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Posted November 3, 2004

The Big Issues

The campaign of 2004 has been marked by two central dynamics -- most of the nation's voters are going utterly unnoticed by the candidates because of the arithmetic of the electoral college and so are the biggest issues. With both John Kerry and George Bush obsessed with not offending the legendary "swing voter," some of the toughest challenges facing the country are being glossed over with one-liners, while others are not being mentioned. In the remaining weeks of this campaign, the Times editorial page will be systematically bringing up those issues, examining them, talking about what -- if anything -- the candidates are saying about them, and proposing either a possible solution or at least the outlines of a debate. The following is an archive of editorials from the series:

Why Taxes Have to Go Up
The dueling tax plans of the presidential candidates do not address the looming dangers of the nation's huge financial imbalances. (Oct. 21, 2004)

How to Rescue Education Reform
Congress can stand idly by and wait for the No Child Left Behind Act to collapse, or it can provide the states with the money it promised. (Oct. 10, 2004)

Kerry vs. Bush on Health Care
The two presidential candidates have responded to the faults in the American health care system with health plans that differ markedly in scope and philosophy. (Oct. 3, 2004)

How Not to Save Social Security
President Bush's plan to allow workers to divert some of their Social Security taxes into personal investment accounts would endanger the retirement system. (Sept. 23, 2004)

A World of Nuclear Dangers
While President Bush and John Kerry seem to agree on many nuclear proliferation issues, the difference lies in their approach to international problems. (Sept. 18, 2004)

Taxes for an Ownership Society
When the president talks about an "ownership society," what he's driving at is something that would be disastrous for most Americans: a wage tax. (Sept. 15, 2004)

Looking for Energy in the Campaign
Energy is a livelier issue than usual in this election, giving John Kerry opportunities where the president has failed. (Sept. 13, 2004)

The Candidates' Tariff Dodge
Of all the issues the candidates are avoiding, the question of agricultural subsidies may be the one they're ducking most energetically. (Sept. 6, 2004)