What? You’re still on the fence on the presidential election? What are you; nuts?
Here, cribbed from the Willy Week’s blog, which in turn cribbed them from Barack Obama’s campaign book “Change We Can Believe In”, are a list of positive reasons to vote for the man who will very likely be our next President:
- Automatic workplace retirement plans: Require employers who do not currently offer a retirement plan to enroll their employees in a government direct-deposit IRA. Employees keep the plan even when they change jobs. If they want, they can opt out.
- Mid-East: Begin planning a responsible withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Instead, focus on fighting terrorists in Afghanistan. Launch a “diplomatic surge” in the Mid-East: train & deploy civilian diplomats to Syria, Iran, etc..
- Minimum wage: Raise it to $9.50 by 2011. Afterward, index it to inflation.
- Universal health insurance coverage: Offer an opt-in low-cost government insurance plan to every American—even those with pre-existing conditions.
- Education: Further fund zero-to-five education programs & after-school enrichment. Pay teachers more; hold them more accountable. Offer a $4000 college tax credit to students willing to contribute 100 hours of public service, annually. Expand Pell Grants.
- Tax policy: Lower or maintain tax rates for families making less than $250k/year. Raise tax rates for those making over $250k/year. Remove tax penalties on married families. Reward parents who pay child support with an EITC tax credit.
- Cars: Double fuel economy standards within 18 years. Get one million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015. Cut taxes for Americans who buy fuel-efficient vehicles.
- “Green” jobs: Create five million enviro-forward government jobs in clean energy, biofuels, hybrid automobiles, fuel infrastructure, low-emissions coal plants and a digital electricity grid.
- Clean air: Reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050. Institute a market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce emissions. Invest in low-carbon nonpetroleum fuels.
- Veterans: Fullly fund veterans’ medical care. Increase the number of centers treating Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other specialized injuries. Work to end homelessness among veterans.
- Nuclear nonproliferation: At all costs, prevent Iran from developing and testing nuclear weapons. Eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons program (seems unrealistic). Phase out Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) from the civil sector. Provide additional funding ($16m) to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Reduce US and Russian nuclear stockpiles. Ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
- Global warming: Reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050. Spend $150bn over 10 years to develop and deploy climate-friendly energy sources.
- Foreign aid: Double foreign financial assistance to $50bn by 2012. Double the size of the peace corps to 16,000.
- Lobbying: Employ no registered lobbyists in an Obama administration. Ban gifts to executive branch employees. End no-bid contracts over $25,000. Create a “Google for Government” so that regular citizens can track federal grants, contracts, earmarks & loans.
- Civil rights: Overturn the Supreme Court ruling that makes it harder for women to file pay-discrimination claims. Preserve women’s rights as elaborated by Roe v. Wade. Support civil unions with equal rights for same-sex couples. End the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the US military.