5 More Reasons This Election Matters
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To see the candidates' stances on health care, taxes, the SBA and immigration, click here.
Budget and Economy: Obama promises to cut taxes for the middle class and eliminate income taxes for seniors making less than $50,000 while raising taxes for those making more than $250,000. He proposes $50 billion to jumpstart the economy and a $1,000 emergency energy rebate to American families. By investing heavily in the green and renewable energy sector, Obama hopes to boost the clean energy economy, creating 5 million new green jobs. He also proposes a fast-track plan for energy made in America, which will free the country from oil-dependence, giving Americans more opportunities to work.
Jobs: Obama's platform includes a plan to inject $50 billion into a nation-wide State Growth Fund and Jobs and Growth Fund with the intent to prevent state and local job cuts. Another plan is legislation that would give tax credit to companies that maintain or increase their full-time workforce, among other requirements. By investing in green innovations, Obama's plan would create 5 million new jobs, increase job training programs for clean technologies and create additional new jobs by creating and expanding federal renewable energy requirements. He has a plan to increase workplace flexibility.
Energy: Obama says he would invest $150 billion over 10 years in clean energy. He has proposed increased fuel economy standards and would require that a quarter of electricity consumed in the U.S. be derived from clean, sustainable energy sources by 2025. He also supports various research efforts toward technological advances in the cleaner use of coal, production of hybrid cars and other alternative energy sources.
Free Trade: Obama's platform includes fighting for fair trade, using trade agreements to strengthen labor and environmental standards world-wide and oppose agreements that fail to meet benchmarks, such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement. He plans to assert pressure on the World Trade Organization to improve trade agreement enforcement and among other requests, ask that it stop nontariff barriers on U.S. exports. Amending the North American Free Trade Agreement to focus on the needs of American workers is also part of his platform.
Housing: Obama proposes creating a $10 billion fund to help prevent foreclosures, eliminate some taxes and fees for families who must sell and offer counseling to homeowners. He would allow troubled homeowners to refinance a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. He has also proposed a "credit card bill of rights" to provide disclosure of hidden credit costs and would provide tax credits to 10 million middle class homeowners who struggle with mortgage costs.
Budget and Economy: McCain proposes making the Bush tax cuts permanent and eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax to assist the middle class. He says lowering the corporate tax rate will create more jobs and lessen the number of outsourced positions. He also wants to eliminate pork-barrel spending and freeze nondefense discretionary spending. He aims to build 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030 to fight climate change and free the country from energy dependence.
Jobs: McCain believes investing in small business is the key to creating more jobs, and that nuclear energy will provide 700,000 new jobs. He is a proponent of modernizing America's workplaces to allow work schedule flexibility and choice that puts a priority on families. His platform involves establishing a National Commission on Workplace Flexibility and Choice that would examine issues including: modernizing labor laws to allow for more flexible work schedules; ensuring labor laws don't interfere with working from home schedules; promoting telework; making health insurance such that workers don't lose benefits in between jobs; ensuring flexibility in available retirement plans; and increasing job training programs.
Energy: McCain proposes a national energy strategy that will rely on the technological prowess of American industry and science. He says he would not support subsidizing every alternative or tariffs that restrict the competition that stimulates innovation and lower cost. He also says he would work to reduce carbon emissions 60 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
Free Trade: McCain says 95 percent of potential customers in the world are outside the United States and believes globalization is an opportunity for workers in America. A plan to reduce trade barriers and level the global trade playing field would coincide with a plan to prepare the next generation of workers for the resulting workplace changes. He believes the U.S. should lower trade barriers using regional, bilateral and multilateral strategies and by increasing enforcement of global trading rules.
Housing: McCain would give homeowners the chance to have their loan modified, provided they meet certain criteria. He would also provide offers of financial assistance to borrowers contingent upon lending reform and believes a government bailout should only be a last resort.