With Nov. 4 quickly approaching, The Miami Student editorial board has taken a look at the issues we find most important in deciding whom we support for the next president of the United States. This board has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for the presidency by majority decision; the following are the plans we support for the varying national issues thrust into the spotlight this election cycle.
Foreign Policy(UWIRE) -- This election will occur as America continues to find itself in the middle of two state-building exercises and a global war on terror. While this board has some reservations, Obama has the chance to move beyond a black-and-white view on international issues and place the United States in a position to regain the role of world leader. Sen. Joe Biden's (D-Del.) experience in foreign matters is also a strong boon to the Obama ticket and will hopefully balance out concerns about Obama's rhetoric on issues like Russia and Pakistan. There is also hope that Obama will allow us to end our involvement in Iraq and move toward a more negotiation-led foreign policy.
We agree, however, that Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) promotion of legislation against the use of torture is an important facet of the war on terror debate. We must take serious heed of McCain's message in order to prevent the atrocities at locations like Abu Ghraib.
Health Care(UWIRE) -- The issue of health care should carry an important emphasis for college students that may soon join the more than 30 million U.S. citizens that lack health care coverage. Obama's plan seems to be far more reasonable than McCain's, especially regarding plans to pay for the program. By repealing the Bush tax cuts, Obama's proposal will help to cover the cost of insuring those millions of non-covered individuals while allowing anyone to keep their current plan without penalty.
However, we must keep in mind McCain's argument against such a plan. By allowing for the non-insured to be picked up through government-mandated coverage, the competition between smaller insurance companies could evaporate, removing coverage from clients of those firms.
One must also keep in mind that health care policies, much more than an issue like foreign policy, must pass through the rigorous process of congressional legislation. Keeping in mind the failure of President Bill Clinton's health care plan in the early 1990s-during a period when Democrats controlled Congress-the result is often different than the proposal, with details being worked out in a much more focused, bipartisan manner.
Education(UWIRE) -- In order to ensure America's future prowess, education must be a top priority. This board supports Obama's plan for its focus on adding new teachers to the workforce and the pay-for-performance teaching incentives that could promote better instruction in the classroom. His plan to exchange community service for breaks on college tuition costs is an innovative way to help families in need. McCain's education plan seems less detailed than Obama's and does not offer as many solutions to secure quality education for Americans.
Supreme Court Nominees(UWIRE) -- This board supports Obama because of concerns the GOP ticket would place socially conservative justices in the bench. The McCain campaign has vacillated on the issue of how justices would be chosen for nomination to the Supreme Court. Ultimately, we feel McCain would nominate judges with philosophies akin to his party.
Tax and Economic Policies(UWIRE) -- Despite having majorit opinions on all of the other issues we've selected for this editorial, the board is evenly split on choosing between Obama's and McCain's tax and economic policies. Concern for fixing the current financial meltdown is obviously a main focus, but choice between McCain's plans to make Bush's tax cuts permanent and Obama's plan to give tax breaks to those making less than $250,000 per year is one that is extremely polarizing. It could be many years before a true fix is found for our economic woes, and that process must be carefully planned and implemented.
Energy(UWIRE) -- On this topic, we believe McCain has a stronger policy. His pro-nuclear policy does not hesitate to re-implement safe and effective technology to help ease the reliance on power plants that run on fossil fuels. Since the disaster of Three Mile Island, nuclear technology has advanced exponentially and has proven effective in countries such as France and Japan-providing a clean and reliable source of energy.
Furthermore, his constant support on repealing the ban on off-shore drilling not only is accepted by a majority opinion of those in states that would gain revenue from the drilling, but allows the nation the use of U.S. resources in lieu of a continued high dependence on foreign aid. Obama's flip-flopping of support on offshore drilling shows less of an investment on the energy issue, a concern for us in the current global energy environment.