John Edwards (D) - Issues Stance*
Edwards says there is no military solution in Iraq. He says by leaving Iraq, it will force the Iraqi people to take responsibility for their country. He supports immediately drawing down 40,000 to 50,000 combat troops, prohibiting funding for any new troops that do not meet real readiness standards and that have not been properly trained and equipped, completely withdrawing all combat troops in Iraq within nine to ten months and prohibit permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq. He also supports intensifying U.S. efforts to train the Iraqi security forces. As president, Edwards says he would step up U.S. diplomatic efforts by engaging in direct talks with all the nations in the region, including Iran and Syria, to bring a political solution to the sectarian violence inside Iraq, including through a peace conference.
Edwards suuports universal healthcare for every American. His plan would allow families without insurance will get coverage at an affordable price, families with insurance to pay less and get more security and choices, businesses and other employers to insure their workes cheaper and easier. To do this the plan would require employers to either cover their employees or help finance their health insurance, create new tax credits, reform insurance laws, create regional "Health Care Markets" to let every American share the bargaining power to purchase an affordable, high-quality health plan, increase choices among insurance plans, and cut costs for businesses offering insurance, and require all American residents to get insurance.
John Edwards wants to strengthen public schools by investing in teachers, strengthening high school curricula, expanding access to preschool programs, and creating second-chance schools for high school dropouts. To expand college opportunities, Edwards says he will create college for everyone by creating a national plan to pay one year of public-college tuition, fees and books for more than two million students. In return, students will be required to work part-time in college, take a college-prep curriculum in high school and stay out of trouble. He would overhaul the student loan program, simplify financial aid, and hire more college couselors.
Energy and Environment
Edwards believes America should end dependence on foreign oil and creating a new energy economy that embraces innovation, brings rural communities back to life and creates new, good-paying jobs. His plan calls for capping greenhouse gas pollution, leading the world to a new climate treaty, creating a new energy economy fund to support research and development, and meeting the demand for more electricity through efficiency.
Edwards' plan will overhaul the tax code with new tax breaks to strengthen the middle-class. He supports a savings plan for families, expanding child care credit, tripling the earned income tax creadit for single adults, and cutting the marriage penalty. He also supports raising the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans.
Edwards' homeland security plan includes tightening America's border security, protecting the most vulnerable targets, and improving domestic readiness.
Edwards promises to invest seed money for rural recovery, create a new energy economy in rural America, create fairness for family farmers, and invest in broadband Internet for rural areas. He also pledges to fight for rid rural America of methanphetamines, protect lawful gun ownership, and expand access to clean water.
As president, Edwards says he will fully fund veterans healthcare, prevent another Walter Reed, dedicate resources to the signature injuries of today's wounded warriors, provide a "Plan for Coming Home" for every service man and woman, create a national "Chain of Care" with improved treatment of PTSD, close the gap between military and civilian pay, enable guard and reserve families to continue healthcare coverage, give military families a voice in family policies, and new respect and more resources for family readiness groups.
John Edwards is pro-choice. He supports a federal freedom of choice act codifying Roe v. Wade into federal law.
Edwards support civil unions to guarantee gay and lesbian couple the same rights as straight couples like inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights, equal pension and health care benefits, and all of the 1,100 other legal protections government affords married couples. He says he feels internal conflict about gay marriage, but opposes a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. He opposes the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. He believes gay and lesbian parents should be able to adopt children. He is against workplace discrimination and hate crimes.
Edwards support an open, democratic media. To achieve this he says he will fight media concentration, restore public interest to the public airwaves, build a universal, affordable Internet, keep and open Internet, and tune in thousands of communities to low powered radio.
*No longer running for president.