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THE ISSUES / TAXES & SPENDING
The Candidates:
• George W. Bush
• John Kerry
• Ralph Nader
• Third Parties
Showdown States:
The Conventions:
• Democratic
• Republican


<img src="http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/ELECTION/2004/special/president/issues/images/new.issues/noflash.nav.issues.byissue.gif" width="622" height="53" usemap="#IssuesMap" border="0" hspace="0" vspace="0">
Editor's note: This chart features brief summaries of candidates' viewpoints on some issues, based on their statements and records. Most candidates have offered more comprehensive explanations of their positions on these and other issues. More information may be found on their campaign Web sites.
Social Security
State fiscal crisis
Tax cuts
Budget deficits
Job creation
Supports investing some Social Security taxes in stocks
Allocated funds to help states pay increased security costs
Signed two tax cut bills so far; more tax cuts unlikely
Reduce deficit by holding spending increases to 4 percent
Says 2001, 2003 tax cuts have helped keep economy going
Opposes privatizing Social Security
Give priority to giving states fiscal aid to resolve crises
Repeal tax cuts for wealthy; increase child tax credit
Undo deficit trend with eye on corporate loopholes, spending
Assist small businesses; train workers; infrastructure jobs
Calls retirement fund "solid," says no immediate changes needed
Notes state crises, points to misplaced federal tax/spending priorities
Increase corporate taxes; tax stock, bond sales; retain estate tax
Sharply criticizes Bush deficits, urges Ross Perot to speak out
Amend trade pacts including NAFTA, fund public works projects, reform bureaucracy
Social Security
State fiscal crisis
Tax cuts
Budget deficits
Job creation
NOTE
• AG: Attorney General; ANWR: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; CAFÉ: Standards that provide tax and other incentives for consumers to purchase and alternative fuel vehicles; COPS: Community Oriented Policing Program; DOMA: Defense of Marriage Act; GLBT: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered; NCLB: No Child Left Behind; NMD: National Missile Defense.
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