As the world awaits the next WikiLeaks whistleblower dump of much-coveted truth before voters must decide among the crop of 2016 presidential candidates who may succeed Barack Obama, it seems appropriate to focus on their publicly stated positions regarding two major issues: security and economy.
What do the 2016 presidential candidates, Clinton, Johnson, Stein, and Trump, aim to accomplish on the big issue of national security?
Hillary Clinton’s official website states that “[t]he threat we face from terrorism is real, urgent, and knows no boundaries. Horrific attacks like the ones in Paris, Brussels, Orlando, and San Bernardino have made it all too clear: It is not enough to contain ISIS and the threat of radical jihadism—we have to defeat it.”
Clinton’s first item on the plan to defeat them is “[t]ake out ISIS’s stronghold in Iraq and Syria,” and she would do this by “[i]ntensifying the coalition air campaign against ISIS fighters, leaders, and infrastructure” as well as by “[s]tepping up support for local Arab and Kurdish forces on the ground and coalition efforts to protect civilians.”
The Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, has taken a big poke during the 2016 presidential race at current and previous administration meddling and “regime change” ideas. The former governor cites military analysts who have “concluded that the rise of ISIS can actually be traced back to instability created by our meddling in the affairs of others.”
“This is because the last several administrations, both Republican and Democrat, have used our military resources to pursue undemocratic regime changes, embark on impossible nation-building exercises, and to establish the United States as the policeman of the world.”
Johnson’s official website makes clear his viewpoint on national security.
“The objective of both our foreign policy and our military should be straightforward: To protect us from harm and to allow us to exercise our freedoms.”
Johnson takes a look at the decades past on this issue and understands we are not making ourselves “safer.”
“Looking back over the past couple of decades, it is difficult to see how the wars we have waged, the interventions we have conducted, the lives sacrificed, and the trillions of tax dollars we have spent on the other side of the globe have made us safer. If anything, our meddling in the affairs of other nations has made us less safe.”
Dr. Jill Stein’s official website states her position on security. Under the title of “Peace and Human rights,” Dr. Stein states that she would focus on the establishment of “a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights.”
But Stein has more to add, and it is not the usual political notions heard among the 2016 presidential candidates.
“End the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire. Stop U.S. support and arms sales to human rights abusers, and lead on global nuclear disarmament.”
Businessman Donald Trump’s official website has listed seven goals for national security, but here are just two of them.
“Invest in a serious missile defense system to meet growing threats by modernizing our Navy’s cruisers and procuring additional, modern destroyers to counter the ballistic missile threat from Iran and North Korea.”
Another big goal from Trump concerns cyber warfare.
“Emphasize cyber warfare and require a comprehensive review from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all relevant federal agencies to find and mitigate our cyber vulnerabilities. We will invest in the offensive cyber capabilities we require.”
And, as a businessman among the crop of the 2016 presidential candidates, it seems helpful that Trump also finds a concern about paying for the goals he has in mind. Auditing the Pentagon is interesting.
“Pay for this necessary rebuilding of our national defense by conducting a full audit of the Pentagon, eliminating incorrect payments, reducing duplicative bureaucracy, collecting unpaid taxes, and ending unwanted and unauthorized federal programs.”
What do the 2016 presidential candidates, Clinton, Johnson, Stein, and Trump, aim to accomplish if elected to succeed Obama on the big issue of the economy?
Reversing the candidates this time, here are the 2016 presidential candidates’ viewpoints beginning with Trump’s official concerns.
“Over the last seven years, 14 million more people have left the labor force,” states Trump. “The lowest labor force participation rate since the 1970s.”
A few more points he observes concern the increasing number of Americans on Food Stamps, up by 12 million more he states, ever since President Obama was sworn into office.
He also notes the damage done to Latino and African-American families, with “[two] million more Latinos are in poverty today than when President Obama took his oath of office less than eight years ago. [And] 45% of African-American children under 6 are living in poverty.”
Out of work or in jail, states the Trump website are “1 in 6 American men between the ages of 18-34,” while “[s]tudent loan debt exceeds $1.3 trillion — nearly doubling under the Obama administration.”
His solutions are to “reform” current policies and create “an America-First trade policy” as well as to push “an unleashed American energy plan” in order to force “a dynamic booming economy which will create 25 million new jobs over the next decade.”
Dr. Stein’s economic plan, from her site, is aiming to set up what she calls a “Just Economy” for Americans.
“Set a $15/hour federal minimum wage. Break up ‘too-big-to-fail’ banks and democratize the Federal Reserve. Reject gentrification as a model of economic development. Support development of worker and community cooperatives and small businesses.”
Dr. Stein would also deal with “big corporations and Wall Street.”
“Make Wall Street, big corporations, and the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Create democratically run public banks and utilities. Replace corporate trade agreements with fair trade agreements.”
Former New Mexico Governor Johnson’s positions on the economy, are also enlightening set among the 2016 presidential candidates.
“Today, the reason so much corruption and power thrive in Washington, D.C., is that powerful corporate interests actually benefit from over-regulation. After all, they have the resources to comply with onerous laws. But for the average American, entrepreneur, or small businessperson, they don’t have teams of high-priced attorneys to help them navigate the bureaucracy.”
As a governor, his plan was to incentivize growth.
“We simply need to apply common sense to regulatory policy. Let’s get rid of the unnecessary laws and taxes that syphon the resources businesses use to create the jobs we need.”
And Clinton’s website points to her promises for the economy if she makes it to the office of the president.
She has a “five-point plan,” per the website information, but the big one is her “100-days jobs plan.”
“Break through Washington gridlock to make the boldest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II. Hillary will fight to pass a plan in her first 100 days in office to invest in infrastructure, manufacturing, research and technology, clean energy, and small businesses. She will strengthen trade enforcement, and she’ll say no to trade deals like TPP that don’t meet a high enough bar of creating good-paying jobs.”
Maybe choosing the next leader from among the 2016 presidential candidates has been a problem. Hopefully, this story helps.
[Featured Image by Mark Lennihan/AP Images]