Magazine article The New American

How to Win My Vote for Obama, Seriously! America Is Hurting, and We Have the Policy Questions President Obama Must Credibly Answer, How Would Your Preferred Presidential Candidate Respond?

Magazine article The New American

How to Win My Vote for Obama, Seriously! America Is Hurting, and We Have the Policy Questions President Obama Must Credibly Answer, How Would Your Preferred Presidential Candidate Respond?

Article excerpt

Back in 2008, I had a difficult time detecting any substantive difference between the top-tier candidates--Barack Obama and John McCain--both of whom had surprisingly similar campaign themes: Regulate industry to control greenhouse gases through a capand-trade program; play a decisive role worldwide through aggressive foreign policy and generous foreign aid; institute "comprehensive immigration reform" (aka amnesty); ramp up the already huge amounts of deficit spending by backing such programs as the Troubled Asset Relief Program to boost the economy: and maintain the status quo with social welfare programs or even increase spending, etc.

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The only key areas where the two candidates significantly differed were in healthcare (McCain called for tax breaks for healthcare spending, and for cutting healthcare costs by allowing the purchase of health insurance across state lines versus what would become ObamaCare) and corporate taxes (McCain wanted them lower, and Obama wanted them higher).

Since I was being promised great "change" from Obama supporters, I decided to consider Obama's policies with an open mind. And I put together a list of questions for Obama about his policies the thought being that if Obama, or someone intimately familiar with his positions, could sensibly answer the questions, I'd vote for Obama. No one accepted my challenge, not even Democratic friends and acquaintances who repeatedly sought my vote for their candidate.

It's time to make the same offer for the 2012 presidential race--with a new set of questions--because I'm told repeatedly that Obama is pushing smart policy, but that his changes will take time to take effect. (The following should be read in order.)

Education Funding

Though taxpayers are pouring money into education, public schools are failing to properly educate students. The Heritage Foundation stated about the education of most minority students in America: "Among African American and Hispanic students ... only 56 and 52 percent of students graduate from high school. This widespread failure imposes unquantifiable costs on individual lives and our communities." Other demographic groups aren't served a whole lot better The Washington Times reported in August 2011, "Scores show [American] students aren't ready for college--75% may need remedial classes?' And "80 percent of college students taking remedial classes [in 2008] had a high school GPA of 3.0 or better.' In September the Times reported, "SAT reading scores for the high school class of 2011 were the lowest on record, and combined reading and math scores fell to their lowest point since 1995." So even the best students aren't learning what they should. This is nothing new; in 1995, SAT scores were "recentered"--artificially raised--to offset a growing number of low test scores.

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And poor performance isn't limited to teens who just don't try. Lackluster performance begins with the little tykes: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that the Head Start program is an across-the-board failure. Andrew Coulson summarized the finding in the New York Post: "In fact, not a single one of the 114 tests administered to first graders--of academics, socio-emotional development, health care/health status and parenting practice--showed a reliable, statistically significant effect from participating in Head Start." About adults, the National Right to Read Foundation stated, "According to the National Adult Literacy Survey [of 19921, 42 million adult Americans can't read; 50 million can recognize so few printed words they are limited to a 4th or 5th grade reading level." The 2003 survey--renamed the National Assessment of Adult Literacy--found that high proficiency in reading declined between 1992 and 2003 among Whites and Hispanics. Blacks stayed the same; only Asian/Pacific Islanders saw increased ability--by three percent. …

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