2Key IdeaThe Democratic Party and the Republican Party have differing views on the role of government.
3Party SimilaritiesThe parties agree that there should be a “safety net” but they disagree on how big and expensive it should be, who should be eligible, and whether it is publicly or privately funded (who should pay for it?).Publicly funded means that the government pays for it.
4Primary Belief The Democratic Party It is the duty of society to help the less fortunate through government “safety nets.”Government should play a larger role in paying for social services (healthcare, welfare, etc.)
5Primary Belief The Republican Party The private sector and/or the individual are better suited than government to control their own lives.Private sector means businessesGovernment should play a smaller role in paying for social services. Markets will optimize the outcomes rather than government mandates.
6Taxes The Republican Party There should not be a highly progressive tax system. There should be lower taxes and more tax cuts Progressive taxes punish people who have large incomes.“Reaganomics” – reduced income tax rates would allow people to put more money into the economy, lead to more growth and prosperity, and as a bonus, generate more revenue for the government.
7Taxes The Democratic Party There should be a progressive tax system (people with higher incomes should pay higher taxes than people with lower incomes. They believe high earners got their money from society and therefore owe society a larger share of their income.Democrats criticize “Reaganomics” and call it “Trickle-down economics” that favors the rich over the poor.
8Environment The Democratic Party Democrats are pro-environment and favor conservation of natural resources together with strong environmental laws against pollution.
9Environment The Republican Party Favor reduction of environmental regulations (There should be fewer government rules about the environment. These rules hurt the economy. Individuals and businesses will compete and this competition will result in lower emissions and help the environment).
10The Economy & Labor Unions The Republican Partyfavors less governmental intervention in the economy; supports restricting organized labor
11The Economy & Labor Unions The Democratic Partyfavors government regulation of the economy; supports organized labor
12WelfareDefinition: financial or other assistance to an individual or family from a government
13Welfare The Democratic Party favors keeping welfare in place for the poor and disadvantaged
14Welfare The Republican Party favors cutting back welfare benefits in order to foster initiative for welfare recipients to find work
15EducationVouchersDefinition: a government tax credit for parents, equal to all or part of the cost of educating their child at an elementary or secondary school of their choice.
16Education The Republican Party favors school funding initiatives that allow for parental choice, including school vouchers for private schools
17Education The Democratic Party favors school funding initiatives that create competitive public schools
18Healthcare Universal Health Care Definition: Universal health care is health care coverage for all eligible residents of an area and often covers medical and dental care. Typically, costs are covered mostly by publicly-funded programs.
19Healthcare The Democratic Party favors a national health insurance system
20Healthcare The Republican Party opposes a single payer (government based) universal healthcare system and wants to improve the current system