The Obama campaign has released a 27 point plan, just in time for the election, chock full of ideas that the president failed to get done in his first term. Entitled The New Economic Patriotism: A Plan For Jobs & Middle-Class Security the plan covers everything from manufacturing and energy to small businesses, education and taxes.
Lower the corporate tax rate
Obama Jobs Plan
In the plan, Obama says that his new goal is to add one million new manufacturing jobs by 2016. The first point of his five point plan on manufacturing is to lower the corporate tax rate — which now stands at a maximum of 35 percent — by a quarter for domestic manufacturers:
Reform the corporate tax code to bring down tax rates — cutting tax rates on domestic manufacturers by nearly a quarter — while closing tax preferences and loopholes to pay for it.
This would bring the tax rate for manufacturers down to 26.25 percent.
End deductions for outsourcing companies
Right now companies can claim a deduction on their taxes for a portion of the cost of exporting operations abroad, as the move offshore is considered a business expense.
Obama wants to end that deduction:
End tax deductions for companies shipping jobs overseas, and using the savings to create a new tax credit for companies that bring jobs home.
The new tax credit, according to the White House website, would be for 20 percent of the cost of moving business operations back to the States.
Fight China’ s unfair trade practices
For the third point of his manufacturing plan, Obama wants to create a new enforcement force devoted exclusively to Chinese trade by 2016.
According to the document, the president is already aggressively pursuing trade litigation against China:
President Obama brought more trade cases against China in four years than the previous president did in eight years and won every one of them that has been decided.
Train 2 million new workers through community colleges
One particularly unique strategy that the Obama plan has for improving the economy is to connect community colleges to companies so that the colleges serve as a training space for the employers.
Build 15 to 20 “manufacturing innovation institutes”
The President also wants to create a network of “manufacturing innovation institutes,” where businesses and research universities collaborate in order to design new projects.
It’s unclear what sort of model or precedent the President has in mind with this. But one example is the Los Alamos Laboratory during the Second World War, where industry and academia collaborated under the supervision of the University of California to build the atomic bomb. Other models could be any of the universities involved in the DARPA system.
Open up more acreage for energy resource development
Obama has opened up tracts of federal or protected land for oil, coal and mineral development over the course of his first term and is on pace to continue that throughout his second.
Point number one of his “all of the above” energy plan is:
[Open] up millions of acres for exploration and development, including undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic.
One part of this plan is to increase the domestic workforce in the energy sector. Obama specifically refers to an estimated 600,000 new jobs in the natural gas sector alone.
Invest in domestic energy sources
The second point of his energy plan emphasizes developing alternative energy sources, “including wind, solar, clean coal, nuclear, and biofuels. All while increasing our energy efficiency.”
Double vehicle fuel economy by 2025
This portion of the plan would double the average fuel economy for cars and light trucks over the next thirteen years.
According to Obama, this would drastically reduce the amount of oil imported and would likewise save the average car owner a substantial amount of money.
Get Congress to invest in high-tech batteries
U.S. Department of Energy
According to the plan, Obama wants to calling on “Congress to build on our success in positioning America to be the world’s leading manufacturer in high-tech batteries,” which could be used by the military as well as in civilian transportation.
To accomplish this, Obama wants Congress to extend tax credits that support clean energy manufacturing.
Make utility companies shift to 80% clean energy sources by 2035
The Obama administration wants to make the grid green within 23 years. Here’s the fifth and final point of the plan:
[Set] standard for utility companies so that 80% of the nation’s electricity comes from clean sources by 2035. This will help create a market for American manufacturers to make the clean energy technology we need, while improving access to cheaper, more secure energy for U.S. manufacturers.
Cut taxes for companies that hire
With his small business plan, Obama is appealing more to a class of entrepreneurs as a whole rather than any specific subset of the economy, so it makes sense that the plan is more a strategy that a point by point goal set.
The first is to create a tax cut for businesses that hire or increase wages, and to allow businesses to continue writing off business expenses.
Extend tax cuts for middle class families
Obama’s plan to extend the Bush tax cuts for middle class families is included in the Small Business section of Obama’s second term blueprint, because many small businesses are incorporated as S-corps, which means that the revenue passes through the company to the shareholders without being taxed, and then the shareholders pay taxes on the revenue personally.
In these cases, most small business owners in the middle class would see their taxes remain the same instead of rising with the cuts’ expiration. Here’s the exact phrasing:
Extending the middle-class income tax cuts which would prevent 97% of small business owners from facing a tax increase.
Expand the health reform tax credit
The Affordable Care Act includes tax credits for small businesses that offer employer-provided health insurance. Obama wants to expand this tax credit “to cover 50% of small businesses’ health care costs in 2014.” He also wants to provide small businesses access to group rates so they “won’t continue to pay up to 18% more than large firms for health insurance.”
Slow the growth rate of rising college tuition
One of the stated top priorities for Obama’s next term is to work on the expansive rise in the cost of going to college. The goal is to cut tuition growth in half over ten years.
Via the new plan:
We can make college more affordable by continuing tax credits to help middle-class families afford college tuition, doubling the number of work-study jobs and creating incentives for schools to keep tuition down.
Recruit 100,000 STEM teachers
Obama’s second-term blueprint also includes a plan to aggressively seeks to recruit and maintain Science, Technology, Engineering and Math majors in the U.S. university system in the hope that many of these students go on to become teachers in the primary and secondary education spheres.
The final goal is to recruit 100,000 math and science teachers. Via the Obama plan:
“We can out-compete China and Germany by out-educating them. The STEM Master Teacher Corps and investments in research and innovation into the best ways to teach math and science will help improve math and science education nationwide.”
Expand Race to the Top
The final point of Obama’s new education plan is to invest in primary and secondary education through the Race to the Top initiative.
Here’s the full quote of the plan:
Because we can’t compete for jobs of the future without educating our children, we must prevent teacher layoffs. We also must expand Race to the Top to additional school districts willing to take on bold reform. The President will offer states committed to reform relief from the worst mandates of No Child Left Behind, like incentives to teach to the test, so they can craft local solutions.
The idea is to defend unions and prevent teacher layoffs. The rollback of the No Child Left Behind program will continue on pace.
Cut $2.50 for each $1 in revenue increases
This portion details the ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases in the Obama tax plan.
The idea is to get the right mix of government cuts and tax increases to cut the deficit without cutting essential services to the point that the economy is harmed.
Here’s the policy:
President Obama’s plan reduces the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade, including $1 trillion in spending cuts he signed into law last summer, and cutting $2.50 in spending for every $1 in additional revenue from the wealthiest families and closing corporate loopholes.
Implement the Buffett Rule
The second point is the boilerplate “make sure millionaires aren’t paying less in taxes than middle class Americans” — the philosophy behind the Buffett Rule.
The Buffett Rule would make the minimum effective tax rate for people who make more than a million dollars per year 30%.
Commit money saved from ending wars overseas to repairing infrastructure and paying down the federal debt
A construction worker makes last minute repairs to a pedestrian walkway near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Obama wants to use the money saved from drawing down U.S. troop presence in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay for improving the nation’s roads bridges, airports, and schools. He would use the leftover savings to start paying off the federal deficit.
Keep requiring health insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions
While Romney has sworn to gut the healthcare reform bill as soon as he walks into the office, Obama’s new blueprint promises that the law will continue to go into effect during his second term. out what will go into effect over a second term here.
The most popular provision of the law — forcing health insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions — is set to go into effect in 2014.
Make health care exchanges operational by 2014.
The state health care exchanges mandated in the Affordable Care Act are also set to become operational in 2014.
According to the plan, this will create “a marketplace that offers group rates and new tax credits so everyone can afford insurance.”
Stop health insurance companies from discriminating by gender
Another near-universally approved aspect of the health care legislation is the move to prohibit discrimination on premiums based on gender.
According to Obama’s plan women now spend up to 50% more on the same policy as men. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies will no longer be allowed to discriminate by gender starting in 2014.
Here’s the projected extent of the bill’s effects:
“47 million women will benefit from the health care reform provision that requires health plans to cover lifesaving preventive care that women need without out-of pocket costs.”
Work with hospitals to reduce infections
One novel focus that the next Obama administration would “save 60,000 lives and $10 billion for Medicare’s future by partnering with hospitals to reduce inpatient infections and needless re-admissions” of seniors on Medicare.
How Obama plans to accomplish this goal is not specified.
Oppose plans to turn Medicare into a voucher system
According to the plan, Obama would also “stop proposals to turn Medicare into a voucher system,” a veiled shot at his opponent’s plans to overhaul the federally-funded retiree healthcare program.
Oppose attempts to privatize Social Security
Oppose efforts to gamble Social Security on the stock market. President Obama will fight for balanced deficit reduction, and extend the life of Medicare and Social Security, without ending guaranteed benefits or slashing benefits.
The implication here is that failing to elect Obama would make the privatization of Social Security a possibility.