Birth Control – Opposes abortion rights, though he previously supported them; states state law should guide abortion rights, and Roe vs Wade should be reversed by a future Supreme Court ruling; said he would end federal aid to Planned Parenthood.
China- He said he would formally declare China a currency manipulator and would get tougher with China on human rights, religious freedom and intellectual property rights; wants more military capabilities in the Pacific to counter Beijing’s growing influence in East Asia. His company, Bain Capital shipped American jobs overseas to counties like China.
Debt – Promises to cut $500 billion per year from the federal budget by 2016 and to balance it by 2020, but vital specifics are lacking; at same time would increase military spending , reverse $716 billion in Medicare cuts and cut taxes; favors constitutional balanced budget amendment.
Economy – Lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budget, more trade deals to spur growth replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts; proposes repeal of the law toughening financial – industry regulations after the meltdown that sector.
Education – Supported federal accountability standards of “No Child Left Behind Law; has said student testing, charter-school incentives and teacher evaluation standards of Obama’s “Race to the Top” competition “makes sense” though the federal government should have less control of education.
Energy – Pledges US will become independent to energy sources outside of North America by 2020; supports opening Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves, Western Lands, the Artic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska to drilling; wants to reduce obstacles to energy development by weakening the EPA’s rules.
Environment – Says green power has yet to become viable and the causes of climate change are unknown; opposes “ cap and trade” policy that limits emissions; proposes to remove carbon dioxide from lists of pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act.
Gay Rights - Opposes legal recognition of same-sex marriage, says it should be banned with a constitutional amendment; opposes civil unions but says states should decide which rights and benefits should be allowed under those unions; would not seek to restore the ban on openly gay military members.
Guns- Opposes stricter gun control law; suggested he favors tougher enforcement of existing gun laws; as MA governor, vowed in 2002 to protect the state’s “tough guns laws” and in 2004 signed a MA ban on assault weapons.
Health Care – Promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act that was modeled after his MA universal health care ; saying that states should drive policy on the uninsured; would expand individual tax-advantaged medical saving accounts and let saving be used for premiums and medical costs. Said that he would make Medicare a voucher system.
Immigration – Favors US – Mexico border fence; opposes education benefits to illegal immigrants; opposes offering legal status to illegal immigrants who attend college, but would do so for those who serve in the military; would establish an immigration – status verification system for employers.
Mideast- Appears to present a clearer US military threat to Iran; has spoken in favor of coveret action by the US in Syria but not military invervention; said “”Palestinians do not want peace and are committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel”
Social Security – Says he would protect the status quo for people 55 and older but , for the next generation of retirees would raise the retirement age for full benefits by one or two years and reduce inflation increase in benefits fot wealthier recipients.
Taxes – Wants to keep Bush – era tax cuts for all and drop all tax rates by 20 percent ; would curtail deductions, credits, exemptions for the wealthiest, end for individual, end capital gains tax for those Alternative Minimum Tax making below $200,000 , cut corporate tax to 25 percent.
Terrorism – Says foreign terrorism suspects should have no constitutional rights; in 2007 refused to rule out use of waterboarding to interrogate terrorist suspects; his campaign has said he doe not consider waterboarding to be torture. Said that Russia is the current biggest threat to the US.
War – Endorse 2014 end to US combat in Afghanistan, subject to conditions at the time; would increase strength of armed forces, including number of troops and warships, addition almost $100 billion to the defense budget in 2016.
.President Barack Obama
Birth Control – Pro-Choice; believes in women’s right to choose.
China – Opposes citing China as a currency manipulator, which could lead to broad trade sanctions, instead pressing the matter through diplomacy and aggressively burnt unfair-trade cases to the WTO.
Debt – Promises to cut deficits by $4 trillion over 10 years, a goal that will require Congress to raise the capital gains tax, boost a taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year, impose a minimum 30 percent tax on incomes above $1million.
Economy – Term marked by high unemployment, a deep recession that began in the previous administration and gradual recovery; responded to recession with a roughly $800 billion stimulus plan, expanded auto bailout begun under Bush; inherited and carried forward Wall Street bailout.
Education – Has approved waivers freeing states from the most onerous requirements of the Bush – era ‘No Child Left Behind‘ law; “ Race to the Top’ competition has rewarded winning states with billions of dollars for pursing education policies Obama supports.
Energy – Ordered temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling after the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf Mexico but has pushed for more oil and gas drilling overall; achieved historic increases in fuel economy standards expect to save money at the pump while raising the code of new vehicles.
Environment – Achieved regulations on – heat-tapping gases blamed for global warming and on mercury pollution from power plants; spent heavily on green energy and has embraced nuclear power as a clean source; failed to persuade a Democratic congress tin 2009 to pass limits he promised on carbon emissions.
Gay Rights- Supports legal recognition of same- sex marriage; achieved repeal of the military ban on openly gay members; has not achieved repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages.
Guns – Has not pushed for stricter gun laws as president; signed laws letting people carry concealed weapons in national parks and in checked bags on Amtrak trains; voices support for renewed ban on assault-type weapons; previously backed stronger gun controls.
Health Care – Achieved landmark overhaul with the Affordable Care Act
including a Medicaid expansion and a mandate for almost everyone to obtain insurance; under the law, insurers may not deny coverage to people with pre-existing illness, tax credits will subsidize premiums, people can seek insurance in new marks and young adults can stay on their parent’s health care plan until age 26.
Immigration – Issued directive that immigrants brought illegally to the US as children be exempted from deportation and granted work permits if they apply; has failed to deliver on promised immigration overhaul but says he is still committed to it.
Mideast – Opposes near-term military strike on Iran except as last resort to stop it from getting nuclear weapons,; seeks international pressure against Syrian government rather then military aid for oppositions.
Social Security – Has not proposed a comprehensive plan to address Social Security’s long-term financial problems; proposed a new way of measuring inflation that would reduce annual increase in Social Security’s benefits, which would reduce the long-term shortfall be a bout 25 percent.
Taxes – Would raise taxes on the wealthy and ensure they pay at least 30 percent of their income; would extend Bush-era tax cuts for those making under ›200,000 ($250,000 for couples), let top two tax rates go back up on 396 percent and 36 percent, raise rates on capital gains and dividends for the wealthy.
Terrorism – Approved the raid that killed Osama bin Laden ; set policy that the US would no longer use harsh interrogation techniques; expanded use of drone strikes against terrorist targets abroad.