President Bush (search) and Sen. John Kerry (search) on the issues at Wednesday's debate:

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ABORTION

Kerry said he would not appoint judges who would overturn the Supreme Court's 1973 abortion rights decision of Roe v. Wade (search). Bush said he had no litmus test for judges and reiterated his support for the ban on so-called partial birth abortion. "I think it's important to promote a culture of life," he said.

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GAY MARRIAGE

Bush said consenting adults can live the way they want to live, but that should not change the institution of marriage. He supports a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Kerry shares the president's belief about marriage, but would leave marriage laws to the states. He supports partnership rights.

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TAXES

Kerry said he would roll back Bush's tax cuts for Americans who make over $200,000 a year and pledged he would not raise taxes on those who make less. He said he also would eliminate a tax loophole that benefits corporations that move jobs overseas, and use the savings to lower corporate tax rates by 5 percent. Bush said most of his tax cuts went to low- and middle-income Americans, including the child tax credit and elimination of the marriage tax penalty. He said the tax relief was important to spur consumption and investment and get the country out of recession.

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HEALTH CARE

Addressing rising health care costs, Bush said he supports health savings accounts that would allow Americans to buy into a low-premium plan and couple it with tax-free savings. Kerry said the health care system has worsened during a Bush administration that has ignored ways to lower costs, such as supporting Canadian prescription drug imports and allowing Medicare to negotiate bulk purchasing from drug companies.

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SOCIAL SECURITY

Bush acknowledged social security is a "real problem" for young people and proposed allowing young workers to put part of their payroll tax into personal retirement accounts. Kerry called that "an invitation to disaster," citing the Congressional Budget Office's estimate that it would create a $2 trillion hole in Social Security and force a cut in benefits.

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IMMIGRATION

Bush said he sees the problem of thousands of people each day coming illegally across U.S. borders as an issue of security, economics and human rights. He expressed opposition to an amnesty program for illegal immigrants. Kerry, saying borders are more porous today than pre-Sept. 11, supports an "earned-legalization program for people who have been here for a long time, stayed out of trouble, got a job, paid their taxes, and their kids are American."

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AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

Kerry said he opposes quotas but the nation has not moved far enough along to make affirmative action unnecessary. Bush also opposes quotas; however, he said that in place of affirmative action he supports programs that, for example, help low- and middle-income families fund college, or small businesses get loans.

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EDUCATION

Bush said he has increased education funding by 49 percent, signed the No Child Left Behind Act to raise standards and expanded Pell Grants for college. Kerry said Bush has refused to fully fund the mandates of his education legislation, making it difficult for states to comply with the law.

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MINIMUM WAGE

Kerry said it's "long overdue" to raise the hourly minimum wage, which stands at $5.15, and blamed Republican congressional leadership for preventing a vote on it. He said he would, over several years, bring it to $7 an hour. Bush mentioned a Republican senator's minimum wage plan that he supported.

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DEFICIT

Bush touted his plan to cut the deficit in half within five years using policies that grow the economy and cut spending. Kerry criticized Bush for turning a $5.6 trillion surplus into one of the largest deficits in history, and said he would begin to cut the deficit by rolling back Bush's tax cuts for wealthy Americans.

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JOBS

Kerry said Bush is the first president in 72 years to lose jobs — more than 1.6 million since he took office. He said he would abolish tax loopholes that encourage companies to export jobs overseas and would make sure foreign countries are acting fairly and abiding by trade rules. Bush said job losses were caused in part by the Sept. 11 attacks and a recession that began before he took office. He said the best way to create jobs is to keep the economy growing and improve the education system.