Summer campaign developments

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Another four years have passed, and that means another presidential election. From Mitt Romney picking his VP, to Barack Obama stating his support of gay marriage, it is clear that Romney and Obama have different directions on where each wants to take America during his presidency.

On August 11, 2012, Republican Candidate Mitt Romney chose Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate for the 2012 presidential campaign. Romney said Ryan, 42, “has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party” when introducing him, and stressed that their campaign will focus on ways to create jobs, protect Medicare and Social Security, and repeal the health care law enacted under Democratic President Barack Obama.

Although there has been talk about the young age of the Vice President hopeful, Romney has full faith in Ryan’s experience and leadership skills. Since the announcement, Ryan has explained his plans for the American budget and cutting programs that help the elderly and poor. He also plans to help Romney with correcting the debt crisis in America.  Despite the fact that Romney chose Ryan as his running mate, it has done little to change the polls in this presidential race. The race is still extremely close between the two presidential candidates.

In addition to Romney choosing his running mate, Obama and Romney have chosen their stances on important issues for their campaigns. Romney plans to cut the marginal tax rate by 20% for individuals and the corporate tax rate to 25%. He wants to pass a bill to reduce non-security related spending by 5%, and cap it with the House Republican budget proposal that effectively rolls back expansion initiated under President Obama. Romney also wants to pursue deeper economic cooperation with like-minded countries that are committed to open markets, thus creating the Reagan Economics Zone, which promotes free enterprise and trade. Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher, reporting from Washington, said the choice of Ryan is, “a statement by Mitt Romney that he believes that the economy is the most important issue.”

Obama’s economic and job plans reside primarily with the middle class and small businesses. He wants to grow high-tech U.S. manufacturing capacity and supply clean energy projects with American-made parts and equipment, creating more jobs for the American people. He wants to continue to cut taxes for small businesses and working class families, and add funding for education and law enforcement programs. Additionally, he signed the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits Bill, which encourage businesses to hire unemployed veterans and those with service-connected disabilities.

For health care, Romney plans on giving power to each state to create a health care plan that is best for its citizens; ultimately, removing the Affordable Care Act from law and replacing it with a more state-focus approach. He wants to limit federal involvement and requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid coverage. Romney is offering to end tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance, allow the purchase of out-of-state health care, promote alternative payment methods, and inspire new consumer reports on alternative insurance plans.

On the other hand, Obama plans to keep the Affordable Care Act, which provides affordable nationwide healthcare, protects consumers from heath care insurance providers mistreatment, increases preventive care, and reduces waste and abuse. Insurance providers will be required to publicly state rate increases, and consumers will now have the ability to appeal to an independent third party when providers deny coverage for services. Insurance companies must provide rebates if they do not spend at least eighty percent of premiums on care. In addition, the Affordable Health Care Act allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health care until age 26, and new insurance plans will be required to cover a number of preventive services without charging a co-pay or deductible.

In civil and social policies, Romney feels the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade so the states can determine their own abortion laws. He fully supports the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds for abortion, and ends federal program funding from groups such as Planned Parenthood.

There is not a doubt that both parties are not letting down their guards.  This summer informed many Americans about each candidate and their stance on how to make America better. Only time can tell to see if either side has won the heart of America by November 6.