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GOP Platform At A Glance

Highlights from a draft of the Republican platform released Thursday. Some language will likely be changed before the platform is ratified. Platforms are statements of party principle and not binding on presidential candidates.

Republicans support:
  • A constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget.
  • An abortion ban.
  • Broad tax cuts, achieved in part by reducing the number of income tax brackets and cutting rates.
  • Requiring a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate to raise taxes.
  • Doubling of the number of charter schools, allowing parents whose children are in "persistently failing" schools to take their share of federal education dollars to a public or private school of their choice, more standardized testing of students, with federal aid tied to performance.
  • "No-frills prisons" and a constitutional amendment on the rights of crime victims.
  • Turning abandoned Housing and Urban Development properties over to local communities for "urban homesteading." Using federal rental assistance to help qualifying recipients buy a first home.
  • Allowing the deductibility of health insurance premiums for the self-employed and small business.
  • Major spending increase on women's health programs and medical research.
  • Launching another round of multilateral negotiations to open markets abroad, and advancing a "Free Trade Area of the Americas."
  • Considering homosexuality incompatible with military service.
  • Replacing "family planning" programs for teens with abstinence education.
  • The constitutional right to bear arms, coupled with stronger enforcement of existing gun laws.
  • Keeping the Social Security surplus "off-limits, off budget, and out of the question."
  • Giving workers the option of putting a portion of their payroll taxes into private investment accounts instead of Social Security.
  • Turning Medicare, "a creaking dinosaur" in the age of modern medical technology, into "a common enterprise of government, health professionals and hospitals alike," and playing up the role of the private market in making coverage available to the elderly.
  • Permitting oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Tax breaks for residential use of solar power.
  • Withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with six months notice if Russia does not agree to amend the treaty to permit development of a "robust" missile defense system.
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