Parties in the USA (Obama)

By Spencer Easterbrook, Editor-in-Chief

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Health Care: The signature accomplishment of the Obama administration is the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” which will almost eliminate the number of uninsured Americans and reduce the overall costs of health care for the nation. The law will allow children to stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26, prohibit the denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, prevent companies from charging differently based on gender and ban annual and lifetime coverage caps. Mitt Romney does not have a plan that legitimately addresses the approximately 50 million Americans who would be uninsured without Obamacare.

Immigration: Barack Obama supports the DREAM Act, legislation that would provide permanent residency to illegal immigrants who arrived in the United States as minors, graduated from high school, have no criminal record and have lived in the United States for at least five years. The law would also allow temporary residency for immigrants who have served in the military for at least two years or have completed two or more years of college. This summer, Obama issued an executive order suspending deportations for illegal immigrants who have been in the United States since they were children. Romney has previously stated that he supports encouraging “self-deportation” of illegal immigrants and, according to his own website, wants to build a “high-tech fence” to enhance boarder security.

Gay Marriage: This past May, Obama became the first sitting president to endorse same-sex marriage. This statement fired up the bases of both parties, and will most likely not affect the result of the general election. Support for gay marriage has shot up in the past 10 years. According to a CNN poll, 69 percent of adults under 30 support gay marriage. Romney supports a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Women’s Issues: Obama supports the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion. On his first day in office, Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, making it easier for women to file pay discrimination lawsuits. Romney previously supported abortion, but now wants the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Economy: There have been 31 straight months of job growth under President Obama and 5.2 million new private sector jobs created. Obama signed the auto bailout into law early in his term. This stimulus to the auto industry kept American car companies from collapsing and saved hundreds of thousands of jobs associated with the industry. Since January GMC has been the largest car company in the world. Millions of jobs were lost in the last months of George Bush’s presidency and in the first month of Obama’s, before his new legislation could make any impact.  The economy is certainly not where it needs to be, but it is also definitely on the right track.

Education: Obama has doubled funding for Pell Grants and fought to prevent the interest rates of student loans from doubling over the summer. He capped federal student loan repayments at 10 percent of income. Obama supports further investment in public school education across the country. Romney advocates for more choices in schools and private school vouchers, which would reduce the funding of public schools and lower their quality.

Middle East:

Obama has ended the war in Iraq and continued with the plan to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014. He crippled Al Qaeda through drone strikes and authorized the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden. Both candidates support strict sanctions on Iran for the development of its nuclear capabilities, but Romney’s public statements make him appear more willing to order a military strike against Iran. It is likely that their policies would be basically the same.

Bottom Line: Mitt Romney has changed his opinions on the stimulus, abortion, Obamacare, raising taxes, climate change, the legality of assault weapons, and the auto-bailout. By supporting Obama, whether or not you agree with his principals, it is clear what he plans to do and what he believes.

Colin Kincaid (senior): “I support Barack Obama for President because he is a champion for fairness and equality. He understands that whether you’re a woman, gay, or an immigrant, you are a human, you have rights, and you deserve respect.”

Hayley Mulhern (junior): “I support him because I like his take on foreign policy. He wants us to be a strong power, but he’s not unnecessarily aggressive. He’s not trying to extend war. He’s helping the country.”

Katie Kidney (sophomore):

What do you believe is President Obama’s greatest accomplishment as President?

“[I believe Obama’s greatest accomplishment as President is] the affordable care act, because we all need affordable health care in order to be a productive society, and we can’t let the costs spin out of control.”