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Candidates’ visions for America’s education and economy

Nov 5th, 2012 | By | Category: Featured Article, News


EDUCATION appears to unite President Barack Obama and his challenger Governor Mitt Romney.


Barack Obama has been selling his record on education during the campaign.

The official says Obama’s progress in the education sector so far during his time as president, includes:

• Improving access to and quality of early education so every child is prepared to start school;

• Challenging states to develop innovative approaches to raise student achievement through a competitive process, “Race to the Top,” that costs less than 1% of what America spends on education;

• Supporting grants to help states transform the 5000 lowest performing schools in the country into safe environments where students can learn, and

• Providing relief to states that helped keep hundreds of thousands of teachers on the job in the face of budget cuts and proposed funding to support additional education jobs.

His 2009 “Race to the Top” initiative is a competition which offers states monetary grants and awards for supporting his educational initiatives and policies.

These initiatives are designed to have a focus of improving both teacher quality and student achievement.

According to, early in his presidency, Obama challenged every American to commit to at least one year of tertiary education.

The president has also expanded federal aid for tertiary education funding, helping more students to participate in college education.

According to Minnesota Public Radio News, Romney agrees with the initiatives behind Obama’s Race to the Top contest.

He says, however, he thinks the federal government should have less control over education.

CNN’s Election Centre reported Romney as saying: “As President, I will give the parents of every low-income and special needs student the chance to choose where their child goes to school”.

In order to do this, Romney has introduced his education vision, which he calls, “A Chance for Every Child”.

The plan is said to focus on school choice, accountability and ensuring that qualified teachers are in every classroom.

It appears Romney would continue to provide some federal aid to students in higher education, but would implement some conditions.

One of his education advisors, Scott Fleming, quoted in a New York Times article said Romney would “…work to make financial aid available for students who “need it most”.

“The implication is that eligibility criteria would tighten and assistance would be available to fewer students.”

He also said he would try to give the responsibility of issuing federally subsidised college loans to private lenders and banks, rather than the government.

Economy – Romney says he has business experience Obama lacks


Taxes are one of the major differences in economic policies, none more so than Barack Obama’s Bush tax cuts pledge.According to this chart on the Diffen wiki site which compares policies, Obama plans to repeal the Bush tax cuts for high income earners.

The tax cuts were introduced by former US President George W. Bush for households earning more than $250,000.

Obama also plans to lower taxes on the manufacturing industry, according to Entrepreneur magazine, tax cuts to local companies will help to strengthen both the American economy, and its communities.

“You build it (strong communities) by giving tax breaks to companies that create jobs in Detroit and in Cleveland and in Chicago and right here in New Orleans, right here in America.”

According to CNN, Obama says he needs to be re-elected in order to let his plans to fix the economic situation he took on with his presidency have time to work.

The plans Obama refers to include a number of long term goals the president set when he became President of the United States.

The plans cover changes across the board, including to innovation, taxes, nation-building at home, energy, education and health care, according to Obama’s website.

Major aspects of Obama’s plan are his goals to:

Create 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016, double American exports over the next five years, reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the 10 years by introducing spending cuts and revenue increases, and taking action to develop America’s abundant source of energy to support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade, and reducing America’s reliance on foreign oil.


According to the same chart from Diffen, Romney would make Bush tax cuts permanent.

Romney says he would lower corporate tax rates across the board to 25%, and cut non-security discretionary government spending by 5% to reduce the deficit (Diffen).

Diffen’s chart states that like Obama, Romney also plans to cut taxes and regulations, to encourage business.

Romney believes his business experience in both the public and private sectors are what the White House, and America needs.

“I’ve learned how the economy works and I believe that skill is what the nation is looking for,” Romney said, according to CNN Politics.
 money map

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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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