The Breakdown

With just under two weeks until Election Day, 14 East has compiled a list of each presidential nominees’ major policy positions. Presenting the beliefs of anyone as a matter of record can be a tricky proposition, particularly when it comes to political figures. But for all the undecided voters out there — whoever you are — this list is for you. Citations for each position include campaign websites, speeches, journalistic articles and more.



Republican: Donald J. Trump


ImmigrationMr. Trump’s immigration plan consists of creating an “impenetrable physical wall” along the Mexican-American border and having Mexico pay for the wall. He plans to begin moving out illegal immigrants by the use of law enforcement, end sanctuary cities, end the catch and release system, and triple the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Mr. Trump earned the endorsement of a union of immigration officers, but not of ICE despite what he has claimed.
Child CareMr. Trump’s child care plan allows for parents with up to four children to deduct from their income taxes, encourages companies to provide child care at work and creates a plan that provides mothers with six weeks of paid maternity leave. His plan would pay new mothers, including birth mothers and adopted mothers, through the unemployment insurance system. This pay would be similar to those who receive benefits after being laid off. Unemployment benefits vary enormously based on the state.
EconomyMr. Trump would like to change policies and include a pro-growth tax plan. With that, he has promised the creation of 25 million jobs over the next decade by reforming tax, trade and energy policies. His plan would cut taxes among all classes, though experts say the wealthy would benefit the most from his tax plan. His trade plan would include imposing large tariffs on outsourced goods in an effort to bring manufacturing jobs back to the states. Some economists say the plan would trigger a national recession within three years. A campaign economist claimed that Mr. Trump’s economic plan would increase growth to an average 3.5 percent per year, while nonpartisan groups have predicted his plan may double the national debt.
EducationMr. Trump’s education reform plan includes reallocating $20 billion of government funds toward school choice. It is unclear from where he will take the $20 billion. His plan is an effort to allow students of all classes to choose between a public, private, or charter school. His plan would create competition for schools, which would in theory cause individual schools to either close or improve. Mr. Trump will also work to provide school choice to students living in poverty and work with Congress to motivate universities to lower the cost of tuition by offering federal tax breaks.
Tax PlanMr. Trump’s tax plans consists of lowering taxes. The Tax Foundation estimates that federal revenue will drop between $4.4 trillion and $5.9 trillion, with cuts disportionately benefiting the wealthy — while average taxpayer income will be 0.8 percent higher after taxes, taxpayers in the top one percent would see increases between 10.2 and 16.0 percent. Mr. Trump plans to cut taxes from 3 to 35 percent based on income.
VeteransAn issue that Mr. Trump discusses quite a bit is the care our veterans receive. Mr. Trump’s Veteran Affairs reform includes a ten-step process that he believes will improve the lives of veterans. This plan includes appointing a new veteran affairs official, expanding the mental health care facilities that specialize in the mental aid of veterans and have Congress pass legislation that allows for the Secretary of Veteran Affairs to reprimand employees that put the health of veterans at risk.
EnergyIn regards to energy, Mr. Trump’s goal is to make America energy independent by using America’s $50 trillion worth of unused oil, shale and natural gas reserves. He has also pledged to “cancel” the Paris climate deal from December 2015. Mr. Trump also intends to separate from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC.
Foreign Policy/ISIS“Peace through strength” makes up the core of Mr. Trump’s foreign policy. In order to defeat the Islamic State, Mr. Trump plans to work with Congress to increase military spending and has toyed with the idea of using a “massive ground force” to stabilize the Middle East. Mr. Trump has advocated for the “extreme vetting” of refugees to prevent terrorists from entering the United States. The Republican nominee also promoted a ban on all Muslim immigration earlier in the campaign but has since waffled on the idea.
Justice and EqualityMr. Trump believes that the U.S. should “respectfully check mosques” and profile Muslims. He believes that sexual orientation is an invalid reason for firing workers and states that gay marriage is now a reality after the Supreme Court vote. Some supporters of Mr. Trump believe his proposed immigration limitations would be helpful for the protection of LGBT lives. Mr. Trump also, however, has declared that he would sign the First Amendment Defense Act as president, an act that has been harshly criticized as discriminatory toward the LGBT community.
Gun ViolenceMr. Trump has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association, and his stance on gun control is similar to the Republican candidates that have preceded him. However, he has supported certain gun safety measure in spurts, such as the “No Fly, No Buy” list. He has also promised to “get rid of gun-free zones at schools” and use his “law-and-order” approach to end inner-city gun violence. He plans to empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves and enforce things such as Project Exile to prosecute gang members and drug dealers. Mr. Trump’s plan is to appoint a Supreme Court justice that will “follow the Constitution” when putting laws into place.
Health CareMr. Trump plans to remove cross state barriers that get in the way of insurance costs. He wants to see  ObamaCare repealed. He would like to make health insurance premiums tax deductible and save Medicare and Medicaid instead of cutting them. A nonpartisan study showed that roughly 20.3 million Americans would lose their health insurance under his plan. Mr. Trump believes in vaccines but believes that they should be given in smaller doses over longer periods of time due to his belief in a link between vaccinations and autism. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, however, disputes any link between autism and vaccines.

Democrat: Hillary Clinton



Secretary Clinton will introduce extensive immigration reform that allows for a pathway to citizenship. She will continue to promote and defend President Obama’s DACA and DAPA plans while enforcing humane immigration laws. She plans to deport undocumented citizens who pose a risk and offer easy naturalization to immigrants who seek asylum. She also plans to end private immigrant detention centers, many of which have been criticized for violating basic human rights.
Child CareSecretary Clinton will work to increase child care investments. This means that no family will pay more than 10 percent of its income to afford child care. She plans to implement RAISE (Respect and Increased Salaries for Early Childhood Educators). This will help fund states so that they can increase the compensation of childcare providers and teachers, resulting in equal education opportunities.

Secretary Clinton also has proposed to pay new parents on leave at least two-thirds of their salaries. The funds will come from raised taxes on the upper class. Employers will also be required to give parents up to 12 weeks leave, including mothers and fathers.

Economy Secretary Clinton will enforce a “100-days jobs plan,”  investing in infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy, small businesses, research and technology. She will reward companies that invest in their workers, raise the minimum wage, and work toward both equal pay and guaranteed paid leave.
EducationSecretary Clinton’s education plan consists of making preschool universal for all 4-year-olds in the next ten years. In regards to K-12 education, she plans to modernize teaching by implementing things such as proper learning environments for students with disabilities. Clinton will also implement a program that gives students the opportunity to learn computer science. She also plans to rebuild schools in cities and rural communities, and will eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline.

In terms of higher education, Secretary Clinton has promised that all community colleges will offer free tuition to students. She also unveiled a plan to make tuition at state universities free for families earning less than $125,000 by 2021. This will be paid for by closing tax loopholes and implementing the “fair share surcharge.

Tax PlanSecretary Clinton plans to enforce a “fair share surcharge” on the rich and use the Buffett Rule to make sure that rich Americans do not pay a lower tax rate than middle class Americans. She also plans to close tax loopholes used on Wall Street that reward companies that move overseas, cut taxes for small businesses and administer tax relief to working families.
VeteransSecretary Clinton will reform veterans’ health care in order to guarantee high quality care. This will allow improve healthcare for female veterans, end the suicide epidemic and block any efforts that will privatize the VA. Clinton believes connecting veterans to jobs that relate to their work skills will help put an end to veteran homelessness.
EnergyTo advance in clean energy tactics, Secretary Clinton will administer a plan that will have half a billion solar panels installed by the end of her first term. This will allow for every home to be powered by renewable energy. She also states that she will reduce American oil consumption by using cleaner and more efficient ways of energy. Clinton intends to launch a $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge that will allow for states, cities and rural areas to cut down on carbon pollution.
Foreign PolicyIn order to prevent terrorists from entering our country and identify those who carry out “lone wolf” attacks, Secretary Clinton plans to support law enforcement by providing them with the tools in order to spot and stop terror attacks before they happen, allow the FBI to freeze gun sales to suspected terrorists by implementing background checks and pave the way for law enforcement to build strong, long-lasting relationships with American Muslim communities.
National SecurityIn regards to defeating ISIS, the Clinton campaign plans to increase airstrikes in areas experiencing an increase in ISIS members and infrastructure. The Democratic nominee also plans to increase support for local Arab and Kurdish forces on the ground and work towards providing peace in Syria and Iraq. Secretary Clinton is in favor of implementing a “no-fly zone” over Syria to protect the lives of citizens. The strategy has been met with criticism from those who believe it would put the United States at risk of entering a war with Russia if the no-fly zone were to be ignored by Assad’s regime or their Russian allies.
Justice and EqualitySecretary Clinton will work on reforming the criminal justice system by ending racial profiling, unfair sentence laws and strengthen the relationships between law enforcement and communities. She also plans to fight for full equality for LGBT Americans and end violence against the transgender community. She will work with Congress to pass the Equality act and continue to support  President Obama’s LGBT rights actions. Clinton will end “conversion therapy,” put an end to youth homelessness by funding shelters, fight for an “AIDS-free generation,” and promote human rights of LGBT people around the world.
Gun ViolenceTo combat gun violence, Secretary Clinton will take on the gun lobby by holding those partaking in illegal activity. Clinton also plans to expand background checks on gun sales and close gun show and internet loopholes which account for most of illegal gun trade. Similarly to Mr. Trump, Secretary Clinton supports “no fly, no buy” policies, which would disallow suspected terrorists from legally purchasing firearms.
Health CareSecretary Clinton intends to make Medicare reasonably and economically accessible to all citizens. She believes that Obamacare was a significant start in the sense that it expanded health care by 20 million people, but it failed in its lack of affordability. Rather than repealing the Affordable Care Act, she intends to revise it to make it more affordable. Clinton believes in vaccines. She also agrees that the VA needs to be remodeled to meet the needs of veterans. She intends to decrease the price for prescription drugs by imposing regulations on insurance and pharmaceutical companies, reallocating funds to research, and encouraging competition within the drug market.

Green Party: Jill Stein


ImmigrationDr. Stein supports a pathway to obtaining citizenship for immigrants. As president, Stein would halt the deportations and detentions of immigrants who follow the law, she would also eradicate the practice of night raids. In order to reduce the flow of immigrants, Stein will work to improve the economic and social conditions of other countries.
Child CareDr. Stein believes in free universal child care. She believes that poverty rates among women and children could be significantly decreased if the US adopted a child care program that economically subsidized women with young children, making child care free for all parents. It is unclear whether she would reallocate funds or raise funds for the program.
Economy Dr. Stein’s economic plan includes setting a federal minimum wage at $15 an hour, breaking up banks that are “too big to fail,” instituting equal pay for equal work and putting an end to wage discrimination; make the rich pay a fair share of taxes; implement paid sick leave and paid family leave; and protect workplace rights by passing the Employee Free Choice Act.
EducationDr. Stein states that she will guarantee tuition-free education from preschool through higher education. She plans to abolish student debt, protect public school systems from privatization, increase federal funding of public schools and replace Common Core with other curriculum created by educators.
Tax PlanDr. Stein wants to rewrite the tax code to include tax cuts for the poor, the working class and middle class families. She also wants to raise taxes for the rich. She would strengthen Medicare and Social Security by removing the limit on Social Security taxes above certain levels of income.
EnergyDr. Stein would like to enact a “Green Deal”to change the pattern of climate change, aid the economy and end wars for oil. She has set forth a plan to transition towards 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030, which she claims will create 20 million jobs. As president, Stein would move government subsidies away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.
National Security/TerrorismTo stop terrorism, Dr. Stein plans to freeze the bank accounts of countries that fund it. She would restore the National Guard as the main piece of America’s defense. Stein would also end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as join other nations in the Ottawa Treaty.
Justice and EqualityDr. Stein wants to implement equal pay and full reproductive rights, defend the rights of indigenous people, protect and expand on the rights of the LGBT community, and protect the right of free Internet by opposing the Online Piracy Act.
Gun ViolenceDr. Stein points to Australia’s success in preventing gun violence by putting more gun restrictions in place. She believes that guns at home are more likely to cause an injury than to protect.
Health CareFor Dr. Stein, healthcare is a right. Her plan would include a “Medicare for All” single-payer public health program. Stein’s plan also includes allowing full access to contraception, reproductive care and investing in community health infrastructure. Stein rejects the idea that the Affordable Care Act is a “step in the right direction,” as Senator Bernie Sanders stated while running for the Democratic Party candidacy. Though she recognizes the importance of vaccines in eliminating preventable diseases, Stein is sympathetic to vaccine skeptics, and wants to reduce corporate influence within the CDC and the FDA in order to restore trust in government agencies.

Libertarian: Gary Johnson


ImmigrationGov. Johnson wants to focus on providing work visas, carrying out background checks, having non-citizens pay their taxes and obtain proof of employment for immigrants. Johnson finds that it’s better to have immigrants assimilate into our society rather than using tactics such as militarizing our border and building fences.
Child CareGov. Johnson believes that parents should be able to decide on whether or not their children should be vaccinated and encourages fathers to participate in child-raising. He also proposed that federal and state funds should pay for fatherhood initiatives.
EconomyGov. Johnson would either ban or audit the Federal Reserve and cut back on federal spending by 43 percent. He does not believe in bank bailouts or any type of federal stimulus. He disagrees with President Obama’s 2009 Stimulus Plan and believes that the country’s debt is the greatest threat to our national security.
EducationGov. Johnson believes that state and local governments should have more control over education policies. He does not believe that federal governments should control the school systems and will do away with the Department of Education and the policies they have implemented.  
Tax PlanGov. Johnson has promised to abolish federal income tax. He will also close special interest loopholes and simplify other tax codes. Under Johnson’s presidency, individuals would be taxed based on how much they spend, not how much they make.
VeteransFor veterans, Gov. Johnson promises that he will provide “health care, support and transitional assistance they deserve.” He plans to reform the VA to better suit veterans and their needs.
EnergyGov. Johnson believes in protecting the environment for future generations, under reasonable circumstances. He considers the Environmental Protection Agency as a useful agency when it focuses on “real” threats. He also, however, believes that lobbyists work in conjunction with the government to rig energy competition. He insists that less regulation creates a more healthy, competitive economy that promotes innovation and growth.
National Security/TerrorismGov. Johnson would cut military spending by 43 percent and pull out American forces from foreign lands. His campaign website declares: “No nation building. No policing the world. More security here at home.”
Justice and EqualityGov. Johnson would protect religious freedom and enforce “common sense non-discrimination laws.” He will use an inclusive approach that is “fair to all.” Johnson stresses the importance of religious freedom in America.
Gun ViolenceGov. Johnson opposes almost all forms of gun restriction, believing that Americans are safe from tyranny when they are armed. However, he believes that guns should be kept away from those that are mentally ill and potential terrorists. He believes that carrying guns reduces crimes and mass shootings.
Health CareGov. Johnson believes in letting states control Medicare and Medicaid laws. He believes in the free market, stating that competition will keep healthcare costs low. He plans to cut Medicare by 43 percent and block grants for Medicare.


Additional reporting by Maxwell Newsom and Brendan Pedersen

Illustration credit to Sydney Kosgard