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The Presidential race comes to Illinois

The Republican Primary in Illinois is only a month away, taking place on March 20. The field of candidates has been shrinking the last couple months, and their positions on key issues are beginning to clarify. Here is a look at where each of the final four candidates stands on major economic, social, and foreign policy issues.

On the economy:

Mitt Romney has stated specifically that he will lower taxes, decrease federal regulation on private businesses, move toward balancing the federal budget, and try to increase trade with other nations. He also wants to end unemployment benefits and replace them with a type of unemployment savings account. Newt Gingrich wants to limit the power of the Federal Reserve and raise the national interest rate, which he says is currently too low. He also wants to lower federal regulation on businesses. Rick Santorum wants to create a tax incentive program to promote businesses to return jobs to America. He also wants to allow more oil drilling. Ron Paul wants America to return to the gold standard of money. He also wants to eliminate the Federal Reserve and all federal business regulations. He then wants to stop collecting federal income tax by removing the IRS.

On social issues: 

Newt Gingrich favors a strict interpretation of the Constitution on most issues. He supports giving a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently in the United States. Social Security would become optional, allowing for people currently working to have private retirement funds instead. Ron Paul wants to eliminate most of the federal government programs and would allow states to create their own laws for social issues.  He would end the right to citizenship of U.S. born children of illegal immigrants and aggressively deport them. Mitt Romney also supports states’ rights to decide on social issues. He does not support a federal health care mandate, even though he introduced one as Governor of Massachusetts. Rick Santorum supports regulation of social issues by way of Constitutional amendments. Believing the notion that humans affect global warming is false.

On foreign policy: 

Ron Paul opposes the Patriot Act and favors removing the U.S. military  from all foreign countries. He says terrorists would leave us alone if we stopped provoking them in this way. Rick Santorum would support bombing of Iran if they do not prove they are not making nuclear arms. He supports the Patriot Act and supports racial profiling as security policy at airports. Mitt Romney supports completing America’s mission in Afghanistan. Newt Gingrich supports the Patriot Act and would continue to use Guantanamo bay. He feels the troops should not have withdrawn from Iraq early.

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