Brian Moss believes Sen. Orrin Hatch is unconcerned about Utah and has pursued his own agenda in the U.S. Senate, doing little for the state. Hatch doesn't even mention Moss by name, if he can help it, talking instead about how concerned he is about Utah and about all the great things he's done for the state.

Such is the rhetoric of political campaigns. But when that talk is stripped away, and issues alone are measured, sometimes the differences between the candidates aren't as striking as either the incumbents or challengers may wish.Here is how the candidates for the U.S. Senate responded to a series of Deseret News questions on military spending, the budget and various moral and social issues:

Both Republican Hatch and Democrat Moss said the most critical federal issue is government deficits. Hatch said a balanced-budget constitutional amendment, which he has sponsored, is the only answer. Moss supports such an amendment, but added that the deficit can be controlled through cutting government waste and collecting billions in unpaid federal taxes (Michael Dukakis' plan, also).

Both Moss and Hatch said the critical Utah issue is job creation. Hatch said he's brought numerous jobs to Utah. Moss questioned that, and said he wants to sit on the Senate Commerce Committee, if elected, with an eye toward Utah job development.

Moss is strong in his criticism of the tax-limitation initiatives that will be on the ballot next month and said he'll vote against them because they cut too many vital programs from state and local governments and will cripple Utah education. Hatch simply said, "The initiatives go too far."

Hatch said he opposes the Equal Rights Amendment, which has been reintroduced into Congress. "However, I'm committed to the principle of equal rights for women," Hatch said. Moss said he favors the ERA, "because it is fair and just."

Hatch favors more military aid for the Contras. "Since the communist Sandinistas have violated the provisions of the Arias peace plan by refusing to improve human rights and Democratic opportunities, the freedom fighters deserve our full help and support," he said.

Moss said he opposes military aid to the Contras but favors humanitarian aid.

Both men oppose abortion and both oppose federal funding for abortion. Both favor the death penalty for homicide and favor the death penalty for murders associated with drug trafficking.

Hatch fully supports Strategic Defense Initiative funding, for both research and deployment in space. Moss favors research funding for SDI, but said, "I oppose the vast amounts of money that would be spent for actual deployment of a space-based weapons system."

While Moss favors federal spending and guidelines for child care, Hatch, through his own bill, advocates federal aid to private child-care providers and local guidelines. "My bill helps overcome obstacles like high cost of liability insurance for child care providers and lack of capital, while at the same time preserving the rights of local and state governments to set standards," said Hatch.

"I believe federal child care programs need to focus more on helping poor parents attain affordable child care," Moss said.

Hatch opposes legislation aimed at protecting the civil rights of homosexuals. "Although I believe homosexuals should be treated fairly under the law, `sexual preference' should not be elevated to the same level of constitutional protection granted to race and religion."

"Homosexuals are citizens," said Moss, "and as such they are entitled to the protection of their civil rights."

In light of the controversy over Sen. Dan Quayle's military record, both men were asked to detail their military service. Hatch's brother was killed in World War II. Accordingly, he was exempt from military service under the sole surviving son rule. Moss joined the Utah Army National Guard in 1963 - "before U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War," he said - and served six years.