Picking the next president of the United States

Sen. John McCain’s platforms:

Economy
John McCain said he plans to create the National Commission on Workplace Flexibility and Choice. Through the commission, McCain plans to modernize the nation’s labor laws to allow for more flexible scheduling arrangements. He said he wants to promote “telework” so employees can spend less time commuting. He plans to provide workers with more options in job training assistance to better their skills. McCain also wants to provide employed Americans with a variety of retirement plan options so they can choose the one that best suits their needs.

Foreign Policy
McCain said he believes that America needs to keep its troops in Iraq until the Iraqi government is capable of governing itself and protecting its people. He does not want to withdraw troops before then, as it would allow Iraq to become a haven for terrorists.

McCain also said he wants to be open and honest with the American people by providing a candid assessment of all progress made in the last year, the problems that remain and what the consequences of withdrawing too soon would be.

Health Care
McCain plans to achieve savings in Medicare without reducing benefits or eligibility, which would be accomplished by overhauling reimbursement policies and cracking down on Medicare fraud, among other things, politifact.com reported. He said he wants to promote payment reform to create a system based on quality and focused care and plans on ensuring that middle-class Americans are not financing drug premiums for the wealthiest Americans.

McCain also promotes a greater use of generic drugs to reduce the high costs of prescriptions. He said he intends to implement a tax credit that will go to each family’s insurance company of choice.

Education
McCain proposes simplifying existing tax benefits by ensuring that a greater number of families have a lower tax burden while their children are in college. He plans to provide students with clearer information to help them make more informed choices about options for higher education. McCain also intends to consolidate financial aid programs, allowing students to better understand their eligibility for aid.

Sen. Barack Obama’s platforms:

Economy
Barack Obama’s proposal to jumpstart the economy includes cutting income taxes by $1,000 for working families, investing $150 billion over 10 years to create 5 million new green jobs and providing tax relief for small businesses. He plans to reform workers’ rights by strengthening their ability to organize unions and by raising the minimum wage so it is aligned with inflation rates. Obama also plans to create a universal mortgage credit to provide 10 million homeowners with an additional $500, which would largely impact those making less than $50,000 a year, ABC News reported.

Foreign Policy
Obama plans to meet with the leaders of all nations to establish American leadership and make progress toward solving international conflict. He wants to expand American diplomacy, strengthen NATO and fight global poverty by contributing more troops and funds to underdeveloped countries. He also plans to negotiate a global ban on the production of new nuclear weapons material to work toward a nuclear-free world.

Obama said he also intends to engage the American people in foreign policy by holding periodic national town hall meetings via broadband webcast.

Health Care
With health care costs rising four times faster than wages over the last six years, Obama said he plans to provide affordable and accessible health care for all Americans. He intends to promote public health by requiring health care providers to cover all preventive services and plans to lower the costs of health insurance by as much as $2,500 per year, though a review by politifact.com stated that number is likely closer to $1,500 or $2,000.

Obama also plans to lower the cost of drugs by importing safe medicines from other developed countries and increase the use of cheaper, generic drugs.

Education
Obama said he plans to make a college education more affordable by issuing a refundable $4,000 credit to students. Students receiving the credit would be required to conduct 100 hours of community service, however.

Obama also proposed making the financial aid application process easier by eliminating the federal financial aid application. Instead, applicants would be able to check a box on their tax form to request financial aid.

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