The race for the White House

Leage of Women Voters - Voter's Guide

Each week between now and the November election, Woman to Woman Voter Campaign will appear in Blount Today and on the League of Women Voters and American Association of University Women websites. The election project is a joint endeavor of the League of Women Voters, the AAUW and Blount Today and strives to offer a comparison of the views of the two presidential candidates on issues of importance to Blount County. Blount Today is happy to provide editorial space in order to encourage people to vote in November and to be an informed electorate.

Issue: Energy

Why should we care about energy? U.S. excessive use of energy, with consequent negative effects on the environment; U.S. dependence on foreign oil because of depletion of fossil fuel reserves; increased use of available world energy sources in developing countries; U.S. overdependence on corn as a source of ethanol for fuel, resulting in increased costs of corn for food use.

Senator Obama

Would mandate flex-fuel capable cars as well as $7,000 tax credit for fuel efficient car purchases by 2015

Favors expanded ethanol production

Supports windfall profit tax on oil companies to provide $1,000 rebate to families

Supports further exploration of nuclear power if clean & safe

Advocates further exploration of fuel from renewable resources

Supports creation of energy efficiency green jobs

Proposes reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 by using a market-based cap-and-trade system

Would invest $150 billion over 10 years in clean energy

Proposes increasing fuel economy standards and would require that 25 percent of electricity consumed in the U.S. is derived from clean, sustainable energy sources by 2025

Would create a Global Energy Forum and re-engage with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Senator McCain

Would provide $5,000 tax incentive for zero carbon emission car purchases

Favors ethanol production

Opposes windfall profit tax on oil companies

Does not support drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge but favors offshore drilling

Supports investment in nuclear power providing for safe storage of spent fuel

Believes oil profits should be invested in nuclear energy

Advocates further development and use of alternative fuels

Believes in government mandated increases in fuel efficiency

Co-sponsored a bill limiting greenhouse gas emissions through use of cap-and-trade system

Would initiate the Lexington Project, a plan to eliminate U.S. dependence on foreign oil

Believes in promoting use of domestic natural gas

Sources and further information: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/issues/issues.energy.html

http://www.ontheissues.org/Energy_+_Oil.htm#Headlines

http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/newenergy

http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/

http://www.procon.org/

http://www.issue2008.com/

The Issue: Social Security and Medicare

Why should we care about Social Security and Medicare? Increasing numbers of retirees becoming eligible for Social Security and potential for insolvency if steps not taken to reform the system; refusal of some physicians to take Medicare patients because of the unsatisfactory payment system; increasing costs of prescriptions and failure of the federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices.

Senator Obama

Recognizes the need for action to prevent Social Security’s becoming insolvent

Is strongly opposed to privatization of Social Security; opposes allowing workers to apply some of their payroll taxes into personal investment accounts

Supports increasing the maximum amount of earnings covered by Social Security payroll tax

Favors increasing Social Security tax on incomes over $250,000

Opposes raising retirement age

Opposes use of the Social Security trust fund for “emergency” spending

Would allow the federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices for the Medicare program

Would require companies to provide seniors with the information needed to easily evaluate Medicare prescription plans

Supports closing the “doughnut hole” (drug coverage gap) in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program

Senator McCain

Recognizes the need for action to prevent Social Security’s becoming insolvent

Supports supplementing the current Social Security system with personal savings accounts that workers manage themselves

Willing to raise the income cap on the Social Security payroll tax

Prefers slowing the growth in benefits to raising taxes

Opposes use of the Social Security trust fund for “emergency” spending

Would promote competition to lower drug prices

Favors reform of the Medicare payment system to providers of prevention, diagnosis and care

Sources and further information: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/issues/issues.socialsecurity.html

http://www.ontheissues.org/Social_Security.htm#Headlines

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/socialsecurity/

http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/

http://www.procon.org/

http://www.issue2008.com/

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