Friday, October 12, 2012

Policy differences between Obama and Romney

Artwork this week is from the Smithsonian US History Museum Collection , Washington DC - they present the lives of Average Americans..


After months of rhetoric and "paid political announcements", our presidential elections are drawing near.  The policy differences of the two candidates for the office of President, have become clear.

Lets play a guessing game – can you identify which candidate holds which position?  To play the game put a checkmark by all the items with which you agree.

EconomyOne candidate wants to repeal tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000/yr. and would lower taxes on the manufacturing industry.  He would provide short term stimulus spending and provide tax cuts to grow the economy. He would cut spending and raise taxes on the wealthy to reduce the deficit. His focus would be on growing the middle class to benefit the economy for all. 

  The other candidate wants Bush era tax cuts to become permanent. He would lower all corporate tax cuts to 25% and reduce taxes and regulations to encourage business.  He would cut government spending by 5% to reduce the national deficit. His focus would be on providing benefits for big business, banking, and those with higher income ( the 1%)

Healthcare:  One candidate supports the 2010 healthcare overhaul bill that calls for patient protection to allowing coverage for pre-existing conditions, and would not permit insurers to cancel policies when patients get sick.  Individuals would be required to buy health insurance or pay a fine.  The other candidate created a similar healthcare plan in Mass. but believes it's not appropriate for all of USA and wants to repeal “Obamacare”. He proposes encouraging individuals to purchase their own health insurance rather than via employers, and allowing insurance across state lines.  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that eliminating “Obama care” would increase the federal budget deficit by an estimated $109 billion between 2013 and 2022.  (See reference below)

Immigration: One candidate supports offering a path to legalization for illegal immigrants that includes learning English & paying fines; toughens penalties for hiring illegal immigrants.  He has supported maintaining the fence along the Mexican border. He issued an exec order to not deport certain undocumented immigrants.  The second candidate would make English the official language of the US and "turn off the magnets like tuition breaks or other breaks that draw people into this country illegally".

Reproductive Rights: One candidate supports the health care reform law insurance plan that required coverage to provide contraception, (churches, synagogues, excluded).  He supports the concept that a women’s reproductive rights are between the woman and her doctor – no government intervention.    The second would sign a repeal of the health-care law, and thus eliminate the guarantees of contraceptive coverage. He also supports eliminating federal funding of Planned Parenthood because some affiliates provide abortions (though not with federal money). #2 also supports state having the right to pass laws that determine women’s access to contraception and abortion. 

Iraq:  One candidate opposed invasion of Iraq from the beginning; has opposed troop increase; ended military operations in Iran, following the previously negotiated Bush timeline. He agreed to troops moved into Afghanistan and to the Iranian border to improve stability in the region. The other candidate says that keeping the U.S. in Iraq is the best option for minimizing casualties and maintaining a democratic government in Iraq.

Iran:  Candidate #1 chooses to engage in direct diplomacy; tighten economic sanctions with international cooperation; military option not off the table. He believes in working closely with our NATO allies in forming our Iran policy – with the expressed focus on preventing the developing of a nuclear weapon in Iran.  Candidate #2: Military option is not off the table.

Global Warming and Environment:       “One” supports a mandatory cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions. Delay the decision on northern leg of Keystone XL pipeline due to environmental concerns. Recognizes the relationship between permitting increased CO2 in the atmosphere and global climate change.   “Two” opposes cap and trade legislation. Supports Keystone XL pipeline. Exporting carbon emissions to China hurts US and planet. (Aug 2007), $20 billion package for energy research & new car technology.  His party has not been on record for accepting global climate change and its causes. Note: To learn more about Cap and trade:

Position on Abortion:  One candidate  supports the Roe v. Wade decision; criticized Supreme Court decision that upheld ban on partial-birth abortions.  He supports the concept that women’s reproductive rights are between the woman and her doctor – no government intervention. The other candidate opposes Roe v. Wade; believes states should be allowed to ban abortions, 1994: Supported abortion rights but personally opposed, No punishment for women who have partial birth abortions, change of heart in 2005 when preparing to run for President.   The party of #2 has advocated for no exception in the abortion law in cases of rape or incest... To learn more about Row v. Wade visit this site:

Have you identified a pattern of your own positions? 
Of course the first candidate in each case is Obama, and the second Romney

Myself – I believe earnestly in an America with a strong middle class. An America that supports its public schools, makes medical available for all, respects the right of all people to make their own health decisions.  Recognizes and deals with the massive problems of global climate change and pollution of our air and water. I have had enough of selfish interest groups watching out for themselves and saying, “Let the middle class and the poor take care of themselves...”

So the choice will be for each of us Americans.
1.     Make sure you are registered and make plans to vote.
2.     Second - go beyond all the hype and expensive ad campaigns and learn about the issues.
3.  Get involved - work in your community to make sure that everyone has the right to vote and the support they need to get to the polls!

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Two brief must see videos:

My research sources: