You choose 2008: Democratic Candidates
Bio: Barack Obama graduated from Columbia University in New York in 1983 and earned a law degree from Harvard in 1991. He served in the Illinois State Senate from 1997-2004, when he was elected U.S. senator for the state. He also was the keynote speaker during the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Obama lives on Chicago’s South side with his wife, Michelle, and two daughters. He is 46 years old.
College affordability: He proposes to ease the cost of college by introducing a $4,000 tax credit for tuition-paying families annually, which he believes will cover two-thirds of the average cost of annual tuition at public universities. The credit would be applied to families before tuition is due using the previous year’s tax information. Obama also will eliminate the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and ask families to check a box on their income tax form that will allow the government to use tax information to determine how much aid a student can receive.
Iraq: Obama calls for the gradual withdrawal of one or two brigades of troops each month for 16 months. He would leave troops to protect the U.S. Embassy and redeploy some of those troops to Afghanistan and use some troops to aid Iraqi forces.
Health care: Obama would require that every child have health insurance. He would also require employers to either offer coverage or contribute to the cost of coverage to all employees. Obama would also create purchasing pools that give citizens the choice between competing private insurance plans and would also expand Medicaid eligibility.
Taxes: He wants to replace tax cuts implemented by President Bush and add new tax breaks worth anywhere between $500 and $1,500 a year for people making less than $50,000 annually as well as raise taxes on dividends and capital gains.
Climate: Obama proposes to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050, set a path to oil independence, improve fuel efficiency by 50 percent by 2030 and restore U.S. leadership on climate change.
Immigration: Obama wants to curb immigration by creating secure borders by adding new personnel and technology to borders and ports. He also wants to improve legal immigration but also remove incentives to those who are illegal immigrants. He also wants to create programs for undocumented immigrants to learn English and put them on a path to becoming legal citizens.
- Compiled by Ryan Dostalek from MCT and www.barackobama.com