ELECTION: Who’s who and what’s what in the presidential election

With the elections coming up in less than a month, we want to make sure your voice is heard. Whether you vote Republican or Democrat, your vote is needed. For those of you who are still undecided, here is a recap of some of the important issues from both parties:

The war in Iraq:
Obama: A phased removal of troops, taking about 16 months by the summer of 2010. Will also leave a residual military force to counteract terrorism.

McCain: Wants American troops to continue in Iraq until it is secure, stable and able to establish a democratic state.

Energy and the Environment
– Short term relief of gas prices, eliminate foreign dependency by supporting hybrid cars and creating a $7,000 tax credit for purchases of hybrids.
– Promote domestic oil production and natural gas. Approves advancement of clean coal technologies.

– Wants to expand oil and natural gas exploration and production from our own reserves.
– Will create a $5,000 tax credit for each individual who buys a zero carbon emissions car. Approves advancement of clean coal technologies.

The Economy:
– Proposes $1,000 immediate emergency energy rebate to working families for rising bill costs yearly by taxing the oil companies.
– Supports labor union organizations.
– Proposes a $25 billion state fund to prevent cuts in healthcare, education, housing and jobs.
– And proposes a $25 billion state fund to prevent road and bridge maintenance cuts which will also prevent mass job loss.
– Also proposes an increase on minimum wage to $9.50 per hour by 2011.

– “New” proposal in which the elderly, workers and unemployed will benefit. People withdrawing from their retirement or 401(K) will only pay 10 percent rather than the usual higher rates.
– Tax write-off of $15,000 for stock losses from 2008-2009.
– Tax suspension for unemployment insurance benefits and a 100 percent government guarantee for first 6 months of all savings accounts.
– Small business benefits such as tax cuts, minimized health insurance mandates and union mandates.
– Proposes to keep jobs from going overseas by lowering taxes on corporations.

– Proposes universal health coverage for all Americans.
– Proposes lowering the cost on existing insurance plans, with average savings of $2,500 per year.

– Proposes a refundable tax credit, or cash for healthcare, $2,500 per individual and $5,000 per family.
– Americans will be able to purchase health insurance from out of state therefore letting health insurance companies compete against each other, thus lower the rates of coverage.

– Proposes the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a fully refundable credit, in which the first $4,000 of college education is completely free, for most Americans.
– Wants to cover two-thirds of total tuition for public colleges and universities. Recipients of this credit will have to do 100 hours of community service.

– Proposes the American Opportunity Tax Credit as Obama.
– Plans to simplify federal financial aid applications and simplify tax benefits to make them less complicated and insuring more eligible participants will receive the aid.
– Proposes student loan continuity plan.

– Proposes tax cuts and a minimum of $1,000 in tax relief for middle class families.
– Families with an income of $250,000 of higher will not get increased taxes.

– Promises not to increase taxes on small businesses.
– Wants to cut corporate taxes from 35 to 25 percent.
– Seeking a permanent ban on internet taxes.
– Wants to ban new cell phone taxes.

– Proposes to create secure borders by penalizing employers who hire illegal immigrants.
– Raise number of legal immigrants to help keep families together.
– Proposes for illegal immigrants to pay a fine while in the country, learn English and start the process of immigration by going to the “back of the line” to become citizens.
– Work closer with Mexico to help promote their economic standing.

– Proposes border security by using physical and virtual barriers.
– Wants to fund training and staffing to secure the borders.
– Wants unmanned aircrafts and aerial vehicles to secure borders
– Proposes implementation of advance technological system to verify employment and verify eligibility. Works in conjunction with Homeland Security.
– Train skilled workers order to stay in U.S.
– Raise number of green cards available based on demand.
– Proposes program for undocumented immigrants that will consist of identity verification and criminal background check. Program will assist in having immigrants pay fines and back taxes, learn English, pass a citizenship course and help resolve legal status.

– Besides the tax breaks to family, (see taxes) proposes to expand earned income by qualifying working parents with small children.
– Wants to increase paid leave, sick leave and expand the Family Medical Leave Act.
– Expand flexible work arrangements.

– Supports the Family Medical Leave Act.
– Co-sponsored the Family Friendly Workplace Act, in which employers can provide flexible work schedules and compensatory time-off.

These are only some of the important issues Americans are concerned with.
Please note: there are many propositions made under each issue by the candidates. You can find out more detailed information under the candidate’s official campaign website.

The goal is to vote and make our voices be heard.

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ELECTION: Who’s who and what’s what in the presidential election