Obama vs Romney: The Policies

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With the Republican National Convention over we are starting to get a clearer, if still vague in a way befitting of Clint Eastwood’s speech, view of the the Romney/Ryan ticket’s economic platform.

However, in the days since the the convention, conservatives have been very vocal in lending support to the GOP candidates for President and Vice President.  US Representative Paul Ryan is considered a leader for the Republican Party regarding fiscal and budget issues and the Party seems to be very happy about the choice.

This is not surprising as Ryan’s bufgest plans have widespread support amongst the GOP’s base and Republician strategists will hope to maximise any potential gains from their convention ahead of the Democrats in North Carolina this week.

Romney’s partnership with an adamant social conservative strengthens the contrast between the two candidates and represents the formation of an election based on diametrically opposing ideologies.  With less than three months until Election Day, the full picture is becoming clearer and the major issues to be debated are coming to light.

One issue that appears to play major role in the impending election is taxes, both individual and corporate.  President Obama’s tax policies focus on lowering tax rates and offering more tax credits for lower and middle-class families.  He has already implemented policies cutting taxes for more than 90% of working families, resulting in savings estimated to be $1000 annually for the typical middle-class American family.  Additionally, Obama hopes to pass legislation enacting the Buffett Rule, imposing taxes no lower than 30% on families with annual income greater than $1 million.  Families with annual incomes higher than $250,000 would also experience increases in taxes to offset the tax breaks given to less wealthy Americans.

Romney has also proposed tax reforms to lower federal deficit and stimulate economic growth.  He suggests cutting income tax rates by 20% for all Americans and maintaining the 15% tax on investment income, while eliminating this tax entirely for income less than $200,000.  This loss of government revenue would likely be offset by decreasing tax credits for the highest-earning Americans and budget cuts in other areas such as education or urban development, as well as the anticipated economic growth these changes would bring.

The candidates also differ in opinion on corporate tax.  Obama proposes offering firms incentives to move operations back to the USA through a 20% tax credit on any expenses associated with the relocation of equipment, assets, etc.  He also proposes a 100% tax credit on investment on plants and equipment in an effort to encourage investment.  On the other hand, Romney advocates for a decrease in corporate taxes to 25% across the board.  He would also support the transition to a territorial tax system, freeing US firms from paying US taxes on income earned in foreign countries.

These differences in corporate tax policy contrast the candidates’ views regarding job growth in the US.  Obama’s campaign points to the bailout of the American auto industry as well as continued improvements in job growth over that last two years as strong indications of future success in this area.

He also supports the America Invents Act, aimed at expediting the patent process, and the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, investing in technology that will create more manufacturing jobs.  Obama also hopes to double US exports by 2015 through new trade agreements with foreign countries, ideally creating even more jobs.

Romney also encourages forming agreements with countries equally interested in free enterprise.  He supports the finalization of the Trans Pacific Partnership which would expand the US’s trading horizons, so long as it is on America’s terms.  Romney is a major advocate of free markets generating economic growth and encouraging entrepreneurship through minimizing federal government’s involvement in the private sector.  He predicts his reforms regarding tax, trade, and regulations would create millions of jobs in America.  For example, Romney would limit the power of labour unions so that businesses can allocate funds as they see fit.

While some have criticized GOP candidate Romney for his somewhat liberal tenure as Governor of Massachusetts, the selection of Paul Ryan as his Vice President may erase some doubts about his intentions.  Pairing with a strong social conservative gives credibility to his campaign’s claims that he is committed to promises such as correcting the short-term budget issues and Republican ideals like creating smaller, simpler government.  It also means Romney will likely have to support some of Ryan’s more extreme right wing ideologies that will create a stronger division among partisan lines.

While Obama’s first term has made his plans more obvious, Romney generally steers clear of specific plans and proposals when possible.  But with the election drawing nearer, we will undoubtedly learn more about what a Romney-Ryan White House might bring.  With various polls offering differing accounts of the current popularity of the candidates, it will be interesting to see if Romney’s VP choice can bring sustaining success to his campaign.  Regardless, the on-going campaign tours for both candidates should clarify the issues they find most important as well as the opponent’s positions they seek to attack.

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  1. Lou Gutheil says:

    Interesting comments, Matthew. However, the issues that are the greatest concern at the grass roots level are more about civil liberties and a liar for a president. Obama is forcing a total farce of a healthcare plan on the American people, adding trillions to the debt that he promised to reduce by one-third. He has signed more executive orders in one term that any other president has in two, many of them unconstitutional and most of them wresting control from the legislative branch and into the executive office.

    He has set up America for martial law. If he is re-elected, the US will have a dictator, who is not even qualified — either by birth or by experience — and whose agenda is to deprive American people of our constitutional rights.

    Every other issue pales by comparison.

  2. jeanne Lafferty says:

    if youve read the comment above mine…….one more reason not to vote republican……..this combination of stupid and racist is what drives the republican platform……they are a scary and sad bunch….please dont empower them!

  3. Dana Blasi says:

    What a pant load! Are we to forget for multiple years we were told the “bush tax cuts ” were for the rich. We were clubbed over the head with this mantra daily/weekly. Then when the “tax cuts” are about to expire We “learn” to let them expire would hurt the middle class and working folks etc. So Obama extends them . The complete opposite of what we had been told. Now “fair share ” is the new mantra of the left. One day I’d like to turn on the news and have some one ask why Germany ,a small country (83M) with no natural resources, is the 3rd largest exporter on the planet? Wealthy enough to bail out it’s neighbors and hold the European Union together ? The answer would shock Americans. They would find out Germany’s corporate (i.e. job creators) tax rate is 15% and corporate profits tax on goods manufactured in Germany for export is 0 % ! zero! In the US we feel the need to tax those greedy corporation 36% , highest in the world! (because that’s their current fair share) . Consequently our jobs have gone to china , our workers unemployed , 1 in 6 Americans is on food stamps unable to feed them selves, Germany’s jobs have stayed in Germany , the German worker is working and earning enough to feed himself and his layabout neighbors. We could export our Demo-cat tax polices to Germany and destroy that country in a quick few years. Who better to change our country’s direction ? A man who spend his life creating jobs or a Ideologue that views job creators as somehow greedy and unfair . One man wants to make folks richer ,one man wants to make folks poorer. Take your pick America and think for yourselves ,don’t rely on articles like this one.

  4. Lewis Bacon says:

    And to the comment above mine…….the really scary thing to me is….either Jeanne has never read the constitution or doesn’t believe in it. If it is the latter my question would be why do you live in this country????????????????

  5. Louis Cruz says:

    You a _ _ _ _ _ _ are the most stipid person I’ve ever heard or read posting non-sense!

    Besides a more valid argument would be towards Romney (“the Robme” bastard), who is not of two naturalize parents. As his father was born in Mexico. According to the U.S. Constitution a candidate for President must be a naturalized Citizen, 35 years old, and born of two naturlized parents!

    It says nothing of what is the “Birther Movement” you apparently are! So, there stupid!

  6. Gary1301 says:

    Racist? Why is it that liberals like Jean Lafferty see everything Republicans do or say as being somehow racist. Apparently, if someone wants smaller government, eliminating government programs that don’t work, or a more business friendly tax code or environment which will help businesses expand, it is somehow racist. Has it ever occurred to liberals that black people have been hurt more by Obama’s economic policies than everyone else and that Republican policies that are meant to expand the economy and create jobs could potentially benefit everyone? I’d suggest that many liberal Democrats are themselves racists because they favor programs and policies that will keep Black people and Hispanics poor so that they will need government handouts and then vote Democratic. What we need is a healthy debate about what this Country is able to spend, the size of the social safety net, and how to create a healthy economy in which a healthy private sector (not government) provides a lot of jobs. Paul Ryan is one of the few to propose a responsible spending program (ironically, his allegedly “racist” program was co-sponsored by a Democrat, Senator Ron Wyden) and, if Democrats don’t like that program, they need to come up with responsible alternatives instead of continuing, like Obama, to argue for the status quo (which will bankrupt the Country and eventually result in Draconian cuts in government, hurting the very people liberals claims to care about). Allegations of racism to defeat ideas for solving real problems is a sign that many liberals know they can’t win the arguments and need to somehow demonize the other side.

  7. Mike says:

    @ Lou Gutheil:

    Seriously, the issue of a liar in the White House made me think you were going to criticize the campaign that “won’t be dictated by the fact-checkers.” Mitt Romney has completely remade himself, while his aides call him an etch-a-sketch. As governor of Mass, he basically was Obama, except more anti-gun. Romneycare is the blue print for Obamacare. He advocated for bans on assault rifles and his social policies were centrist. The only issue he has been consistent on is that the rich shouldn’t pay taxes. Meanwhile Ryan can’t even keep track of the fact that he only ran one marathon, though in almost double the amount of time he claims to average in ALL of the marathons he runs. He’s sure the Romney budget will balance in 3o years, but hasn’t run the numbers and criticizes this administration for not righting the ship in 4 years.

    This is the most intellectually dishonest ticket I’ve ever seen. I voted for Bush twice and McCain … but more than policy or taxes, integrity in leadership matters to me, and I refuse to vote Romney on that basis alone. Adding Ryan to the ticket, and starting in with birther jokes made me start donating to Obama because it’s imperative that we keep Romney and Ryan out of the White House. They don’t respect the American people, and a giant subset of the population has completely missed that.

  8. Dave Nelson says:

    Louis Cruz…Name call much? Check this out…your statement about Romney’s father not being born to two “naturalized” parents is absolutely correct; he was born to two NATIVE BORN American citizens living in a Mormon camp in Mexico, which makes him a U.S. citizen by birth. Further, The Constitution states that you must be born of two native born American parents…which he was. Native born meaning born in America or to parents who are U.S. citizens living abroad. Naturalized citizen means a foreigner who becomes a U.S. citizen…get it now. So before you open your big mouth and spout off information as fact, you better make sure you know what the hell you’re talking about.

  9. tamarque says:

    I think both parties have been bought and paid for by major corporations. They both will and do support the globalization of this country seeking to control world resources and killing off as many people of color along the way. The big differences is that Romney is a man with absolutely no ability for empathy for the public. At least Obama knows what the lives of working people looks like. He is under major pressure to support off shoring of jobs, the energy czars as well as the militarization of this country. The process began with republican dictatorial efforts and we can look back on history at the efforts of Reagon to do away with minimum wage and continue to the present with the creating terrorism with the demolition of the World Trade Towers. That act was described in the document Project for a New American Century, Dick Cheney being one of the signers of that document and was used to scare the crap out of the public in order to push through the Patriot Act I and later Patriot Act II. Both of these pushed forward the militarization of this country. Obama came in and has done, or been able to do little/nothing to turn back that tide. He has tried to hold Isreal at bay which is why Romney, making an ass of himself, tried to ingratiate himself to that country with its own colonialist and racist agenda.

    Anyone who sees Romney as someone trustworthy and not a liar is clearly deaf and blind. Even Fox 5 reported on the Romney/Ryan speeches given at the GOP conventions as really bad. That totally surprised me that Fox 5 would levy such a criticism against the GOP. The speeches were lack luster, filled with blatant lies and were based on revving up the people based on racism. Racism is not only a divisive issue, but one used to throw a blanket over the lies and anti-American public position of those corporate thieves.

    We will never get out from under the corporate control until we a) get rid of the electoral college, b) get a Clean Election process in place, and c) get rid of electronic voting machines. Today I would add that we need to get rid of voter IDs and all the other Jim Crow tactics that are being re-employed today. The GOP has clearly been driving this country backwards 200 yrs-and that means ALL the civil rights and social safety nets that workers fought for, often with their lives.

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