“Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton?” That’s the question that many voters are asking themselves during every debate. While the race is definitely starting to heat up, this column will point out the major differences between the two platforms of the Democratic nominees.
The first difference between their platforms is the push for green energy. While both nominees choose to expand the push for green energy, Sanders takes a more economical approach to the matter than Clinton. Clinton wants to count on renewable energy for 33 percent of the energy used in 2027. The Democratic frontrunner also wants to install half a billion solar panels by 2020. Sanders, on the other hand, wants to eliminate tax breaks for companies that produce fossil fuels, and he already proposed legislation for the creation of 10 million roofs with solar panels in 2010.
Other major differences between the two are in their healthcare policies. Sanders wants to change the Affordable Care Act to a single-payer healthcare system, restore prescription drug discounts for seniors, and plans to import prescription drugs from Canada to give the consumer a more cost-effective option. Clinton, however, wants to leave “Obamacare” in place, and cap out of pocket charges at $250 for prescription drugs. Further, the former secretary of state wants to place more restrictions on the advertising of prescription drugs.
The third, and perhaps most popular topic, is the proposition of free college tuition. As proposed by Sanders, this would be possible through the taxation of Wall Street. Aside from the aforementioned proposal, Sanders is also advocating to eliminate federal government profit on student debt repayment. Clinton’s plans for education are somewhat similar to those of Sanders; she also wants to eliminate the federal government’s profit on student loan repayment. However, her education policies differ from Sanders in that Clinton wants to give states $17.5 billion in order to fund higher education, and she supports no-loan tuition and free community college.
The final difference between the nominees that I would like to cover is the topic of cannabis legalization/prison reform. Clinton takes the same stance as President Obama on this topic by maintaining that the right to decide on whether or not cannabis should be legal in a state is individual to that state. Sanders calls for a complete abolishment of the federal prohibition of cannabis. With the legalization of cannabis comes changes in the prison system. Both nominees believe in getting rid of private prison system. However, Sanders calls for public reports on police shootings, and deaths in police custody, while Clinton advocates for the reform of minimal prison sentences.
There are still many differences regarding the nominees, and I encourage everyone to go out and vote for the candidate of their choosing. Also, while the political process can seem quite daunting, it is imperative that we as a population with the ability to choose our representatives, do so by voting.