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- For Teachers
The presidential election this year has been a fight for victory. President- Elect Barack Obama, from the Democratic Party, and Senator John McCain from the Republican Party, both have ideas to change the future of America. These candidates have plans to conquer the problems one faces in his/her daily live including, but not limited to: Social Security, energy, health care, and Medicare.
The Social Security system is definitely a major issue in the presidential election. Obama has proposed levying a 2 percent to 4 percent tax on payroll earnings above $250,000 a decade from now to deal with Social Security; but experts say that would only fix a small part of the problem with the pension program. He will also eliminate income taxes on those over 65 earning less than $50,000. Obama insists, “Social Security is fixable.” He later replies, “It’s going to require some courage and it’s going to require some bipartisanship.” However, Obama disagrees with McCain’s plans. McCain has modified his support for creating private Social Security accounts. “I won’t hand off to an unluckier generation a system that’s broken, I promise you that. He said, “And it’s broken and you know it and I know it and we’re going to fix it and we’re going to make the case to the nation that the Republicans and Democrats have to sit down together and fix this system.” McCain feels that his support for lower taxes on investment and business income is linked to Social Security solvency: Lower taxes would lead to economic growth and increased productivity, which would generate payroll taxes that are essential to keeping Social Security functioning.
Medicare is another primary issue in the 08 election. Senator McCain says, “By 2019, Medicare will be broke. We are currently spending more on Medicare than we are collecting in payroll taxes and cashing in the few IOUs left in the trust fund.” His proposals to fix this include: reforming the payment system for Medicare by compensating providers for diagnosis, prevention and chronic care coordination rather than rewarding those who provide “more and more complex services.” McCain feels we should focus first on helping the uninsured and older people who can’t afford medicines. Under the drug benefit, he said, middle- class Americans are subsidizing wealthier Americans, who could afford to pay for their prescriptions. “It did not make any sense to spend billions to create a huge new entitlement that covers people who don’t really need it,” McCain said. When asked about the same subject, President- Elect Obama says, “Medicare is what keeps me up at night.” He also said, “That’s the thing that’s going to be boring a hole through our budget and crowding out everything else.” He wants to negotiate the prescription drug prices and will invest $10 dollars in health care for providers. He also said, “We can’t solve this just by cutting people’s benefits or squeezing providers more. We have to emphasize wellness and prevention and rationalize the system so we’re getting more bang for our health care dollar.”
Most people will agree that our nation's future security and prosperity depends on the next President making the hard choices that will break our nation's strategic dependence on foreign sources of energy and will ensure our economic prosperity by meeting tomorrow's demands for a clean portfolio. John McCain has made the necessary choices - producing more power, pushing technology to help free our transportation sector from its use of foreign oil, cleaning up our air and addressing climate change, and ensuring that Americans have dependable energy sources. John McCain will lead the effort to develop advanced transportation technologies and alternative fuels to promote energy independence and cut off the flow of oil wealth to repressive dictatorships like Iran. Barack Obama also feels this is a major issue. He says, “If we don’t solve our energy problems soon, not only do we have a national security problem, but we also have an enormous environmental problem to go along with the economic problems it creates.” He proposes a $150 billion 10- year plan to reduce oil consumption by the 3.4 barrels a day the US imports from the Middle East and Venezuela. This would include a $7,000 tax credit for buying more fuel-efficient cars; cutting electricity consumption by up to 15 percent by 2020; and offering tax incentives and grants to retool U.S. auto plants, encourage research and development and double the use of renewable energy. Like Obama said, “That’s the low- hanging fruit. The flip side of this is that there are huge opportunities for creating green jobs throughout the economy.”
To many, health care is one of the prominent issues in the 08 Presidential Election. McCain said,” Addressing health care costs to ensure access to affordable and quality care for all Americans will be a top priority on day one of my administration, day two, day three and every day after that.” McCain’s wants to eliminate business tax deductions for health spending in favor of individual tax credits and health savings accounts that encourage people to save for medical expenses. McCain’s tax credit plan calls for a $2,500 credit for an individual and $5,000 for a family. Those amounts won’t cover the entire costs of health insurance, he said. But for people who have no coverage, the credits will help them buy into a plan. And for workers who have coverage through an employer, his plan would pay for that coverage and leave some money left over to stash in a tax-preference health savings account. Obama, however, has a totally different plan. Obama proposes mandated coverage for all children, a new national public health plan, and a National Health Insurance Exchange, where those unable to get employer- provided care or with preexisting medical conditions could buy private coverage. He would finance the $50 billion- to 65 billion- a- year price tag for the health proposals by canceling the 2001 tax cut for those earning over $200,000.
Both candidates have their good points and their bad points, and in an election year polarized by the war and the economy, knowing about each candidate is vital. Both candidates have a plan for dealing with the issues our country faces and with the information at hand, people can chose who best suits their ideals and values.
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