Editorial: Obama Best Positioned To Stimulate Economy

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For most college students, this is the first time we can vote for president.

The editorial board went through some difficulty but finally sided with Barack Obama.

Ralph Naders proposals were appealing, but were disappointed by the lack of details on how to establish the changes he calls for.

John McCains experience and past bipartisan efforts are positive, but a myopic understanding of what kind of change is needed has undermined his campaign.

We dont agree with all of Obamas positions, but his outlook is refreshing. He recognizes our countrys problems the economic inequalities, the failed healthcare system, the misguided foreign policy and has proposed solid plans.

Obama may not have McCains experience, but he has much better judgment, whether it be in opposing the Iraq War or in picking an acceptable running mate, and we consider that to be much more important.

We also evaluated the candidates on individual issues. We did that because there is no perfect candidate. Although we can pick one to endorse, others may have better ideas in different issues.OVERALL WINNER: Obama

ECONOMY

McCains plan to cut taxes is a rehash of a policy that served well in the past but comes off as out of touch with current needs. Obamas plan identifies the struggles of the middle and lower classes. His tax plan recognizes that cutting taxes for the wealthy has damaged the ability to finance many things that the entire population relies on.

Universal tax cuts have been favored for a long time. It now appears that the middle class recognizes the benefits of pooling resources through the government to obtain social benefits, such as health care and education.

Obama is also aware that spending can be helpful in stimulating the economy. The economic crisis demands new economic ideals. However, Obama would do well in taking some ideas from Nader, who has shed light on the structural problems of our economy. Naders positions on NAFTA, fair trade and agricultural subsidies should be seriously considered if a truly effective reform is to take place.OVERALL WINNER: Obama

FOREIGN POLICY

We need a president who will reverse the unilateral attitude of the Bush administration. With that in mind, the candidate who is most capable of doing that is Obama.

Obama might not have as much foreign policy experience as McCain, but he has surrounded himself with capable advisors.

Unfortunately, Obama is similar to McCain in that he is not considering reducing the size of the military so that we can invest on social services at home. The same is true to his unconditional support of Israel. Those are both things that Nader is ahead of either of the mainstream candidates.

Obama, like Nader, has recognized that our occupation in Iraq is unsustainable and that we should end that war as soon as possible.

Obamas Indonesian background has shaped his views of the world. He realizes that not all is black and white and that where much of the gray dominates the last thing we need is a maverick. The return to diplomacy with Obama is a heartening prospect.OVERALL WINNER: Obama

VICE PRESIDENT

Throughout his campaign McCain used the experience card against Obama. And then he chose Sarah Palin as VP.

Joe Biden has much more experience than Palin and balances any lack of experience Obama might have.

In addition to his time as a senator, Biden has been the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. The importance of foreign relations is at an all-time high, and Biden would help guide Obama.

Palin has been governor of Alaska since 2006. Before hat, she spent two terms as mayor of Wasilla and two terms on Wasillas city council. Since her selection, she has made questionable comments and proved that she is not even close to prepared to be the vice president.

Biden has a reputation for making gaffes, but they are just that: gaffes. Palin, on the other hand, has shown she doesnt have much knowledge of the world outside of Alaska. Biden built a career on foreign relations, and Palin has seen Russia from her porch but not much else.OVERALL WINNER: Obama

ENVIRONMENT

Its refreshing to see candidates who acknowledge the consequences of climate change, energy consumption and the atrocious state of environmental policy.

Obama wants to invest $150 billion over 10 years to jump start research into alternative energy.

Obama and McCain say they would implement some sort of cap-and-trade program, but Obamas plan pushes companies harder. He said he would charge companies for permits instead of just giving them away, giving companies more incentive to clean up their act.

But Obama and McCain should take a few ideas from Nader and back away from the still hypothetical clean coal and offshore drilling. Nader opposes clean coal because no such thing exists. Obama has supported clean coal, but it doesnt jibe with Obamas change mantra. Obama finally gave in to offshore drilling this summer when gas prices reached $4 a gallon, but America should start its search for energy elsewhere.OVERALL WINNER: Obama

HEALTH CARE

Our medical industry operates for profit, and compassion for our sick doesnt mesh well with profit. To ensure that sick Americans dont go without care, its necessary to have everyone chip in to help.

That is Naders plan. He wants to provide universal health care and pay for it with a flat tax.

Naders plan would help the economy. Some American companies struggle to compete because they shoulder employee health care costs. Costs could be reduced because the government would benefit from economy of scale and because insurance companies would be cut out.

Obama wants the poor to receive care, but has been less than explicit about where the money will come from.

McCain wants to essentially end employer care, deregulate the market and let families shop around for their insurance company with a $5,000 tax break, which in most cases isnt nearly enough.

It is time to consider single payer health care, and Nader is the only one proposing it.OVERALL WINNER: Nader

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