Press "Enter" to skip to content

Kerry’s Plans for Change in the United States

Mills College Weekly

Senator John Kerry’s campaign focuses primarily on security
issues, the economy, education, health care and energy

In the introduction to Our Plan for America, published by the
Kerry Campaign, Kerry and Edwards state that while they will
“address a wide range of problems and opportunities the country
will face over the next four years, we strongly believe that [the
aforementioned challenges] are especially urgent.”

Kerry would like to expand responsibility for the war in Iraq to
decrease the burden on the American military. This process involves
increasing international support, training Iraqis in security and
voting matters, and initiating a reconstruction plan, according to
his Web site.

Emily Rosenberg, a volunteer for East Bay for Kerry, an
unofficial grassroots organization supporting Kerry, said, “Kerry
strongly believes that we should secure a true international
coalition.” Efforts would include working with NATO, the UN, world
powers, and several Arab nations to ensure greater military and
financial assistance for Iraq. Kerry plans to gain foreign support
by offering countries “specific and relatively low risk but
critical roles” in security measures as well as involvement in
Iraq’s economic redevelopment.

Kerry said he will improve the training of Iraqi security forces
by centralizing the training template used for police and military
training, opening NATO training centers in other countries, and
increasing training standards.

Other plans involve making adjustments to education, corporation
policies, and health care. Kerry wants to expand after school
programs and increase the child care tax credit for families. He
plans to rectify the wage inequality between men and women in the
workplace by “improving enforcement and disclosure about companies’
payment practices,” according to his Web site.

Fliers issued by the Santa Clara County Democratic Party say
Kerry promises to “increase funding for breast and cervical cancer
research and treatment, require insurance plans to cover
contraception, and give women greater access” to OB/GYNs.

Kerry is also a supporter of abortion rights according to his
Senate voting record. In 1999 and 2000, he voted in favor of a
constitutional amendment supporting the Roe v. Wade decision and to
keep abortion legal in the military. Kerry has said that despite
being a Catholic he “can’t legislate or transfer to another
American citizen my article of faith” regarding abortion because “I
believe that choice is a woman’s choice.”

Kerry wants to increase school funding, properly pay and train
teachers, and increase anti-dropout efforts. Rosenberg said he is
“firmly behind funding the No Child Left Behind policies,” and
establishing a National Education Trust Fund.

Kerry said that he will increase teacher recruitment for
troubled schools and subject ars like math and science by greatly
increasing teacher salaries.

Kerry plans to curb dropout rates by shrinking large high
schools and offering mentorship programs in middle school. From
1999 through 2001, Kerry voted in favor of authorizing more money
for school drop-out programs, increasing tax deductions for college
tuition costs, and instating a program to reduce class sizes.

Enviromental plans emphasize restoring coastal ecosystems and
water purity, reducing air emissions, and increasing resources for
national parks and public lands. In Our Plan for America, Kerry
said that he “will enforce the Beaches Act and provide states with
funding so that we know our beach water is clean.” He also plans to
reverse rollbacks on the Clean Air Act made under the Bush

Kerry doesn’t support same-sex marriage, but advocates
state-approved civil unions that extend legal protections to
same-sex couples. After Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage,
Kerry said, “If the Massachusetts legislature crafts an appropriate
amendment that provides for partnership and civil unions,” he would
support it. Kerry voted against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act
defining marriage as the union between a man and a woman and said
“it amounted to gay bashing.”

Other issues addressed by the campaign include the economy,
health care, and energy independence. He plans to address these by
increasing taxes on the wealthiest two percent of Americans,
permitting importation of low cost drugs from Canada, and funding
research for energy alternatives.

Funding for his plans comes from increased taxes on the wealthy,
re-introducing spending caps on government projects, streamlining
government agencies, and reducing the number of government aid to