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U.S. Presidential Candidates' Views on Key Issues
    2008-11-04 09:34:51     Xinhua

U.S. presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain are expected to have their showdown on Nov. 4, the election day, waiting for voters to judge their policies and stance on key issues, including economy, foreign affairs, national security and energy.

The following are a comparison of Obama and McCain's views on some key issues in the election year:

On economy:

McCain promised a pro-growth, pro-jobs strategy to get the U.S. economy back on track, including taking the near-term actions needed to provide immediate help to American families while also taking long-term steps necessary to secure America's economic prosperity and leadership in the world.

He said he would enact a "Jobs for America" economic plan that "creates jobs, helps small businesses, expands opportunities and open markets to American goods."

Obama's economic plan calls for tax rebates, a foreclosure prevention fund and assistance to states hardest hit by the housing crisis to help "jump start the economy." He also supports raising the minimum wage and increasing job training programs that would help Americans find work in occupations related to clean energy.

On Taxes:

McCain favored extending tax cuts through 2010, and said that he would maintain the current income and investment tax rates and reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.

Obama opposed extending 2003 Bush tax cut law through 2010. He said that his plan would allow middle-class families to see their taxes cut and those who make more than 250,000 U.S. dollars will see their taxes increase.

He also promised to cut taxes overall, reducing revenues to below the levels that prevailed under Ronald Reagan, or less than 18.2 percent of GDP.

On Trade:

McCain is a supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and U.S. free trade agreements with other countries. He believes that the United States should engage in multilateral efforts to reduce trade barriers to provide Americans with more opportunities to sell their goods and services abroad.

Obama said he would, if elected, ensure that every trade agreement has the labor standards, the environmental standards and the safety standards to protect workers and consumers. He opposed NAFTA, saying he will act forcefully to make sure labor and environmental sidebar agreements are enforced effectively.

On health care:

McCain said that he would offer 2,500 dollars of tax credits to those who do not receive health insurance through their employer, and seek to allow Americans to keep their health insurance after they switch jobs or more between states. He believes health care costs can be lowered by encouraging greater competition among providers.

Obama's health care plan would require all children to have health insurance and all employers to contribute to their employees' health insurance costs. He also aims to cut health care costs for the average American family by 2,500 dollars. He will require health care providers to publicly report on their expenses so as to reduce the costs.

On Iraq War:

McCain believes it is "strategically and morally essential for the U.S. to support the Iraqi government to become capable of governing itself and securing its people." He said "a precipitous" withdrawal of American troops would send Iraq to civil war and energize al-Qaeda.

He has said he planned to bring home all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by 2013 and did not want to keep troops in Iraq "a minute longer than necessary to secure our interests there."

Obama has been consistently a critic of the Iraq war, saying it diverts attention from fighting al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. He supports withdrawing all combat troops within 16 months after he takes office and redeploying resources in Afghanistan. He also noted the need to expand humanitarian aid to Iraqi refugees.



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