We are one day away from the Presidential election and the R2G would like to take a look at the Top 10 topics and how the candidates stack up. You may think that this is a long read, but it is worth your time if you are serious about this election. Take your time to digest the facts on how the Presidential candidates stand on the 10 Hot Topics concerning the future of our great nation. When you are done digesting all of this information, make your decision very carefully. The future of our nation depends on you casting your vote. As you will see, the R2G will not endorse a candidate because I think it is wrong for any kind of media to try to sway voters in their choices. The only thing I ask is that you take some time to consider your vote, and cast your ballot based on the facts and not the dirty politics that has been played by many candidates.
1. ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
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. 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. Says green power has yet to become viable and the causes
of climate change are unknown.
OBAMA: Ordered temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling after the massive BP
oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico but has pushed for more oil and gas
drilling overall. Achieved historic increases in fuel economy standards
that will save money at the pump while raising the cost of new vehicles.
Achieved first-ever regulations on heat-trapping gases blamed for
global warming and on toxic mercury pollution from power plants. Spent
heavily on green energy and has embraced nuclear power as a clean
source. Failed to persuade a Democratic Congress to pass limits he
promised on carbon emissions.
2. GUN CONTROL
ROMNEY: Opposes stricter gun control laws. Suggested after the Colorado theater
shooting that he favors tougher enforcement of existing gun laws. As
Massachusetts governor, vowed in 2002 to protect the state's "tough gun
laws," and in 2004 signed a Massachusetts ban on assault weapons.
OBAMA: Has not pushed for stricter gun laws as president. Signed laws letting
people carry concealed weapons in national parks and in checked bags on
Amtrak trains. Favors "robust steps, within existing law" to address gun
issues, White House says. Voices support for renewed ban on
assault-type weapons but has not tried to get that done. Previously
backed stronger gun controls.
ROMNEY: Supported federal accountability standards of No Child Left Behind law.
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. Says increases in federal student aid encourage tuition to go
up, too. Wants to see private lenders return to the federal student
OBAMA: Has approved waivers freeing states from the most onerous requirements
of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. "Race to the Top" grant
competition has rewarded winning states with billions of dollars for
pursuing education policies Obama supports. Won approval from Congress
for a $10,000 college tax credit over four years and increases in Pell
Grants and other financial aid.
4. GAY RIGHTS
ROMNEY: Opposes legal recognition of same-sex marriage and says it should be
banned with a constitutional amendment, not left to states. "Marriage is
not an activity that goes on within the walls of a state." Also opposes
civil unions "if they are identical to marriage other than by name,"
but says states should be left to decide what rights and benefits should
be allowed under those unions. Says certain domestic partnership
benefits —largely unspecified — as well as hospital visitation rights
are appropriate but "others are not." Says he would not seek to restore
the ban on openly gay military members.
OBAMA: Supports legal recognition of same-sex marriage, a matter decided by
states. Opposed that recognition in 2008 presidential campaign, and in
2004 Senate campaign, while supporting the extension of legal rights and
benefits to same-sex couples in civil unions. Achieved repeal of the
military ban on openly gay members. Has not achieved repeal of the
Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same-sex
marriages and affirms the right of states to refuse to recognize such
marriages. Administration has ceased defending the law in court but it
remains on the books.
5. HEALTH CARE
ROMNEY: Promises to work for repeal of the law modeled largely after his
universal health care achievement in Massachusetts because he says
states, not Washington, should drive policy on the uninsured. Proposes
to guarantee that people who are "continuously covered" for a certain
period be protected against losing insurance if they get sick, leave
their job and need another policy. Would expand individual
tax-advantaged medical savings accounts and let savings be used for
insurance premiums as well as personal medical costs.
OBAMA: Achieved landmark overhaul putting U.S. on path to
universal coverage now that Supreme Court has upheld the law's mandate
for almost everyone to obtain insurance. Under the law, insurers will be
banned from denying coverage to people with pre-existing illness, tax
credits will subsidize premiums, people without work-based insurance
will have access to new markets, small business gets help for offering
insurance and Medicaid will expand.
6. SOCIAL SECURITY
ROMNEY: Protect the status quo for people 55 and over but, for
the next generation of retirees, raise the retirement age for full
benefits by one or two years and reduce inflation increases in benefits
for wealthier recipients.
OBAMA: Has not proposed a comprehensive plan to address Social
Security's long-term financial problems. In 2011, proposed a new measure
of inflation that would reduce annual increases in Social Security
benefits. The proposal would reduce the long-term financing shortfall by
about 25 percent, according to the Social Security actuaries.
ROMNEY: Keep Bush-era tax cuts for all incomes and drop all tax
rates further, 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. Does not specify which tax breaks or
programs he would curtail to help cover costs.
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. But in
2010, agreed to a two-year extension of the lower rates for all. Wants
to let the top two tax rates go back up 3 to 4 percentage points to 39.6
percent and 36 percent, and raise rates on capital gains and dividends
for the wealthy. Health care law provides for tax on highest-value
health insurance plans. Together with Congress, built a first-term
record of significant tax cuts, some temporary.
8. War And The Military
ROMNEY: Proposes increase in military spending. Endorses 2014 end
to U.S. combat in Afghanistan. Would increase strength of armed forces,
including number of troops and warships, adding almost $100 billion to
the Pentagon budget in 2016. In addition, criticized congressional
Republicans for negotiating a deficit-cutting deal with the White House
that will mean automatic and massive cuts in Pentagon spending next year
if federal budget deal is not reached in time.
OBAMA: Ended the Iraq war,
increased U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan then began drawing down
the force with a plan to have all out by the end of 2014. Approved U.S.
air power in NATO-led campaign that helped Libyan opposition topple
government. Major cuts coming in the size of the Army and Marine Corps
as part of agreement with congressional Republicans to cut military
spending over a decade.
ROMNEY: No constitutional rights for foreign terrorism suspects.
In 2007, refused to rule out use of water boarding to interrogate
terrorist suspects. In 2011, his campaign said he does not consider
water boarding to be torture.
OBAMA: Approved the raid that found and killed Osama bin Laden,
set policy that U.S. would no longer use harsh interrogation techniques,
a practice that had essentially ended late in George W. Bush's
presidency. Largely carried forward Bush's key anti-terrorism policies,
including detention of suspects at Guantanamo Bay despite promise to
close the prison. Expanded use of unmanned drone strikes against
terrorist targets in Pakistan and Yemen. The deadly attack by militants
on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September raised questions
that persist about the quality of U.S. intelligence and about why
requests for added security there were denied before the assault.
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. Would establish a national immigration-status
verification system for employers and punish them if they hire
non-citizens who do not prove their authorized status. Would end visa
caps for spouses and minor children of legal immigrants. Would honor
work permits for immigrants who benefit from Obama's new policy but not
accept new applicants under the program, and promises to put in place a
comprehensive immigration plan before those permits expire.
OBAMA: Issued directive in June that immigrants brought illegally
to the United States as children be exempted from deportation and
granted work permits if they apply. Took the temporary step after
failing to deliver on promised immigration overhaul, with the defeat of
legislation that would have created a path to citizenship for young
illegal immigrants enrolled in college or enlisted in the armed forces.
Says he is still committed to it. Government has deported a record
number of illegal immigrants under Obama.
There you have it! A comprehensive look at the Top 10 topics concerning tomorrow's Presidential Election. Make sure you head to the polls tomorrow to cast your vote. Your vote counts.
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