely important. He believes that “only future generations with proper educational tools can help this country move forward in the right direction.” He believes that students who go to college are privileged and aim to make education affordable. Tuition is currently too expensive and Ryan believes that if there is a decrease in the amount of financial aid given to students, this would result in a decrease in tuition and those who will attend college are those who are able to afford it. He wants to tighten Pell Grant eligibility so they will be able to maintain the maximum amount of students that can receive the grant and this, in turn, will also ensure less inflation.

He also believes that student loans should be regulated, in a sense that subsidized loans should be taken away completely, in order to ensure that the nation’s debt would not increase. The subsequent unsubsidized loans will have a steady rate of 3.4% so that students can pay back the loans in a certain number of years. In addition to this, he believes that students should begin paying their unsubsidized loans while they are still in school to ensure that graduating students will have a lower chance of being in debt. Our economy, as well as the students, can be helped if they begin to pay their loans while still in school. The repayment of these loans will begin the year after receiving their loans and there will be a deferment plan for those who cannot afford to pay back their loans while still in school. His goal is to not limit the students, but to allow them a better chance of living a better lifestyle after college because their loans will be paid off while they are still in school. Tightly regulating financial aid and loans will ensure that our nation is giving the students the best educational opportunities and that the economy is moving in the right direction. These beliefs will help Ryan gain votes within the upper class. However, the lower and middle class citizens will not be very happy with his proposals. Those who believe that education should be equally provided to everyone will not be in favor of his proposal. Those who believe that higher education should only be available to those who can afford it are more likely to be in favor of this proposal.

Paul Ryan does not believe in the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would permit states to allow undocumented students to become a resident with the purpose of higher education. He believes that this will not correct the root of the problem, which is the broken immigration system, but rather only solve its “symptoms”. He favors reorganizing the immigration system in a more efficient and fair way.

Republican candidate Santorum would like to create a privately funded program called the “Academic Freedom Plan” in which federal education spending would be reduced in order to increase parents’ involvement in the education of their children. This plan is aimed to repeal the “No Child Left Behind” program created by Obama so that there is less government involvement in the education of American children. Santorum’s plan will not be accepted by single-parent households or in households where there is unemployment and/or the families are facing financial difficulties. In these households it is difficult to have strong parent involvement in education because the parents are focused on supporting the family financially. Cutting federal spending on education would only be possible in traditional families in the middle to upper class that are financially stable and both parents are able to work together to be heavily involved in the education of their children. Because Santorum’s idealistic traditional family is no longer the definition of the average American families, this program may not be accepted well.

The differences between the Democratic and Republican political parties is extremely visible in the candidates’ stances on education. The Democratic candidates prefer to increase funding to education systems, while focusing on minority populations and under-privileged students. On the other hand, the Republican candidates in this election focus on decreasing federal education spending and do not support legislation that advocates to help minority students, such as the DREAM Act. The topic of education is one that is extremely important to the younger generation of voters who are currently college and university students, and therefore, the candidates’ support for funding for education would sway their vote. In Clinton’s policies, she would like to increase grants to students at four year universities, as well as support medical students are are not able to financially support themselves. Additionally, she would like to increase support for programs for the underrepresented and for studying abroad. In contrast to her views, Republican candidate Paul Ryan would like to decrease financial aid to college students with the idea that if the financial aid is decreased then less students will attend the colleges forcing colleges to lower their tuitions, in turn increasing college attendance. Ryan would also like to have students pay back their loans while they are still students in college so that they don’t face increased debts as graduate students. Ryan’s thought process is fairly dubious because these long-term plans will have major short-term problems for students who will not be able to go to college if the financial aid is decreased, and for students that aren’t able to work while juggling their school work. As Clinton’s policy will be supported by young voters, Ryan’s policy will be supported by the upper-class and will most certainly be rejected by college students who are on financial aid. Similar to Clinton, Warren believes that the current education system should be reformed and that funding should be increased for lower-class neighborhoods and minority communities. Warren believes that job trainings should be provided in colleges and that pre-kindergarten schooling should become universal. Another Democratic candidate, Patrick believes that the National Childcare Initiative should be enacted to offer additional funding to public schools for free after school care, classes and workshops. Warren and Patrick’s ideas will be welcomed by middle and lower class families in which both parents work and are unable be very involved in the childrearing of their children in order to be financially stable. Contrasting Warren’s ideas, Santorum would like to create the “Academic Freedom Plan” in which federal education spending is reduced in order to increase parent involvement. According to the Southern Education Foundation, in 2011, more than half of the public school student population in over 17 states were students from low-income families. (Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-poor-children-are-now-the-majority-in-american-public-schools-in-south-west/2013/10/16/34eb4984-35bb-11e3-8a0e-4e2cf80831fc_story.html) This number has only increased in the past two years. In order to understand which of the policies proposed by the candidates would work best in the United States, it is vital to understand the population of our US citizens, and according to this data it seems that most Americans would lean towards the democratic candidates policies because of their middle to lower class socio-economic standing.

 

Health Care Reform:

 

Health care reform is a relevant and imperative issue that is addressed in the policy proposals of all the candidates of the 2016 election, except for Deval Patrick, who does not plan to implement any sort of health care reform. All candidates, other than Patrick, express a shared dissatisfaction with the current health care situation in America. While Democrats feel that the health care system is inadequate and in need for improvement, Republicans feel that the health care system has taken a turn for the worst and desire to steer the system back track.

Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and Martin O’Malley, propose to transform today’s health care system by providing universal health care through various ways. The democrats admit to the government’s full responsibility of providing for the needs of the people, including its need for health care. They stress the ubiquitous sentiments of economic insecurity among the citizens of America, with much of the insecurity rooted in outrageous health care costs. Due to the high costs of medical bills, Americans risk financial detriment, bankruptcy, and even death. Through health care reform, Clinton, Warren, and O’Malley hope to provide security for health and finances, by providing a “cushion” and possibly, eliminating damage suffered from medical costs and insurance costs.

Warren and O’Malley both believe that healthcare is a basic human right, which means that all Americans should have access to it. Although the two seek to implement a universal health care system, they have different plans for applying it. Warren proposes the creation of a universal health care system that is free of cost and available to every citizen, regardless of current health conditions, pre-existing conditions, race, ethnicity, income, and many other factors that have previously prevented access to equal health care. She will not mandate the participation in the universal health care system; citizens may choose whether or not they will join the program and still have the option of purchasing private health care. Warren’s planned health care program will be controlled on three different levels – national, state, and local. The federal government will only be responsible for setting guidelines and laws for the program, while the local and state levels will “deal more closely with the patients themselves.”

O’Malley’s plans for universal health care differs from that of Warren in a number of ways. He intends to create a universal health care program, known as a National Health Service, one that is under the direct control of the federal government. Unlike Warren, this program will not be free of cost and every citizen will be required to purchase coverage. O’Malley believes that the fact that everyone is mandated to participate in the program will contribute to the program’s funding. However, his policy proposal lacks dialogue on how the program will play out for individuals of various socioeconomic statuses, whether the poor will be paying the same amount as the rich, whether the public will be able to purchase insurance through private entities or have no choice in the matter, whether subsidies will be distributed among low-income earners, or if citizens will be able to refuse coverage from the National Health Service or choose not to obtain any form of health care coverage in general. In addition, although O’Malley repeatedly mentions providing “quality” healthcare, he does not note how he will go about doing so.

Rather than implementing a new program for health care reform, Clinton seeks to improve our current program, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Although she supports Obamacare, Clinton feels that it is insufficient and has many shortcomings. She plans to make healthcare plans more affordable by changing its means for funding, as well as requiring the Office of Consumer Information and Oversights (OCIO) as a regulatory authority to monitor health insurance rates, in order to ensure that rates will remain affordable. Clinton argues that in order to keep health insurance rates affordable, a number of changes must be made, including the following: increased income tax on the rich, reduced Medicare payments of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, surgical centers, and non-physician providers, increased fees on insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and device-makers, reduced subsidy for charity care, increased taxes on Cadillac plans, elimination of tax breaks for the rich, and lastly, imposition of fee regulations for people with repeated risk behaviors (e.g. alcohol or drug abuse). Through these changes, Clinton aims to lower costs of long-term treatment in medical facilities.

Health care reform policies proposed by the Democrats may produce many positive results, including the prevention of shady insurance practices, such as rejection based on pre-existing conditions, experience ratings, rescission, and exclusions, reducing underinsurance and obviously uninsurance, and ensure a more secure coverage. Possible negative outcomes include: shortage in medical professionals, long wait times for treatment, poor patient care due to dramatic increase in amount of patients. Obviously, these proposed programs will be supported by the democratic party, as well as many who have experienced the direct hard-hitting impact of health insurance costs and many who are uninsured. Middle-class families and individuals, working-class families and individuals, the elderly, the poor, those who are struggling financially or experience sentiments of financial insecurity due to health care costs, and many others who will potentially benefit from the Democratic health care reforms will support them. However, just as Obamacare and previous attempts at implementing a national health care have faced, there will be many opponents to these proposed programs aimed at increasing government intervention. They will face opposition from the Republican party, various interest groups (such as health insurance companies), people who hold anti-communist or anti-socialist sentiments, and strong businesses that are benefiting from the current healthcare system.

While Democrats seek to extend the government’s arm in matters of health care reform, Republicans seek to do the opposite. They believe that the American welfare system is a cause for concern, especially with the recent enactment of Obamacare. The Republican candidates of 2016 are displeased with Obamacare, with some claiming that it has caused the confiscation of certain freedoms – in the case of health care, the freedom to be able to choose your own healthcare plan, forcing people to choose between limited options with “endless requirements and regulations.” The confiscation of this freedom is crucial because it takes away the power of choice among Americans. Although Democrats agreed on the basic fundamentals of how health care should run, Republicans have diverse ways of “improving” the current healthcare system.

Rand Paul and Rick Santorum both intend to completely eradicate Obamacare so that Americans will be able to repossess their freedom. The two candidates assert the value of quality and affordable healthcare for all Americans, but argue that it should not be mandated by the government; Americans should have the right to choose their own health insurance. He proposes cutting federal funding for health care through his program, the “Kick Start Plan,” which decreases funding to Medicaid. Paul chooses to handle things differently. He proposes the creation of a locally controlled state health insurance that will result in the decentralization of the government.

Paul Ryan advocates a completely different approach to transforming the healthcare system. He, too, views Obamacare in a negative light, claiming that it promotes a socialist agenda. Instead, Ryan intends to focus on Medicaid and Medicare programs. He plans to increase the amount of federal spending that will go into funding Medicaid, allocating 8% of federal spending toward Medicaid by 2020. He sees Medicare, a public health insurance for the elderly, as problematic, because health care providers are reimbursed for their services, which produces a leeway for providers to take advantage of the program by ordering more tests and performing unnecessary services in order to maximize profits from the program. To fix this “problem,” Ryan will allocate 17% of federal spending to go toward this program.

Last of the Republicans, Palin also agrees on Obamacare’s shortcomings. She has spoken out publicly and published multiple articles on how the ACA, what she calls “the beast that must be stopped,” is “failing America.” She is in favor of enacting House Resolution 9, a bill that a bill that controls costs and expands quality coverage. The plan to control the cost of coverage will be to achieve a medical liability reform to lower costs. She plans to allow insurance companies to sell their insurance to individuals and families across state lines. This will result in Americans being able to choose the insurance that best fits them, as well as the lowering prices from the increase of competition.

Republican proposals for healthcare reform seek to provide health care based on selection. The primary benefit of republican reforms is the lower cost and as a result, a lower need for funding. Also, benefits will be given to particular groups–the poor, racial and ethnic minorities, and women, which is a positive outcome, because those who are in need will be benefit, rather than those who do not necessarily need the help. There are numerous negative impacts from the Republican health care reform may potentially outweigh the positive outcomes. Negative outcomes include: millions continuing uninsured, people dying or remaining sick due to inability to pay health care costs, potential stinginess from programs targeted to the poor, the prolonging of racialization and stigmas regarding racial minorities and those who are “taking advantage of the system.”

The national conversation over health care issues has been highly crucial and controversial among Americans today. In fact, the United States federal government entered a recent shutdown from October 1 through 16, 2013 due to failed enactment of legislations to appropriate funding for the fiscal year of 2014. The primary heated issue that played a role in the shutdown revolved around issues of healthcare, which is currently, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is commonly known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare.” The historic shutdown of 2013 resulted when the two chambers of Congress failed to agree to an appropriations continuing resolution. While the Republicans pushed to delay or defund Obamacare, Democrats refused and pushed to maintain funding for Obama’s health care program.

After the government shut down over the debate about healthcare, citizens have shared common emotions of frustration over the health care debate. Issues of health care reform has the strong potential to be extremely influential among voters and their decisions in the 2016 presidential election. Presidential candidates in the upcoming election have varying plans to reform the current health care programs of America. As expected, the Democratic and Republican candidates’ proposals vary greatly, accurately representing the core beliefs of the appropriate parties. Democrats believe in the government’s responsibility to care for all peoples of America, which in turn, results in the push for a large amount of government involvement and a government, which provides healthcare to all individuals. Clinton, Warren, and O’Malley, all believe in reforming health care policies that extend the size and scope of health care to all Americans. Republicans, however, stand on the other side of the debate, urging for less government involvement in the field of health care and supporting the privatization of health care.

 

Taxes and Funding

 

Although many of the candidates have proposed a number of new programs, none of them go in depth about how they are going to raise money to fund their programs aside from implementing taxes.

Most of the Democratic candidates believe that there is a big disparity between the wealthiest individuals and the poorest and middle class and strive to cut benefits from those who are wealthier and help more of those who are in the lower classes. Hillary Clinton wants to implement progressive taxes to tax the 1% as another source of funding for her programs. Fellow Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren also shares similar views about these tax increases. She wants to cut tax expenditures for the rich and increase their tax rates.  Martin O’ Malley intends to raise taxes on corporations and Deval Patrick believes that capitalism, at the level of laissez faire, serves to make the rich, richer, and poor, poorer. He wants to place checks and balances that limit government need to regulate limitations on big businesses. He does not want to eliminate tax expenditure programs but he believes that if big businesses are able to take some slack off, then a broader portion of the public must be supported by it.

Although Sarah Palin is a Republican candidate, she also seems to have a similar goal, as she wants to exempt non-profit organizations from taxes. Her other fellow Republican candidates, however, have different beliefs. Rick Santorum plans to cut personal income taxes and reduce taxes across the board, which will reduce the federal budget and make it difficult to introduce new federally funded programs. Rand Paul does not touch upon the subject of personal income tax but he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act to reduce the costs of federal tax and save money. Paul Ryan is the one candidate who does not touch upon the subject of taxes at all.

In addition to implementing taxes to fund their programs, the Democratic candidates also intend to eliminate unnecessary spending to partially fund their programs. Hillary Clinton wants to eliminate unnecessary government programs such as international affairs, transportation, and energy to partly fund her programs. She also plans to implement a tax called “sin taxes” that will tax items that have no positive effect on one’s health such as beer, cigarettes, sugary drinks and food, etc. as an attempt to ensure that all Americans are more satisfied and healthy. O’Malley plans to reallocate current resources and eliminate sources of “ineffective spending”. However, he does not specify which government expenses he finds “ineffective” and which programs he wants to reallocate more or less money to. He does not want to have the American family bear the burden of funding his new programs because he believes the government already has enough resources.

Republican candidates, on the other hand, plan to defund programs they do not favor in order to fund the programs that they do favor. Santorum plans to repeal federal funding to Obamacare and education in order to increase funding for programs such as “Arms for an Angel”, “The Purity Pact”, “The Kickstart Plan”, and national security. He does not clearly state where the funding for each of the programs will be coming from but because he is defunding many programs, it is assumed that this money will be used towards the new programs he is planning to initiate. Like Santorum, Rand Paul also wants to repeal funding for the Affordable Care Act along with SNAP and eliminate the Department of Education, the EITC, and the corporate welfare. He believes taking away the EITC program will increase tax revenues and increase economic growth. Unlike Rand Paul, however, fellow Republican candidate Sarah Palin highly supports the refundable income tax credit (EITC) and believes that it accurately supports workers who work hard and are determined to lift themselves and their families out of poverty by allowing them to keep more of the money they earn. Although she does not support a large welfare state, she is aware that EITC aims to encourage work and award those with low wages to get a jumpstart at a better life. She believes her plan will keep Americans in the workforce because tax credits will be larger than the ones from the previous years.

Republican candidate Paul Ryan does not provide us with any information as to how he would fund all his program. However, he believes that we need to provide education and job-training programs that would help people attain work skills they need. He believes that this is a critical part In preparing America’s workforce.  Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley also shares a similar view regarding job reform. However, he does not go into detail about the idea.

The overall goal of the Democratic candidates is to raise taxes for the rich and help the middle class and the poor. Those who are of the upper class and 1% will not be very happy with the Democratic candidates’ plans to increase their taxes and decrease their expenditures. Those of the middle and lower classes, however, will be more likely to support their ideas. The overall goal of the Republican candidates is that they want Americans to stand on their own two feet rather than relying on the government for support, which means cutting funding to government aid programs in order to encourage citizens to work harder to make a living for themselves and support their families. These decisions might fare well with some of the middle and lower class but overall, the middle and lower class will not be as receptive to their plans as the upper class might be.

 

Reproductive Care and Women’s Rights

 

It is hard to believe that only three out of the eight candidates brought up issues pertaining to reproductive care and women rights. This shows how women are still greatly underrepresented in the U.S., even though it has been decades since the Women Right’s Movement was established. However, Rick Santorum, Elizabeth Warren and Sarah Palin have proposed policies that seem to benefit women of America in different ways.

Santorum has a strong stance on governing the private lives of families and their ideologies. He is planning on creating the “Purity Pact” which will be a federally funded program that will educate youth on “the positive aspect of abstinence from sex” until marriage. This program will enforce “Abstinence Only” teachings in sex education classes and promote the disuse of abortion and contraceptives. In addition to the education aspect of the Purity Pact, Santorum’s program will defend pro-life choices for unborn children. As he has done as a senator, Santorum will stand by the ideals of banning abortion and euthanasia as president. Santorum’s stance is very conservative and will not be accepted by Americans who would like less federal control on their private lives and choices, especially if they do not have the same religious values that Santorum claims to hold.

On the other hand, Warren express her concern about free contraceptives and women care. She wants to provide healthcare for all women in this country, so that they will be under the same healthcare system as everyone else. Also, she wants to eliminate fees that insurance companies charge women for being apart of their program. She feels that this is wrong, and women should not be charged extra for wanting to protect themselves from sexually transmitted disease or getting pregnant. However, Warren did not talk about her plans for funding this proposal, or what she will do to implement the changes, if she gets elected.

Sarah Palin believes that in order for children to reach their full potential as citizens, she must support programs that prevent teen pregnancies, because she believes that when minors have children, they fail to reach that full potential. This topic is incredibly important to Palin that she plans to continue to fund Personal Responsibility Education Program(PREP). The purpose of this program is to educate adolescents on abstinence as well as get them out of the idea of having a “security blanket” available to them all the time. Part of her plan is to prohibit welfare to any mother under the age of 18. The Palin campaign hopes that this action will help mothers to become motivated to care for themselves and their children without having to depend on the government. These current recipients will most likely not be in favor of this change but taxpayers will be very pleased about this.

All three candidates have different perspectives and ideologies about contraceptives and women’s rights, but Palin and Santorum seem to have similar visions. Nonetheless, they all have a plan to help provide better healthcare for women, which is important for Americans today.

 

Job Reform

 

In this election, the major emphasis for policies on job reform are created by O’Malley, Patrick, Palin, and Paul. Other candidates such as Santorum do mention it, but very vaguely without any attention to increasing jobs for Americans.

Through job reform, O’Malley intends to sustain current jobs and create new ones. decrease the rate of unemployment. He proposes to implement job skills training programs for the unemployed, low-income earners, and veterans. Job skills programs will be geared for veterans, who may suffer from unemployment due to a lack of specialized job skills for the workforce, and will set 15 years of service and/or injury in the line of duty as requirements for eligibility. Through training programs, he hopes to reduce the following negative stigmas associated with the groups of people that these programs are geared toward. O’Malley also plans to promote “green jobs,” jobs that contribute to preserving and restoring environmental quality, by providing tax benefits to companies that “go green.” In return, the companies who receive tax benefits are required to spend a certain percentage on providing additional green jobs in the company and providing training programs for those jobs.

Deval Patrick would like to create FAWA, is a program that gives incentives for certain companies and/or organizations to hire a single parent as the government will pay a portion of the single parent’s wage. This will allow for the company to retain some of the wealth generated by the worker and use it to for their own means which benefits the company if it’s struggling in the competitive industry due to funds. FAWA also benefits the single parent in poverty because it allows the parent to obtain a stable job and be able to compete for the position as they are eligible for FAWA. Expenditures are not, in total, a bad thing. They are another way of paying for benefits or services without directly extracting taxes from businesses or individuals. A percentage of wages given to unskilled workers not to exceed 60% of every dollar after minimum wage in large companies (80% for small business with fewer than 50 employees) may be claimed as a tax expenditure.

An example of a Republican candidate who does not focus on job reform in his policy is Santorum. On the contrary, Santorum does not even mention it and instead plans to create the “Kickstart Program” to decrease grant aid to social services, including decreasing aid to job training. In his policies, Santorum aims to decrease taxes across the board to all the classes, which he hopes will generate more economic prosperity and help businesses grow to lessen the unemployment rate. Santorum’s lack of attention to job reform does not help him win votes from the lower and middle class where there is high unemployment other than his lowering of taxes.

Palin’s plan is to steer the TANF Act (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) to focus on motivating recipients to go back to work. Palin believes that TANF is currently providing too much cash assistance which has led to the development of dependency of citizens on government. Palin is fully aware that removing this Act completely will not benefit anybody. Instead her plan is to request that federal government makes a requirement to have states devote thirty percent of its TANF funds to work and employment projects. States are allowed to use the funds for anything as long as they satisfy the purpose of job and work preparation. In the long run recipients will begin working more and rely less on the government which will lead to the success of citizens. In addition to TANF there is a sub amendment (MOE), a requirement for states to contribute from their own funds of at least $10.4 billion a year. Which Palin believes that requiring the states to give money to help the needy families is an “unnecessary infringement of freedom on the states.” Her plan is to have federal government provide states with the program TANF funding and it will be the states responsibility to distribute that funding to the needy families. The states will also be deciding how many families will be assisted with TANF. The TANF eligibility requirements will be contained from the original bill, at the same time majority of the eligibility will be decided on by individual states. Although money for TANF will continue to be taken from taxes there will be no additional taxes or hiked taxes to fund TANF.

Rand Paul’s goal is to provide internships and retraining programs in order for people to derive the skills they need to find jobs for themselves. These programs will help people gain valuable life skills which will give them confidence to pursue their dreams. By implementing these programs, the Rand Paul constituency believes that they are also promoting “The American Dream” ideology because as people gain more confidence, they will be more motivated and thus, work harder in order to achieve the greatest rewards for their work. Although the Rand Paul constituency suggests that there will be a job training program, they do not elaborate on what type of skills will be taught in these programs.

Through job reform, O’Malley intends to sustain current jobs and create new ones which should decrease the rate of unemployment. He proposes to implement job skills training programs for the unemployed, low-income earners, and veterans. Deval Patrick intends to install FAWA, a program that gives incentives for certain companies and/or organizations to hire a single parent as the government will pay a portion of the single parent’s wage. This will allow for the company to retain some of the wealth generated by the worker and use it to for their own means which benefits the company if it’s struggling in the competitive industry due to funds. Santorum does not focus on job reform at all. On the contrary, Santorum does not even mention it and instead plans to create the “Kickstart Program” to decrease grant aid to social services, including decreasing aid to job training. In his policies, Santorum aims to decrease taxes across the board to all the classes, which he hopes will generate more economic prosperity and help businesses grow to lessen the unemployment rate. Palin’s plan is to steer the TANF Act to focus on motivating recipients to go back to work. Palin believes that TANF is currently providing too much cash assistance which has led to the development of dependency of citizens on government. Rand Paul’s goal is to provide internships and retraining programs in order for people to derive the skills they need to find jobs for themselves. These programs will help people gain valuable life skills which will give them confidence to pursue their dreams. By implementing these programs, the Rand Paul constituency believes that they are also promoting “The American Dream” ideology because as people gain more confidence, they will be more motivated and thus, work harder in order to achieve the greatest rewards for their work.

 


 

 

The CNN Team hopes that our analysis of the candidates running for the office of President will help educate your vote during elections. As always, CNN strives to stand by our mission to  deliver accurate information to our viewers so that they are well informed at all times. Our endeavor is to remain true to the journalistic values that are the hallmark of CNN. We seek to maintain the standards of CNN’s journalistic excellence.

Old Policy Analysis

CNN’s Final Policy Analysis will compile the analyses on each of the candidates into a broadcast video. The video will consist of our anchor addressing the major analysis points from each of the candidates, quotes and footage from in-class debates, as well as on-site interviews with candidates. The draft for our analysis can be viewed below –the draft is a compilation of in-depth analyses of the policies on social welfare from each of the candidates. In addition to these candidates, the final broadcast video will also include analyses on Rand Paul and Deval Patrick.


Hillary Clinton

According to Hillary Clinton’s proposal, her main principles are to ensure the social welfare of all citizens of this nation, especially for the poor, the underrepresented students and the elder.  It is designed for those experiencing inequality through poverty, lack of education.

Some of the programs that will be implemented in order for these policies to succeed include the launch of the new system of mandatory 5% annual Taxation on the top 1 % income earners, which will allow economic inequality between the poor and the rich to be smaller; maternal and paternal Leave, which will allow both parents to enjoy their new born baby by being granted paid unworked labor; programs promoting college awareness and preparation for college which will allow uneducated individuals to learn skills so that they are willing to start an education; programs promoting for underrepresented, underprivileged, and first-generation college students, which will allow these individuals to have an easier support access from high school and college programs guiding them towards higher education; and last but not least she will implement pension reform which will allow guaranteed and easy savings account for those who are ready to retire. So the funding of these programs will be progressive taxes since the funding will be provided from those who have greater economic stability. As we can see, the ones who will benefit the most from these programs will be the poor, the elderly and underrepresented minorities. The rich and the employers of businesses will have to give up some of their profits in order for these programs to take effect which I’m sure will cause a great controversy since  I am sure that many of the rich will be in opposition to the increase of tax that will be directed towards them.

During the 2016 election, we will most likely be seeing people of minority background, college students, and the elderly voting in support of the proposal.  Minority background individuals will most likely be in favor of the continuance of welfare programs such as food stamps; college students will mostly be in favor of the encouragement of education directed towards the hardworking families and the elderly will be in favor of the guaranteed social security benefits. With the high economic and social discrepancy that exists between the rich and the poor, I am sure that the majority of the voters which will consist of minority ethnic background citizens, the elderly and college students. They will be in favor of the taxation directed towards the wealthy individuals, with the intention of decreasing inequality between these groups.

Rick Santorum

-Santorum focuses on limiting the federal government’s power in favor of giving more power to American families. He believes that the government should still have certain powers, such as funding certain plans and acts, but should not mandate policies that infringe on the rights of Americans and their privacy.

-Santorum believes in promoting unity under God by having a welfare state that strengthens American families by changing the healthcare act, creating a Made In America Plan for taxes, and many federally funded programs, such as “The Purity Pact”, which educates youth about abstinence from sex, and “Arms for an Angel” which helps provide guidance for parents looking to adopt. Most, if not all of Santorum’s plans are conservative and have religious undertones.

-In each of Santorum’s plans, his main focus is on the family making sure that the traditional, nuclear family structure is brought back into the American culture. Santorum does not address issues faced by single-parent homes and families, which makes up a large percentage of the average American home, in comparison to the outdated traditional nuclear family.

-In one of his plans, the “Kick Start Plan,” Santorum aims to lessen funding provided to social services such as Medicaid, housing and job training in order to “let go of the hands of the American people so that they may begin to swim on their own in the ocean we call America.” This plan decreases the money allocated to welfare states drastically. The positive consequence of this may be that the few Americans that rely on the social services unfairly may begin to look for jobs. Thee negative consequence, which is far greater than the positive outcome, is that many people that need social services such as housing in order to provide for their families will not be able to depend on government social services anymore, and may not have the means to provide from elsewhere.

-In Santorum’s “Made in America” Plan, Rick plans on cutting, reducing, and lowering taxes in order to “return to a Reagan era pro-growth tax rate” and foster economic prosperity. The tax cuts across the board may help middle-class and lower-class Americans, but will be problematic for small businesses because larger businesses will also be given tax cuts in order to prosper. Santorum’s view on taxes in order to return to an era of prosperity is very simplistic and problematic.

-Santorum’s views will not be accepted by everyone –especially his Academic Freedom Plan which incorporates an abstinence only program and reducing federal education spending. The “Purity Pact” will only be accepted by individuals that have a religious background. Additionally, reducing federal education spending in order to increase parents’ involvement in the education of their children will not be possible in single-parent households or in households where there is unemployment and the families are facing financial difficulties. Santorum is targeting traditional families which are no longer consist of the average American families.

Sarah Palin

  • Palin’s plan focuses on the importance of individuals working hard in order to create a society where everyone creates their own wealth and happiness

  • For now TANF provides a basic grant of $16.5 billion every year which will decrease beginning in 2018

  • In addition to TANF there is a sub amendment (MOE), a requirement for states to contribute from their own funds of at least $10.4 billion a year

  • Which Palin believes that requiring the states to give money to help the needy families is an “unnecessary infringement of freedom on the states.”

  • Her plan is to have federal government provide states with the program TANF funding and it will be the states responsibility to distribute that funding to the needy families

  • The states will also be deciding how many families will be assisted with TANF

  • Palin wants states to devote 30% of federal TANF funds to promoting job preparation in the recipient

  • The TANF eligibility requirements will be contained from the original bill, at the same time majority of the eligibility will be decided on by individual states

  • Although money for TANF will continue to be taken from taxes there will be no additional taxes or hiked taxes to fund TANF

  • Palin has supported the Earned Income Taxes Credit (EITC) since 2008 and this program aims to support low and middle income workers both individuals and couples with children

  • This program was created to assist those low wage workers who strived to pull themselves and their families out of poverty with refundable federal tax income credit

  • Palin wants to fund American’s chance to success by encouraging work through earned income tax credit

  • She believes her plan will keep Americans in the workforce because tax credits will be larger than the ones from the previous years

  • Federal government has created for earned income and adjust gross income be less than $46,227/$51,567 with three or more children, $43,038 /$48,378 with two children, $37,870/ $43,210 with one child and $14,340/ $19,680 with no children

  • This plan will make Americans make their own money rather than depending on government assistance

  • Stronger restrictions on food stamps will be put into effect in which there will be limitations for single adults between the ages 18-50 who are unemployed

  • These individuals will receive benefits for three months every three years and still be able to receive benefits after the three months as long as they are working at least part time or are participating in workfare training slot; which will not be provided with funds

  • Furthermore Palin’s plan affirms the importance of condensing out of wedlock pregnancies and child bearing

  • Palin strongly believes that when minors have children they fail to reach their full potential as citizens which is why she refuses to support teen pregnancies

  • This topic is incredibly important to Palin that she plans to continue to fund Personal Responsibility Education Program(PREP)

  • The purpose of this program is to educate adolescence on abstinence as well as contraception and adulthood preparation

  • This program will purposely be funded by regressive tax only because of the exaggerating prove of majority of pregnancies occurring in low income citizens

  • Palin plans on keeping workers compensation as is

  • By ensuring that companies keep people employed they will no longer be able to fire them simply because there is no light work

  • If this does occur employees will be awarded with disability insurance until they are able to physically perform well in their jobs

  • In order for companies not to be taken advantage of; the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud will receive tax exceptions

  • Palin’s main purpose is to encourage work and personal responsibility by extending the 2003 Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers

Martin O’Malley

Main Principles and Themes

The main theme of O’Malley’s proposal is the modern American family, which he believes is no longer the classic nuclear family of the past. His emphasizes that all his policies point back to the new American family and that they are created to protect and empower the family, and ensure that family members reach their full potential. The main principles of his Policy Proposal are job reform, education reform, healthcare, public assistance, and civil rights.

  • The goal of job reform is to slow down increasing unemployment rates and reduce the stigma associated with the unemployed, low-income earners, and veterans. Programs include:

    • Implementing job skills training among the unemployed, especially those in lower socioeconomic strata, and among veterans

    • Promoting “green jobs,” jobs that better the environment, by giving tax benefits to companies that “go green”

  • The goal of education reform is to help children reach academic success and find self-fulfillment personally and academically. He looks to strengthen the education system. Programs include:

    • Providing universal pre-kindergarten education

    • Investing in well-paid, credited teachers and other school staff and ensuring subject-matter competency of teachers, as well as giving cultural diversity training

    • Concentrating funding on schools in lower-class neighborhoods

    • Increasing funding for extracurricular activities and the creation of after-school programs that help with homework and understanding class material

    • Putting a greater emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields to inspire youth to strive for jobs in those fields

    • Implementing college-preparatory programs and lowering tuition for higher education

    • Introducing “Skills 2 Compete” (job skills training in college)

  • The goal of healthcare reform is to relieve people of “outrageous costs” of healthcare and the stress and insecurity it creates among American families. O’Malley hopes to promote investments as a result of expanded health care. Programs include:

    • Creating a National Health Service, universal coverage provided and directly controlled by the Federal government

  • O’Malley also strongly supports public assistance programs in order to help families succeed. These programs are:

    • Food stamps – expanding eligibility of food stamps and availability at more locations with more healthy options

    • Old age-pensions – providing benefits to those in the workforce who have reached the age of 65 and providing pensions that will give a percentage of their pay

    • Poverty policies – expanding income supplements, and TANF

    • Unemployment policies – helping the unemployed find new jobs through relocation and aid in further education/ qualification; improving job sectors where unemployment rates are increasing

    • Paid parental leaves – providing paid leave for primary caregivers of the child (married or single) and childcare

  • O’Malley looks to expand civil rights by recognizing gay marriage

Programs

Size of Proposed Welfare State

O’Malley hopes to create a fairly large welfare state. This is a larger welfare state, one that has a larger scope and size, than the current welfare state of America in 2013. He shoots for universalism in terms of the education reform, the healthcare reform, and public assistance. Although his entire education reform program applies to all American education systems, he hopes to concentrate the program on those in the lower socioeconomic strata.

Potential Positive/ Negative Consequences of the Welfare State

The positive consequences of his planned policies are that it increases a sense of community among all Americans. It also eases the strain among American families and individuals in regards to finance. It alleviates stress about financial insecurity, healthcare, income during pregnancy leaves, quality education and health care, periods of unemployment and retirement.

Other positive consequences include:

  • Increased public acceptance of the planned policies

  • Extended coverage to those who were not previously qualified for assistance and in general, to those who are in need

  • Prevention of racialization of means-tested programs and black stigmatization by welfare receipt, now that the welfare state is essentially extended to everyone

  • General rise in quality of health among Americans

  • Creation of new jobs in health care, child care, education

On the other hand, negative consequences include:

  • Potential insufficient funding of extensive social welfare programs due to weak and inadequate plans for financial backing

  • Unnecessary aid to those who are not in need and as a result, lack of concentration on those who need governmental support the most (individuals and families of lower socioeconomic status)

  • Loss of jobs in private health care sector

Some consequences that can be viewed as positive/negative, depending on the viewpoint:

  • Fall of organized interests, potential decrease of private programs

  • Unlimited dependence on government benefits (no time limits and sanctions)

Winners and Losers

The main winners of O’Malley’s policy proposal are those who are of lower socioeconomic status. Others include the unemployed, veterans, new parents, gay couples, children at the pre-kindergarten level. The losers of O’Malley’s policy proposal are mainly those of the highest socioeconomic strata and private program providers, such as private insurers.

Funding

O’Malley’s policy proposal plans to fund the desired programs by doing three things:

  1. Re-allocating resources that we already have

  2. Eliminating sources of spending that are ineffective and unnecessary

  3. Putting a more intense progressive tax system into action and making corporations pay more taxes

The policy proposal does not address any other means of funding nor does it address the inclusion of tax expenditures for social welfare aims.

Politics

Social/ Interest Groups, Proponents/Opponents

Interest groups that will be supportive of O’Malley’s policy proposal include those in the medical profession (medical interest groups, including pharmaceutical companies and insurers), the elderly, individuals of lower income, new parents, the unemployed, veterans, LGBT activists.

O’Malley’s policy proposal is completely democratic, resulting in large and strong republican opposition. His policy proposal goes against the core beliefs of the Republican party. His policies will result in the creation of a large government in which many Americans will be dependent on its programs and the formation of a more progressive tax system.

Visible/ Understandable

The programs being proposed are very visible and understandable. However, they’re not very specific as to what kind of financial backing will support them. There are certain objectives mentioned in the policy proposal that are not addressed by the programs implemented, such as diminishing the stigma associated with unemployed and low-income workers.

Voter Response

The large majority of Americans will respond positively to the taxation implementation in O’Malley’s policy proposal. The only ones that will be in opposition to the proposal are the highest income earners and those affiliated with corporations.

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren’s main principle and theme of the welfare state are the inequality and the misuse of tax payer’s money. She wants to shift the power structure between citizens and elites so that one group will not have more authority over the other. In addition, Warren wants to expand healthcare coverage to all Americans, especially those who cannot afford regular healthcare.

When it comes to Universal Healthcare, Warren wants to establish a program that will allow citizens to have access to free healthcare. This program will allow citizens to get the help they need, without having to worry about the bills. Also, Warren wants to create a college loan reform to lower student’s interest rates. It will be a great way for students to go to college without having to worry about money, and/or have regrets about pursuing a higher education.

In addition to providing free healthcare and decreasing student loans interest rate, Warren propose to lower housing discrimination amongst colored people by creating a housing reform. This will give minorities the opportunity to live in nice neighbourhoods, and find homes at affordable rates. Furthermore, she wants to propose a raise in minimum wage to close the gap because the rich and poor. Warren’s proposal will give those who are making minimum wage a chance to change their life and remove themselves from poverty.

However, in order to fund her proposed policies, she wants to end tax expenditures for those who are rich and increase tax rates. Will this help her assist the poor or deepen their taxes?  On the other hand, Warren stated that redistribution of aids will help fund more programs, which will help pay for the health care system. One positive outcome is that families from low income backgrounds will benefit from the low to no cost in health care, since the government will be able to take care of their bills. Conversely, the increase in taxes may affect voters decisions because many of them are apart of the 99%.

It is obvious that the Warren Campaign is targeting the younger generation, and people from low income background to win the campaign. A lot of her policies are aimed towards college students and families who are struggling financially. I believe that her voters will come from individuals with disadvantaged backgrounds, and students who are struggling to survive from their college loans.

Paul Ryan:

http://paulryancampaign2016.wordpress.com/blog/

  • Being American no longer holds the same influence as it once has because the American Dream has been slowly declining

  • Recent welfare reform is the blame for the destruction of the foundations of what it means to be American

  • These reform programs have passed under the notion of helping the American people when they actually hurt them because the government cares more about how much money is spent on the welfare system rather than who is actually benefiting from it

  • Wants to revisit revolutionary reforms made in 1996 and to use it to create a welfare system that actually help the American people as well as help move them out of the system instead of allowing them to depend on it

  • Speaks positively of Clinton’s system in 1996 that reduced poverty rates and led to a decrease in child poverty rates by 20 percent in the following four years

  • Wants the state to have the power of funding allocation of various welfare programs

  • “The American people do not simply need government provided money, food and shelter. The American people need a means to create their own money, food and shelter.”

  • Aside from the 1996 reform, welfare programs have supported the lazy American lifestyle that depends on the government to handle all of their problems rather than trying to take responsibility for it

  • Plan for reform: issuing select funding in block grants to the states, creating a bracketed system that emphasizes employment in the family, and providing aid that will encourage recipients to one day get out of the system

  • Welfare Programs:

    • Majorly focusing on Medicaid (public health insurance for the poor)

    • There are high unemployment and poverty rates in our economy right now thus, most people will not be able to afford insurance

    • By 2020, it is expected that 8% of federal spending will go to Medicaid

    • Will also focus on Medicare (public health insurance for the elderly)

    • The problem with the system is that health care providers are reimbursed for services, thus they will sometimes order additional unnecessary tests so that the costs will be higher and they can maximize their share

      • Must fix this problem first

    • 17% of federal spending will go towards Medicare by 2020

    • Food Stamp Program will be funded by the large portion of the budget but not as large as in the past to motivate people to not depend on it

    • Social Security will be responsible for 22% of federal spending by 2020

    • Will focus on increasing the 2% that education currently receives from federal funding

    • Want to fix immigration system because there is a large number of undocumented immigrants living in America illegally

      • 1st: strictly secure borders and prevent lenient entry/exit visa tracking

      • 2nd: established laws must strictly be followed or others will see weakness in government control and more laws will domino effect

      • 3rd: legal immigration must be encouraged and enforced

        • Guest-Worker Programs: employers would be able to hire skillful workers to come on a temporary card, when they are unable to find an American to do the job

      • 4th: must not offer illegal immigrants any federal benefits and encourage them to get right by our laws before expecting any assistance

    • Child support

    • Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act: Paul Ryan does not believe in this legislation

  • Education Reform:

    • Financial aid (Pell Grants) and loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) should be reinstated to those currently attending college

    • Wants to make college more affordable

    • Less financial aid = decrease in tuition = those who can afford college would be able to go to college

      • Pell Grants eligibility would be tightened.

    • Should regulate how loans are given out to students to ensure our nation from going into more debt

      • Should cut out subsidized loans completelyand have a steady interest rate of 3.4%

      • Offer more unsubsidized loans

    • Students should pay off their unsubsidized loans while they are in still in school

      • Will ensure that college students will be less likely to be in debt once they are out of school

      • Could help our economy and inflation rates

    • Issues regarding finiancial aid and loans should be regulated more tightly

  • Social Security:

    • Sunstainability of social security in the future is problematic because the rate of citizens leaving the workforce is higher than those entering it

    • The latest social security trustees report informs that by 2033, beneficiaries will face a 23% cut

    • Paul Ryan aims to require the president and congress to submit his own plan to fend off the impending doom of depleted funds

    • Ryan’s budget plan:

      • low income seniors should receive better targeted assistance than those who have had ample time to save for retirement

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):

    • aims to save this program through reform

    • wants to reform and cut funding to SNAP so that Americans will stop relying on the program and be “spoon-fed” by their government and learn to rely on themselves

    • SNAP program promotes government dependency and thus, poverty itself

    • Ryan campaign SNAP changes:

      • 1. Help reduce the amount of fraud, and misuse that plagues this program

      • 2. Make eligibility requirements stricter to limit its benefits to those in true need of its services so as to reduce waste

      • 3. Regulate the types of purchases that can be made with SNAP dollars so as to address the N in SNAP- Nutrition

      • 4. Require all states to implement strict work requirements for every able-bodied adult on the program to slowly transform the program from a way of life to one that should only do what its own name claims to- supplement, and not sustain

    • target fraud abuse of program by making eligibility requirements stricter would limit SNAP benefits to the truly needy

    • Wants to improve the nutrition of those benefiting from SNAP by regulating the kinds of food that may be purchased with SNAP money

      • limited to: whole grains, soy, tofu, whole grain cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, etc.

      • Candy, soda, processed foods, etc. will be prohibited

    • Courses in food preperation will be offered to families so they can feed their families in a healthy way

    • Wants to save and keep SNAP but many changes need to be made to improve their effectiveness

  • Funding:

    • President Obama has made things worse instead of reviving and improving our economy and government

    • Need to address the problem of unemployment in order for America to thrive again

      • need education and job-training systems that wuold help people get the work skills they need to get back on track

        • critical in preparing America’s workforce

    • Reducing funding on certain welfare programs will help our citizens gain a better standard of living

    • Must stop relying on the government to fix issues and put the power back to the hands of the citizens

    • Government should not stand in the way and create obstacles for small businesses because they are the backbone of the economy beacuse more than half our jobs come from these small businesses

    • Cannot fund all programs because of the country’s growing debt but the programs that they will fund will those that help the country and really value improving the lives of citizens

    • We cannot keep spending money that we don’t have


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