Where they stand
Service for savings, simplifying FAFSA
Champions making college more affordable by creating the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which would cover the first $4,000 of education costs. Those who took the credit would have to commit to 100 hours of community service. Obama also advocates scrapping the FAFSA form and instead allowing families to check a box on their tax forms.
Cleaning up the system with consolidation
Wants to simplify the administration of financial aid and tax benefit programs by consolidating and removing government regulations. McCain also advocates modernizing universities and tackling the student lending business.
Leaving Iraq and increasing world communication
Believes strongly in diplomacy and proposes reestablishing ties with Latin America, addressing poverty and genocide in Africa and strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In Iraq, Obama plans to focus on a phased troop withdraw spanned over 16 months. Following that, he aims to develop a compact with countries throughout the Middle East to ensure stability.
Forming alliances and applying group pressure
Advocates joining forces with the international community to put pressure on Syria and Iran rather than direct diplomacy. McCain opposes setting a timetable for removing troops from Iraq, but believes most could be home by 2013. He also wants Iraq’s neighbors to help stabilize the region and jumpstart economic engines.
Economy and Taxes
Scrapping Bush Tax cuts
Plans to roll back Bush tax credits for households earning $250, 000 or more per year. Also supports simplifying the IRS filing process, giving a tax cut of $500 for workers and $1,000 for working couples, eliminating the income tax for seniors making less than $50,000 a year. Also plans to reduce tax credits to businesses that create and keep American jobs.
Keeping Bush Tax cuts
Plans to make Bush tax credits permanent and create an alternative tax system people could choose from. Also supports increasing job growth by cutting the corporate tax from 35 to 25 percent.
Environment and Energy
Supports establishing a cap-and-trade system on carbon emissions and wants to reduce them to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Also advocates doubling fuel economy standards within 18 years. When it comes to energy, Obama plans to invest $150 billion to create 5 million “green” jobs over the next 10 years. He promotes responsible domestic production of oil and natural gas.
Cap, trade, drill
Advocates a cap and trade carbon system and wants to reduce emissions to 60 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. McCain has put for the Lexington Project to address energy needs. He opposes arctic drilling and ethanol subsidies but supports offshore drilling and wants to add 100 new nuclear plants.
Health care for everyone
Aims to promote universal coverage by establishing a National Health Insurance Exchange, encompassing private insurers as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress. Favors making portable plans and requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions and preventative procedures. Obama also would require all children to have coverage and would establish tax credits for small businesses to provide coverage.
Affordability through options
Advocates controlling costs by providing people with choices and providing tax credits for individuals and families. Also wants to get rid of tax deductibles for employer-sponsored insurance and encourage more free market competition. McCain also supports portable plans.
Source: Campaign Web sites
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