Presidential Candidates in the USA
The American presidential elections will be held on November 8, 2016. There are two Democrats and three Republicans still in the running for their party’s presidential nomination. The presidential hopefuls in the Democratic side are Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich are competing for the Republican presidential nomination.
Background on the Candidates
John Kasich won his first election at age 24 where he captured a state senate seat. He has spent almost two decades in Congress and was re-elected as the Ohio governor by an astounding 30 points. He aided in the writing of the country’s balanced budget in 1997 after several years of having an unbalanced budget. The governor has also written three New York Times bestsellers.
Ted Cruz became a U.S. Senator for Texas in 2013. He gained national recognition by attempting to defund Obama care during the budget negotiations. The result was a government shutdown in the fall of 2013.
Donald Trump is a brash business mogul who’s racial and sexist comments as well as his enormous wealth have catapulted him into celebrity status in the presidential running.
Hillary Clinton is perhaps the best-known candidate in the presidential race. Voters know her from her time as the First Lady, as a secretary of state, as a U.S. Senator as well as her presidential bid in 2008.
Bernie Sanders is the most liberal candidate in the presidential elections. He has been a senator for Vermont from 2007, prior to which he worked in the House of Representatives for 16 years. He has described himself as a democratic socialist and has championed liberal causes such as the expansion of Social Security, and opposition to free trade for several years now.
Views on Different Issues
Income and Class Inequality/ Redistribution of Wealth
The candidates have different stands on some of the issues affecting the North American country. Income and class inequality in urban spaces is one of the major issues that Americans want to see addressed by the next president. Clinton opines that income and class inequality can be eradicated through provision of affordable college, universal prekindergarten and paid family leave. She would also like to increase the wages for the middle class to bridge the gap and redistribute wealth to the poor and middle class.
Sanders has the most aggressive plan to reduce income and class inequality. If elected president, the minimum wage will be raised to $15. There will also be a $5 billion federal youth employment program specifically aimed at colored youths. The wealthy will be taxed higher, free college, and low-interest student loans that are paid by Wall Street transactions (Cain, 2016).
Trump, despite being extremely wealthy, would also like to see the wealthy paying more taxes. He also supports the idea of middle class tax breaks. According to Trump’s plans, low-income Americans will not owe any income taxes. However, his idea of everyone paying the same rate of tax might not address the issue of inequality comprehensively (Cain, 2016).
Ted Cruz believes that lower taxes and loosen some regulations to reduce the inequality. He does not believe in government intervention as it exacerbates income inequality. John Kasich does not believe in the redistribution of wealth in the U.S. he argues that the profound inequality in the country is related to the skills of the underprivileged and not necessarily the tax policy. When elected president, he will institute policies that will incentivize the people at the bottom to work more and ensure they are not punished for being successful.
Democrats are in support for the increase in the minimum wage while the Republican candidates are against an increase in the minimum wage (Kashen, 2015). Clinton was against the increase of the minimum wage to $15 an hour and would rather have it at $12 from $7.25. She does not support the larger figure because she does not think it was sustainable. However, she acknowledges that the minimum wage can be increased to $15 in certain places such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York City.
Trump believes that the increase in wages would make the country less competitive across the globe and it would leave many Americans jobless. Kasich has ruled out any federal minimum wage increases while Cruz opines that any increase would lead to job losses. Cruz believes that increases in the minimum wage hurts the most vulnerable people in the country.
Handling of Powerful Corporations
Hillary Clinton says she will rewrite the American tax code so that companies no longer have the ability to shelter their profits overseas. She also wants to rein in Wall Street with policies that are more effective than the Dodd-Frank Act is. Sanders declares that he will enact laws that will close all the loopholes that allow corporations to shift their profits as well as their jobs abroad in order to avoid paying taxes. Both Sanders and Trump are against the North American Free Trade Agreement and other similar free trade arrangements, with both believing that such agreements lead to loss of American jobs. Thus, they would both want to see such agreements done away with. Kasich and Cruz are also on the same page on how to handle powerful corporations. The candidates agree that tax loopholes used in the evasion of tax by corporations must be sealed immediately.
Cain, C. (2016, Jan 26). Presidential Candidates Flunk on Income Inequality. Huffington Post. Retrieved on 18/4/2016 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cody-cain/the-presidential-candidates-flunk-on-income-inequality_b_9061916.html
Kashen, J. (2015, Nov 18). Where the candidates stand on minimum wage. CNBC. Retrieved on 18/4/2016 from http://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/17/where-the-candidates-stand-on-minimum-wage-commentary.html