Voting in the NY Primary? Get to Know Your Candidates

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Anna Letson

Senator Bernie Sanders spoke for 90 minutes at the rally last Wednesday in Washington Square Park.

By Anne Cruz, News Editor

The New York presidential primaries are this Tuesday, bringing voters one step closer to the general election. Before you cast your ballot, WSN has everything you need to know about where the candidates stand on the economy, immigration, energy and health care.

John Kasich:

The most forgotten candidate from the Republican Party, the Ohio governor’s strongest suit is his economic experience. He was able to reduce income and eliminated estate taxes in the Buckeye State, but raised the sales tax. If he’s elected president, Kasich says he’ll reduce overall government spending to balance the budget, but increase defense spending. As for immigration, Kasich said in a Wisconsin town hall that he wouldn’t deport law-abiding illegal immigrants, but would rather they pay a fine to the government and strive toward legal status. Kasich’s “action plan” includes approving the Keystone XL pipeline and increasing means of domestic energy production. Kasich also states on his website that as president, he’ll repeal the Affordable Care Act, but he actually expanded Medicaid in Ohio, accepting billions of federal dollars from the Affordable Care Act in the process.

Ted Cruz:

The Texas senator said Friday that economic growth would be his first priority as president. Cruz plans to create a flat tax plan which would tax individuals at 10 percent after meeting certain economic thresholds and businesses at 16 percent. Like fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump, Cruz supports the building of a wall along the Mexican border and eliminating sanctuary cities — municipalities that protect immigrants in the United States illegally from deportation. On energy, Cruz has called climate change “pseudo-scientific theory” and pledged to end the Obama administration’s “war on coal” if elected. Cruz also said he would repeal Obamacare — the law he was so against he took to the Senate for 21 hours to protest it.

Donald Trump:

Trump’s most prominent platform is his wanting to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico — and to make Mexico pay for it. Trump said he would threaten to cut off Mexico’s remittances from the Patriot Act unless they wire the U.S. government $5-10 billion for the construction of the wall. However, many have questioned whether he would have the authority to use such intimidation tactics, even as president. Like other Republican candidates, Trump wants to revitalize the coal industry and said climate change was a hoax created by the Chinese government. Trump would also repeal Obamacare and facilitate free-market healthcare reforms, issuing block grants to states for Medicaid.

Bernie Sanders:

Champion of economic reform long before the Occupy Wall Street movement, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders demands the rich pay “their fair share in taxes.” The Sanders campaign has specifically advocated for enacting a tax on Wall Street speculators to help pay for his plan of making all public colleges tuition-free. Sanders also plans to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. When it comes to immigration, Sanders has preached dismantling inhumane deportation programs and reforming the path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. In addition, he would ensure U.S. borders remain secure while respecting local communities. Sanders calls climate change “the single greatest threat facing our planet” and hopes to combat carbon emissions by cutting funding to subsidize fossil fuels. In addition, the senator would also put a tax on carbon pollution and transition toward a nuclear-free, clean energy system. If elected into office, Sanders would also build upon the Affordable Care Act and work to create a federally administered single-payer health care program.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton’s economic plan includes raising the minimum wage to $12, but she said she would support a bill raising it to $15 if certain qualifications were met. She also wants to invest $350 billion so students will not accrue debt for paying for tuition at state schools. The former secretary of state has stated that she will preserve executive actions relieving DREAMers and their families from the risk of deportation. On the topic of energy, Clinton plans on installing 500 million solar panels and further invest in sustainable energy sources to combat climate change. As for healthcare, Clinton has defended the Affordable Care Act and would work to expand it while promoting accessible women’s reproductive health care.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 18 print edition. Email Anne Cruz at [email protected]