Posted by: minnow | October 18, 2008

Obama vs McCain on Domestic Issues

This will be my last issues related political post unless something dramatic happens between now and the election.  I am weary of the media and their biases.  I am frustrated with negative ads.  And, I am grieved by the economic news.  So I will be taking a break from “tuning-in” to the campaign. 

Where greed and the lust for power have brought our country is disheartening at best.  That no one will end up paying for their crimes against the American public makes my blood boil but the sad fact is that we do not even recognize the mess we are in as a criminal act.  Even so, from the looks of it we will be paying for these “mistakes and miscalculations” for generations to come.  Yet I did promise, so as promised here is my McCain Obama comparison on education, crime, immigration, abortion, the environment, and energy. 

As with foreign policy many of the differences between these two candidates boils down to the size and power of the federal government.  Where Senator Obama believes it is government’s obligation to identify and solve problems by creating programs and collecting monies to fund those programs, Senator McCain believes most of the problems can best be solved at the local and state levels, that it is the federal government’s job to call attention to issues, provided incentives to find solutions to our problems, and protect the nation from outside harm.  Still it is interesting to see how they differ in the specifics while recognizing many of the same ills.

In the area of education both men see problems with the No Child Left Behind policy.  As expected Senator Obama sees the biggest problem being a lack of federal funding to go along with the federal mandates.  He believes we need to invest in early childhood as well as higher education.  He would pay for the college education of all who make a commitment to teaching and provide $4000 dollars to anyone giving 100 hours of community service.  He believes we need to pay teachers more and add 25,000 more teachers to the payroll.  Another one of his plans calls for a free public college education to anyone who maintains a B average.  Senator McCain, on the other hand, would not scrap No Child Left Behind but would fix the places where one size does not fit all by making schools answerable to parents.  He supports merit pay, vouchers, and charter schools.  He believes parents need easier access to help for their children, especially those with special needs and he supports programs for at risk students.

Sticking with issues that directly affect families, Senator McCain supports greater unpaid leave and flex time for employees with children.  He is a proponent of labeling violent media and supported the media Responsibility Act.  He favors making sure schools have filtered internet access for all their students.  And, he has called for doubling the tax exemption for dependents.  Senator Obama calls for age appropriate sex education in the schools but in another statement indicated that six is not too young to learn about the gay live style.  He favors paid sick days and an expanded the Family and Medical Leave Act.  He also sponsored a bill calling for a ban on the high levels of lead in children’s toys.

On the issue of immigration, Senator Obama supports providing illegals with driver’s licenses, federal funds for sanctuary cities, allowing illegals to participate in social security, and supports the Dream Act for children of illegal aliens.  He believes every student should learn a second language but also favors establishing English as our official language.  Finally he believes we do need to have more border security.  Senator McCain believes we must begin by certifying that our borders are secure.  His policy is not amnesty.  Insread he says, “Amnesty is forgiveness, we offer fines, lines” and requirements.  Illegal immigrants would have to come forward or risk deportation.  They would have to learn English. McCain favors a temporary worker program and agrees with Senator Obama’s stance on allowing illegals to participate in social security.  Finally, Senator McCain would deport the 2 million illegal immigrants who have committed additional crimes while in the United States.

On the issue of abortion there is a stark difference between these two men.  About the only place they do agree is on the issue of stem cell research and even then Senator McCain qualifies his support as being limited to those embryos that would otherwise be destroyed.  Senator Obama wants to insure access and funding for contraceptives.  He would not stop minors from crossing state lines for the purpose of having an abortion and would not require notification of the minor’s parents.  Senator McCain is in exact opposition.  In addition Senator McCain supports additional criminal penalties if an unborn child is harmed during another crime.  He also believes an unborn child should be eligible for SCHIP (government funded insurance) while Senator Obama would flatly deny such eligibility.  Senator McCain voted for the ban on Partial birth abortion.  Senator Obama did not, nor did Senator Obama support the born alive legislation that came before the Illinois Senate.

Finally, with regard to energy and the environment both senators recognize our need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  Both support a cap and trade policy.  Both support the development of alternative sources or energy.  And, both support a ban on drilling in ANWR.  While Senator McCain would offer tax cuts and incentives for the creation of green jobs and the development of alternative energy Senator Obama plans to spend 150 billion dollars for electric car batteries and new technology and another 15 billion to help free us from foreign oil.  In addition he wants to raise fuel efficiency standards (and fines).  Senator McCain believe we must begin to drill (off-shore and in Alaska) now but that we must have an all of the above (meaning we must develop clean coal, nuclear energy, wind, solar, and bio-diesel resources) approach to solving our energy and environmental problems and encourage the private sector to get to work.  Again, the biggest contrast between their policies is the role of government.  Senator Obama believes government must fund research and development.  Senator McCain believes in free enterprise and the ingenuity of the American work force.

With Washington’s current record of ignoring the will of the people, spending our tax dollars on pork, and not addressing the problems we believe are important I am surprised anyone wants more.  At the same time our problems are not going away any time soon so if government is not the answer what is?  I personally believe we could be heading toward a second Great Depression.  We have built our American Dream on debt and our greed and need for instant gratification is catching up to us.  During the last Great Depression the Church which up until that time had filled the role of caring for people in need fell down on the job and government took over.  It is time for the Church to reclaim its role.  I do not believe the issues the emerging Church has brought to the table are an accident.  By asking tough questions and bringing our attention back to the gospels even some of the most traditional denominations are having to re-examine their purpose and priorities.  I choose to believe that the Spirit is moving and the Church is experiencing a grand awakening–just in time.



  1. thanks for all this info, Minnow! 🙂 you rock

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