In this weeks post, I rank the candidates in terms of their positions on federal spending/taxation along with their general approach to improving the US economy.
Foreign Policy Rankings: Paul 96, Thompson 94, Obama 87, McCain 86, Giuliani 85, Romney 82, Huckabee 79, Clinton 79, Edwards 77
Health Policy Rankings: Huckabee 94, Paul 91, Giuliani 88, Thompson 87, McCain 87, Romney 86, Obama 79, Clinton 77, Edwards 76
1. Ron Paul 94%
Paul wants to reduce the size of the federal government by cutting non-constitutional departments (and saving $500B/year with his non-interventionists foreign policy). He believes the government should have to balance its budget by law. Paul has never voted for a tax increase and, in fact, calls for a flat tax of 0%. He thinks we should return to the gold standard.
2. Rudy Giuliani 90%
Giuliani has a successful record of cutting spending and taxes in NYC. He believes all federal programs should be temporary. Giuliani has a 1 page 'simple' tax return available for viewing on his campaign website. He believes lower taxes for the rich equals a better economy.
3. Fred Thompson 89%
Thompson believes the federal government should be forced to balance its budget. He voted yes on across the board reductions in government spending. He believes the progressive tax ultimately hurts the economy. We should dissolve the IRS as we know it and require a super majority (60%) to pass new taxes into law.
4. Mitt Romney 89%
Romney thinks there should be line-item veto power in the executive branch. The Bush tax-cuts should be made permanent. The fair tax is flawed. New taxes should require a 60% vote to pass into law. To improve our economy we must limit regulations and let businesses negotiate their own overseas trading.
5. Mike Huckabee 88%
Huckabee supports the executive branch line-item veto. He ran a $845M surplus in the Arkansas government, but with a $505M net increase in taxes. He is for eliminating the income tax and replacing it with a fair tax in which consumption is taxed roughly 23%. Each household would receive a monthly rebate check to compensate for poverty level purchases.
6. John McCain 84%
We must stop earmarks and pork-barrel spending. McCain voted for reducing spending in the federal government. He originally voted against the Bush tax-cuts, but now wishes to make them permanent. We should ban internet and cell-phone tax and require a 60% super-majority to bring any new tax into law. McCain thinks unions are often out of control. He is pro NAFTA.
7. Barack Obama 82%
Federal spending increases should always be accompanied by cuts in other budget areas. We must stop pork-barrel spending. Obama, however, voted against reducing federal spending amounts. We should restore the progressive tax more and more, raise the minimum wage, create universal broad-band internet access and protect US intellectual property overseas.
8. Hillary Clinton 76%
New funding should be matched by budget cuts. She voted no on reducing overall federal spending. She voted against the Bush tax cuts, but promises to keep them for the middle class. We should keep the estate tax. New jobs from the clean energy industry will help boost the economy. She will work to strengthen unions.
9. John Edwards 73%
Edwards plans to add more agencies and programs to the federal government. He believes, in fact, that the federal budget is a moral document (we must aid overseas crisis at the federal level). He voted no on spending cuts. He voted against the Bush tax cuts. He voted against abolishing the marriage penalty. He wants to raise the minimum wage to $9.50. He thinks unions are what made great jobs great. He wants to create 1 million housing vouchers to help poor families move to better neighborhoods and rescue current foreclosures.