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Positions Held by Democratic Candidate Clinton

By Ronald Brownstein
Los Angeles Times

Here is a look at Democratic Gov. Bill Clinton's positions:

Abortion

decision guaranteeing the right to abortion and says that he would sign the bill pending in Congress to prevent states from barring abortion.

* Promises in his first week in office to rescind the gag order that severely restricts abortion counseling in federally funded clinics.

AIDS

* Promises to fully implement recommendations of National Commission on AIDS.

* Would increase funding for AIDS research, prevention and education, and promises to speed federal approval of AIDS drugs.

Civil Rights

* Supported the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which overturns recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions weakening affirmative action, and promises aggressive efforts to recruit minorities and women into government.

Crime

* Supports the death penalty and has carried out four executions as governor.

* Supports the Brady bill, a ban on assault weapons and a program to buy back weapons, particularly those held by young people.

* Promises to put 100,000 new police officers on the streets through his national service plan (see education) and a program that would allow military personnel to earn up to five years' credit toward their government pension by serving as police officers after leaving the armed forces.

* Says government should provide treatment on demand for addicts, increase anti-drug education efforts in the schools and create boot camps for first-time non-violent drug offenders.

Deficit

* Says that he will cut the deficit by more than half over the next four years -- to $141 billion by 1996. Elements in his package include cutting defense spending $37.5 billion more than proposed by President Bush over the next four years and assorted additional reductions of $102.8 billion. Would also raise $91.7 billion in new personal taxes and another $58.3 billion in new corporate taxes, primarily by tougher enforcement against foreign companies operating here. Critics say that the plan overestimates the likely revenue from proposed tax changes, particularly those aimed at foreign corporations, and is flawed because it fails to directly address the inexorable rise in entitlement costs.

Education

* Supports public school choice but opposes federal aid (vouchers) for parents sending their children to private schools.

* Would scrap existing student loan program and replace it with a national service trust fund that would allow all students to borrow money for college and then repay it either as a small percentage of income over time or by serving for two years as police officers, child care workers, teachers or some other public servant.

Environment

* Would encourage energy conservation by increasing reliance on natural gas and encouraging recycling through tax incentives and federal purchases.

* Earlier in campaign said that he would support raising fuel efficiency standards for cars to 40 miles per gallon by the year 2000, but described that figure as a "goal."

Foreign Policy

* Generally an internationalist, Clinton has argued that, with the Cold War over, the U.S. global mission should be reoriented toward promotion of democracy.

* Has strongly supported aid to Russia and other Eastern European countries.

* Although statements at the time are somewhat ambiguous, appeared to support the use of force in the Persian Gulf war. Clinton has accused Bush of appeasing Hussein in the years leading up to the conflict and of permitting Hussein's military machine to survive by ending the conflict too quickly.

Gay Rights

* Says that he would end the ban on homosexuals serving in the military.

Health Care

* Promises, within his first 100 days in office, to propose a national health care system providing phased-in universal coverage. Employers would be required to purchase insurance either from private insurers or from new managed care networks similar to health maintenance organizations; some federal aid would be available in early years to help companies with the cost.

Labor Policy

* Would index minimum wage for inflation.

* Would sign the family and medical leave bill vetoed by President Bush.

Social Security

* Opposes calls for means-testing of Social Security, including proposals to deny full cost-of-living adjustments to seniors, although he did back a one-year freeze as part of a National Governors Association budget resolution in the mid-1980s.

Tax Policy

* Supports a 50 percent reduction in capital gains for entrepreneurs who start a new business and hold it for at least five years, but opposes President Bush's broader capital gains reduction.

* Would provide some tax relief for the middle class but not as much as originally promised. Throughout most of the campaign, Clinton proposed a middle-class tax cut of 10 percent and a phased-in children's tax credit that would be significantly more generous to families with children than the existing dependent's exemption. Now says that taxpayers can take a rate cut or the tax credit but not both.

* Would raise top tax rate to about 36 percent on taxpayers with more than $200,000 in adjusted gross income, stiffen the minimum tax and impose a 10 percent surtax on millionaires to raise $20.7 billion annually over the next four years.

* Although many economists are skeptical, says that he would raise $45 billion over the next four years by toughening tax collection on foreign corporations operating in the United States.

* Would offer companies an investment tax credit to encourage modernizing plants and equipment and would make permanent the research and development tax credit.

Trade

* Endorsed North American Free Trade Agreement but said that he would not sign the treaty unless the United States reached agreement on additional measures to protect American jobs and ensure protection of the environment and worker rights in Mexico; promises to toughen stand against Japan but warns against protectionism.