— -- Get a quick read on where Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore stand on the issues that are important to you.
Gore: Has made curbing the spread of nuclear weapons one ofthe top priorities of his political career. Was a key playerin White House defense planning; during his Senateyears earned a reputation as hawkish on defense. Backsdevelopment of a limited missile-defense system. Wouldup defense spending by $127 billion over 10 years.
Bush: Backs creation of a national missile-defense system.Supports increasing military budget $20 billion overfive years for investing in military technology.Promises to review all current military deploymentswith an eye toward cutting back on unnecessaryinvolvements. Supports a $750-a-year pay raise fortroops.
Gore: Proposes the creation of tax-free “lifelong learning savings accounts.” Opposes use of federal aid to sendchildren to private schools, but backs expansion of charter and magnet schools. Calls for increased use of high-tech in schools. Backs bilingual education.
Bush: Plans to make education a centerpiece of his campaign. Increased funds for public education in Texas. Boasts of fixing the state education system,with low-income and minority test scores rising for five years in a row under his watch. Supports federally required state testing of schools and public disclosureof results. Supports using federal money for vouchers for low-income students who attend schools failing to meet state standards.
Gore: Wants to use budget surplus to bail out Social Securityand Medicare. Proposes tax-free voluntary retirement accounts to buildupon Social Security. Wants to expand existing programs to give long-termcaregivers a $3,000 tax credit.
Bush: Supports letting taxpayers invest at least some oftheir payroll taxes in the stock market or private,interest-bearing savings accounts. Bush has not closed the door on whether the retirement age might need to be raised from 65 to 67 to keep system solvent, which Gore uses against him.