Posted by: coastcontact | April 30, 2012

Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues

The Associated Press offered a detailed and lengthy run down of where Obama and Romney stand on the issues that we all to consider in the next election. Following is a summary. You can read the detail at http://my.earthlink.net/article/pol?guid=20120430/fe9b4c4c-15ca-43a7-9a4d-2605576b3e73

 

ABORTION and BIRTH CONTROL:
  

Obama: Supports abortion rights.

Romney: Opposes abortion rights.
  

DEBT:

Obama: Federal spending is estimated at 23.5 percent of gross domestic product this year, up from about 20 percent in previous administration, and is forecast to decline to 21.8 percent by 2016. Calls for tackling the debt with a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases. Central to Obama’s plan is to let Bush-era tax cuts expire for couples making more than $250,000. Debt reduction is based upon a stepped 10 year plan.

Romney: Would cap federal spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product by end of first term. Proposes broad but largely unspecified cuts in federal spending. Among the few details: 10 percent cut in federal workforce, elimination of $1.6 billion in Amtrak subsidies and cuts of $600 million in support for the arts and broadcasting.

ECONOMY:

Obama: Continued implementation of Wall Street and auto industry bailouts begun under George W. Bush. Proposes tax breaks for U.S. manufacturers producing domestically or repatriating jobs from abroad, and tax penalties for U.S. companies outsourcing jobs. Won approval of South Korea, Panama and Colombia free-trade pacts begun under previous administration, completing the biggest round of trade liberalization since the North American Free Trade Agreement and other pacts of that era.

Romney: Lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budget, more trade deals to spur growth. Replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts. Proposes repeal of the (Dodd-Frank) law toughening financial-industry regulations after the meltdown in that sector. Proposes repeal of the (Sarbanes-Oxley) law tightening accounting regulations in response to corporate scandals, and replacing it with less onerous rules to ease the accountability burden on smaller businesses.

EDUCATION:

Obama: Has approved waivers freeing states from the most onerous requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law with their agreement to improve how they prepare and evaluate students. “Race to the Top” competition has rewarded winning states with billions of dollars for pursuing education policies Obama supports. Won approval for a college tax credit worth up to $10,000 over four years and more money for Pell grants for low-income college students. Wants Congress to agree to reduce federal aid to colleges that go too far in raising tuition.

Romney: Supported the federal accountability standards of No Child Left Behind law. In 2007, said he was wrong earlier in career when he wanted the Education Department shut because he came to see the value of the federal government in “holding down the interests of the teachers’ unions” and putting kids and parents first. Has said the student testing, charter-school incentives and teacher evaluation standards of Obama’s “Race to the Top” competition “make sense” although the federal government should have less control of education.

ENERGY and ENVIRONMENT

Obama: Proposes Congress give oil market regulators more power to control price manipulation by speculators and stiffer fines for doing so. Failed to persuade a Democratic Congress to pass limits he promised on carbon emissions. Shelved plan to toughen health standards on lung-damaging smog. Rejected Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada but supports fast-track approval of a segment of it. Proposes ending subsidies to oil industry but has failed to persuade Congress to do so.


Romney: Supports opening the Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves to drilling, as well as Western lands, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska; and supports exploitation of shale oil deposits. Wants to reduce obstacles to coal, natural gas and nuclear energy development, and accelerate drilling permits in areas where exploration has already been approved for developers with good safety records.


GAY RIGHTS:

Obama: Once opposed federal recognition of same-sex marriage, later said his views were “evolving” and has not taken a position on that since.

Romney: Favors constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

HEALTH CARE:

Obama: Achieved landmark legislation and if the Supreme Court upholds the heath care law and its mandate for almost everyone to obtain insurance.

Romney: Promises to work for the repeal of the federal health care law.

IMMIGRATION:

Obama: Failed to deliver on a promised immigration overhaul. . Says he is still committed to it.

Romney: Favors U.S.-Mexico border fence, opposes education benefits to illegal immigrants. Opposes offering legal status to illegal immigrants who attend college, but would do so for those who serve in the armed forces. Proposes more visas for holders of advanced degrees in math, science and engineering who have U.S. job offers, and would award permanent residency to foreign students who graduate from U.S. schools with a degree in those fields.

SOCIAL SECURITY:

Obama: Has not proposed a comprehensive plan to address Social Security’s long-term financial problems.

Romney: Protect the status quo for people 55 and over but, for the next generations of retirees, raise the retirement age for full benefits by one or two years and reduce inflation increases in benefits for wealthier recipients.

TAXES:

Obama: Wants to raise taxes on the wealthy and ensure they pay 30 percent of their income at minimum. Supports extending Bush-era tax cuts for everyone making under $200,000, or $250,000 for couples.

Romney: Drop all tax rates by 20 percent, bringing the top rate, for example, down to 28 percent from 35 percent and the lowest rate to 8 percent instead of 10 percent. Curtail deductions, credits and exemptions for the wealthiest. End Alternative Minimum Tax for individuals, eliminate capital gains tax for families making below $200,000 and cut corporate tax to 25 percent from 35 percent.

TERRORISM:

Obama: Largely carried forward Bush’s key anti-terrorism policies, including detention of suspects at Guantanamo Bay despite promise to close the prison. Also has continued with military commissions instead of civilian courts for detainees and invocation of state secrets privilege in court. Expanded use of unmanned drone strikes against terrorist targets in Pakistan and Yemen.

Romney: No constitutional rights for foreign terrorism suspects. He does not consider waterboarding to be torture.

WAR:

Obama: Declined to repeat the Libya air power commitment for Syrian opposition. Opposes a near-term military strike on Iran, either by the U.S. or by Israel, to sabotage nuclear facilities that could be misused to produce a nuclear weapon. Says the U.S. will never tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran but negotiation and pressure through sanctions are the right way to prevent that outcome. Reserves the right to one day conclude that only a military strike can stop Iran from getting the bomb.


Romney: Has not specified the troop numbers behind his pledge to ensure the “force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully” in Afghanistan. Would increase strength of armed forces, including number of troops andwarships, adding almost $100 billion to the Pentagon budget in 2016.

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