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The Presidential Election of 2000 By John Bigdick The Presidential election of 2000 was one of the most controversial and divisive political events in recent history perfectly illustrating the schism between the two political parties and the almost uncannily equality of these groups However this election also showed the nation that although many issues keep these two parties in two distinct camps an equal number of issues drew very similar responses from the Republican candidate George W Bush and the Democratic candidate Al Gore Truly the past few years have seen a gravitation on the parts of both parties towards a middle ground that has frustrated extreme conservatives and liberals two minor candidates Ralph Nader and Pat Buchannan illustrated this conformity by their bids in this election on respectively more liberal and more conservative platforms Naders claims of two identical major party candidates were exagerrated the two men did have greatly varying viewpoints on such issues as health care abortion tax reform education and the environment However other issues such as campaign finance reform gun control the war on drugs and foreign policy have drawn remarkably similar stances from the two men The issue of taxes became central to the 2000 election when Republican candidate George W Bush promised to use a third of the current surplus to enact a substantial tax cut This 16 trillion dollar sum would allow a tax cut in each income bracket an increase in child tax credits and credits for married couples and a repeal of the estate tax Gore wanted to reduce this 16 trillion dollar sum to 480 million and limit the tax cuts to those he feels need them most the tax payers in the lower brackets He also wanted to create credits for college tuition preschool care for an elderly parent the purchase of a fuel-efficient car and retirement-savings accounts all credits designed to give tax breaks to those who
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