This is the second of my two-part series aimed at helping you make a decision on whom you’ll likely vote for in the upcoming presidential election.
As I’d said last week, over the long run, the choices we make – through the Presidents we elect – significantly shape America’s domestic, economic and foreign policies malake gedaian and impact our lives very directly – with decisions on taxes, budgets, spending on military and defense, healthcare, immigration, foreign policy, the environment, freedom of choice, appointment of Supreme Court judges, and so on… a President’s policy decision have a profound economic impact on our lives, the markets and the stocks we own.
Last time, I spoke to you about each candidate’s view on major economic topics such as:
– Tax cuts (Obama wants to increase them for the rich, Romney wants to lower them, and data shows that the rich already pay a disproportionately higher % of all taxes)
– Corporate taxes (Obama wants them lowered for manufacturing, Romney wants them lowered across the board because, he argues, if it’s good for manufacturing, it’s good for every other sector. I also told my viewers that US corporations currently are the most-heavily taxed in the world)
– Stimulus spending (Obama wants to spend more, Romney hasn’t clearly spoken out on this one)
Today, I’m going to speak about some of the other hot-button topics such as healthcare, environmental policy, foreign policy, etc.
Let’s start with healthcare. As many of you know, in 2010, Obama signed what’s now called ObamaCare -sweeping legislation that protects patients by allowing healthcare coverage even if someone has a pre-existing condition. ObamaCare also prevents insurance companies from canceling policies when patients get sick – another dubious practice that brought out some really heart-wrenching stories of insurance giving common working Americans the runaround. And, ObamaCare mandates that all Americans buy insurance or pay a fine.
Now, interestingly, Romney created pretty similar healthcare legislation when he was the governor of Massachusetts but, perhaps because he’s playing to conservative Republicans, he now says it’s not appropriate for all of America… and, frankly, I find that to be a little confusing. Romney plans to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with individuals privately buying their own health insurance, much as they buy car insurance today.
On Immigration – a pretty hot topic here in Florida – Obama supports the legalization of illegal immigrants who are already here provided they learn English and pay requisite fines for having entered our country illegally. Obama also wants to toughen penalties for hiring illegal immigrants because he’d much rather see citizens employed then see their jobs done by illegal workers from across the border. Obama, as some of you may recall, was also in favor of setting-up a fence along the U.S. Mexico border. However, he also issued executive orders to not deport undocumented immigrants.
Romney isn’t as lenient on illegal immigrants. He wants to make English the official language of the U.S. and curtail certain – what he calls – magnets such as subsidized tuition rates that attract people illegally to our country and avail of its various benefits even though our legal, tax-paying public bears the burden.
On Iraq, Obama was always opposed to our invasion of that country. He also opposed troop increases and ended military operations in Iraq as president. Romney, on the other hand, thinks that we should continue to have our troops in Iraq to minimize casualties and ensure that the country continues to remain a democracy and does not slip into the hands of terrorists and fundamentalists like the Taliban.
Iran is another country that’s been in the news of late – partly because of the United Nations summit in New York that criticized Iran’s nuclear program and partly because an Iranian journalist now wants to defect to the U.S. – much to the embarrassment of the Iranian government. Obama wants to engage in direct diplomacy with Iran, tighten economic sanctions with international cooperation and keep all military options on the table. Romney also wants to keep all military options on the table and has not clearly specified his other viewers on handling Iran’s nuclear program. (Though in the VP debate, Ryan seemed to suggest a harsher approach to Iran). Of course, it’s hard to separate fact from hyperbole.
On the environment and global warming, Obama believes global warming is real, wants to reduce carbon emissions through a mandatory cap-and-trade system, and policy-wise has pushed back decision-making on developing America’s own energy infrastructure due to environmental concerns.
Now, just as Romney plays to his Republican conservatives, on this one Obama is likely playing to his liberal democratic base of voters. Environmentalists are typically democrats.
Romney opposes cap and trade legislation because he believes it’s going to hurt the global competitiveness of America’s businesses against our trade nations that often care little about environmental regulations. Romney also supports steps that will make the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil. Romney also plans to spend $20 billion for energy research and new car technology.
So there you have it – the candidates’ positions on economic and non-economic issues, and I help this helps you pick one if you’re undecided. And like I said before, your vote counts so please make sure you register and take time out to vote on Election Day. It’s one of those things where if you do it once, you’re more involved and become a more committed citizen.