Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Tuesday Feature

From the Tribune's Compare The Candidates feature:


Hillary Rodham Clinton: Voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq but says she wouldn't have done so if she knew then what she knows now. Opposed troop increase. Says she would order military leaders to develop a plan that would start bringing U.S. troops home within the first 60 days of her administration. However, she has not committed to a withdrawal timetable and says some troops will have to remain to continue fighting terrorism in Iraq and the region.

Barack Obama: Opposed the war from the start and opposed the troop increase. Promises that as president he would immediately begin to remove U.S. troops. Would bring out one or two combat brigades per month until all were withdrawn within 16 months. Would keep some troops in Iraq to protect U.S. diplomats and to fight Al Qaeda if necessary.

Health care
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Keep existing coverage or access the same private insurance options that their Members of Congress receive through a new Health Choices Menu.

Barack Obama: Create a new national health plan to allow individuals without access to affordable insurance coverage to buy coverage similar to that available to members of Congress.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Supports permanently ending marriage penalty, extending the lower-income tax rates and providing a deduction for college tuition

Barack Obama: Increase the number of working parents eligible for Earned Income Tax Credits, increase the benefit available to parents who support their children through child support payments and reduce the marriage penalty.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Supports the DREAM Act, which provides a path to citizenship through military service or higher education.

Barack Obama: Supports new employment eligibility verification system and the Citizenship Promotion Act to ensure fair immigration application fees.

Gay marriage

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Opposes same-sex marriage, favors civil unions. Says it's a state issue.

Barack Obama: Opposes same-sex marriage, supports civil unions.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Supports a $50 billion Strategic Energy Fund, paid for in part by oil companies, to fund investments in alternative energy.

Barack Obama: Supports implementing an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the level recommended by top scientists.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Seeks to reopen North American Free Trade Agreement to strengthen enforcement of labor and environmental standards.

Barack Obama: Seeks to reopen NAFTA to strengthen enforcement of labor and environmental standards.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Supports abortion rights, but says "pro-choice" does not mean "pro-abortion." Has called abortion "a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women," and urged better sex education to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Barack Obama: Supports abortion rights. Urges efforts to reduce teen pregnancy, "making it less likely for women to find themselves in these circumstances."

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Proposes stimulus package of up to $110 billion, including $40 billion in tax rebates, a $30 billion fund to help states and cities deal with housing foreclosures, a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and a five-year interest-rate freeze on subprime mortgages.

Barack Obama: Wants to use $75 billion in tax cuts and direct spending to stimulate the economy. Would provide immediate $250 tax cut to workers and their families, and an immediate, temporary $250 bonus to seniors in their Social Security checks.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Wants prekindergarten for all 4-year-olds. Opposes performance-based merit pay for teachers, favors incentives for teachers in high-need places and subjects. Supported No Child Left Behind accountability law but says it has not been properly financed or run.

Barack Obama: Would encourage but not require universal prekindergarten. Wants to reward teachers with higher pay not tied to standardized test scores. Wants to change No Child Left Behind "so that we're not just teaching to a test and crowding out programs like art and music."

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