By Ryan Chiu, Section Editor – World News In a series of four intense presidential and vice-presidential debates, bothends of the political spectrum showed their rhetorical and political colors. Both President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney were tested on their positions regarding different domestic and foreign policy issues. In an effort to recap what occurred during the past few weeks, below is a quick and – hopefully – easy-to-follow summary of all major statements provided by both presidential candidates in the debates. How will you create more jobs here in America? Romney: “My plan has five parts: Energy independence, more trade, training, a balanced budget, and championing small businesses.” Obama: “During my first term in office, I have created 5 million jobs here in America … [we need to] invest in education and training.” Any plans for Social Security? Romney: Supports voucher program for future retirees to give them choice between private insurance and Medicare. Reduce benefits for higher income people. Obama: “Both Romney and I are similar on Social Security, which is basically sound with minor adjustments. However, on Medicare we are different. Obamacare will save $716 billion by reducing payments to care providers, it helps close the “donut hole,” saving seniors $600 a person on average. It pays for preventative care visits. Romney’s voucher program will cost the average senior $6,000 a person.” Should Obamacare be repealed? Romney: “Yes. Obamacare added an unnecessary $716 billion in healthcare costs to Medicare. It was pushed through without bipartisan support. Three-quarters of small businesses said they would hold back on hiring because of the costs. Thirty percent of people will lose their existing insurance because companies will find it more cost effective to let them buy it on the exchange. Let the states manage a health care plan. Don’t let an unelected board decide health care coverage. I would create a plan that allows young people to stay on their parents’ plans. It would also allow people to get insurance for pre-existing conditions. It would provide incentives for health care companies to lower costs.” Obama: “I would keep Obamacare because it provides the following benefits. It provides coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. Health insurance companies can’t impose arbitrary lifetime limits. They have to pay you back if they spend too much of your premium on administration and advertising. Children can stay on their parents’ plan until age 26. You can keep your existing coverage. It allows you to pay a lower, group health insurance rate if you have to buy your own insurance. It provides a subsidy for those who can’t afford private health insurance. It pays the states to add more low income families to Medicaid. It closes the donut hole for those on Medicare. The board simply advises on best practices.” What is the proper role of our government? Romney: “Protect life and liberty, and the rights of people to make decisions for themselves.” He also advocated better schools. Provide vouchers for disabled and other children to allow them to attend the school of their choice. Romney agreed with Obama’s programs to boost education. Obama: “The first priority of our government must be defense.” Also, he wants to create opportunities for small businesses. Hire more teachers and improve education, such as with Race to the Top. Training programs with the Community Colleges. Lower educational costs by cutting out the middleman and lend directly to students. What is your tax plan? Romney: “Don’t raise taxes on the rich during a slow-growing economy … because it hurts small businesses … the National Federation of Independent Businesses said it would destroy 700,000 jobs.” Lower corporate rate by eliminating some loopholes and deductions. There is no tax break for shipping jobs overseas. Tax breaks to oil companies is only $2.8 billion a year, and it’s just an accounting adjustment, not a real tax break. It mostly goes to drillers and other small businesses.” Obama: Cut $4 billion a year in subsidies to oil companies. Lower corporate tax rate by eliminating tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas. Obama and Romney then debated whether Romney’s tax cut plan would reduce government revenue by $5 trillion and whether Romney’s spending plan would add $2 trillion to federal defense spending. On what level should the United States by involved in Syria? Romney: “I don’t think it’s necessary to put our military into Syria. [Instead,] we need to help organize the insurgents and give them more arms.” Obama: [Agrees with Romney’s stance] “Removing Assad is paramount. We don’t want to get into a military conflict, so we want to organize the opposition and make sure they have the arms they need.” How do we fund our efforts in national defense? Romney: “In eight to ten years, we will get a balanced budget by cutting non-defense spending by 10%, the first step … Get rid of Obamacare. I’ve had lots of experience in balancing a budget. Our Navy is smaller now – it needs 313 ships to be effective, but has less than 285. Our Air Force is smaller than in 1947. We can now only handle one conflict at a time. Obama will cut the military by $1 trillion, although this includes the fiscal cliff sequestration.” Obama: “Military spending has gone up every year I’ve been in office. We spend more on the military than the next 10 countries. I’ve asked the Joint Chiefs to plan for what we’ll need in the future — cybersecurity and space. It’s driven by strategy. It allows us to reduce our deficit by spending smarter, not more. Romney can’t spend $2 trillion more on defense, $5 trillion more on tax cuts and reduce the deficit. We have fewer ships because we have more aircraft carriers and submarines.” Should we pull out of Afghanistan / aid Pakistan? Romney: “[The Afghan government] will be ready. Recognize that Pakistan has a major effect on Afghanistan because they have 100 nuclear warheads. We will give Pakistan aid only if they meet certain benchmarks.” Obama: “By ending war in Iraq, we could refocus on Afghanistan. We’ve met many of the objective that got us there in the first place by decimating al-Qaeda’s core leadership. Afghans are now perfectly capable of defending their own country. We’ve got to transition responsibly. This allows us to free up resources to put our own people, especially veterans, back to work, build our infrastructure. It’s especially important to help the veterans with PTSD.” What is America’s role in the world? Romney: “We have a responsibility to promote principles such as elections, freedom of speech, etc. We want to end conflicts. To do so, we must be strong by strengthening our own economy. I won’t cut $1 trillion from the military budget. We have to be prepared for who knows what. We shouldn’t have pulled our missiles out of Poland. Obama shouldn’t have been silent during the Green Revolution in Tehran”. Romney reiterated 5-point plan: Energy independence (including alternative energy), more free trade with a focus on Latin America, training, create a balanced budget, and foster more small business creation. Obama: “America is stronger than four years ago, because we ended the war in Iraq, which allowed us to focus. For example, our alliances are now stronger than ever. We are rebuilding our economy by retraining workers, strengthening the auto industry, cutting our oil imports by building alternative energy. Romney’s plan doesn’t cut the deficit.”
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