Election 2012: Issue Breakdown

Sam Canter, Staff Writer

With Tuesday’s election just around the corner, the man who will be America’s next president is on everyone’s mind. But many students who can vote are still on the fence about which candidate to support. The Californian has put together a breakdown of President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s policies on the big issues in order to help young voters exercise their most powerful tool: their brains.

EDUCATION

Romney advocates a system where student loans are handled by private banks, who would receive federal subsidies for the services. His main reforms to the education system would be limiting the powers of the teachers unions and removing the federal program for giving student loans.

Obama has implemented several education reforms during his term. One of the most prominent is the transferring student loans from the banks to the government, and capping loan repayments at 10 percent of income. Another major policy is the race to the top initiative, which rewards high performing or otherwise innovative public schools.

HEALTH CARE

Romney has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. He would also change the current Medicare system of paying doctors directly with a voucher system. The vouchers could then either be paid to hospitals, or used to pay for an insurance plan similar to Medicare. Additionally, he would raise the minimum age for Medicare and eventually make it so the minimum age is directly related to average life expectancy.

Obama proposed and passed a controversial health care initiative called the Affordable Care Act. This act, also known as Obamacare, changed the health care system in two major ways. It’s purpose is to prevent insurance companies changing the cap on people’s coverage, or dropping coverage if someone get sick. It also serves to lower prescription costs and provides free preventative services for those on Medicare.

FOREIGN POLICY (Middle East)

In the wake of the recent wave of revolutions in the Middle East, Romney promises to stabilize U.S. relations with post-revolutionary states such as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. He is in favor of providing both diplomatic and financial aid to theses countries in order to help to establish working governments. He would also pay special attention to relations with Egypt, as it is one of the United States’ biggest allies in the region.

Obama has promised to do many of the same things as Romney in the post revolutionary Middle East. He too promises to provide aid to the Arab states that were destabilized during the Arab revolutions. Additionally, he has committed to paying special attention to both Egypt and Israel.

WAR POLICY

Romney promises to completely transition to local Iraqi and Afghani police forces and armies in the area by the end of 2014. He will strive to gain the cooperation of both the Iraqi and Afghani governments in trying to eradicate the Taliban and other terrorist groups.

Obama has promised to withdraw all of the American troops from Afghanistan by 2014. Also, since 2010, he has been trying to secure all nuclear material that could be used by America’s enemies. He also strives to put measures in place to prevent North Korea and Iran from developing nuclear capability.

SOCIAL POLICY

Romney does not support gay marriage. He has stated that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, and has promised to legislate in a manner consistent with those ideals. Romney is also opposed to abortion excluding the circumstances of incest, rape, or to save the life of the mother. He believes life begins at conception, and thusly is also against embryonic stem cell research

Obama is in support of marriage equality, which includes gay marriage. Obama is also a proponent of contraceptives, and a woman’s right to choose abortion.

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