Democrats insist that tax cuts should be focused on low and middle income households. Source: World Atlas

The political landscape in the United States is dominated by two major political parties. The Democrats and the Republicans have been center stage in US politics for more than a century and the two parties have never seen eye to eye on a number of issues. It’s very hard, however, to really tell the difference between a Democrat and a Republican. This is because in the era of so much partisan politics, it’s not easy to know where each of these sides stands. In that case, the best way to pick out the differences is to look at the platforms of each party.

Well, we did that and here is our break down of the five key areas of difference:

1. Tax Policy

Both Democrats and Republicans are for tax cuts but they don’t often agree on the best way to achieve that. While Democrats have always insisted that tax cuts should only apply to low income and middle income households, Republicans feel that such cuts should actually apply to everyone including the big corporations and the wealthy.

2. Social Issues

Stands on social issues are a major difference between the parties. Source: CNN

If you ever wanted to see the difference between Democrats and Republicans play out very clearly, tell them to speak about social issues. You can easily tell where a person stands on the political divide based on how they view things like gay marriage, abortion, and gun control. Republicans are conservative in nature. They will always take a conservative approach to social issues. This is the main reason why many are opposed to the idea of gay marriage or abortion. Democrats, on the other hand, are progressive and liberal. While they have always called on stricter gun control, they have been pushing for the recognition of gay rights and the right of women to choose whether to have an abortion or not.

3. Labor and Free Trade

Republican are pro free market. They don’t like to see increased government regulations or interference in the labor market. This is why the GOP is opposed to increasing the minimum wage arguing that businesses need to keep costs low so that they can prosper to the benefit of all Americans. Democrats, on the other hand, believe that corporations have too much power. They favor government intervention to even out the field. For example, they believe that a set minimum wage helps to bring more money to the pockets of all Americans which is good for the economy.

4. Health Care

Democrats believe that the state should offer health care. Source: Fortinet

Health care is another area where the two parties don’t agree. Democrats believe that the state should take the role of offering health care. They want to do away with private insurance arguing that it’s expensive for ordinary Americans to afford. However, Republicans believe that too much government involvement on health care could in fact drive up costs and affect the quality of care.

5. Social Programs

Democrats have always believed that it’s the job of the government to help the most vulnerable people in society. This is why they favor social programs like food stamps and Medicaid. Republicans, on the other hand, want a lean government that spends money only on essential things like security and defense, not social programs.