Presidential Debate - A Preview... Taxes and Energy

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Pictured left, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden
White House Photo
Pictured right, Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan

Romney for President Photo

By Kaylin Bade

The first of three Presidential debates between Republican Party nominee Governor Mitt Romney and Democratic Party nominee President Barack Obama will be held this evening at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado.  The Public Broadcasting Service’s (PBS) Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor of the news program “NewsHour” will host and moderate the debate for the 12th time.

A glimpse of the domestic policy issues that could potentially be discussed this evening include policies on taxes, energy, the economy, health care, the role of government, and education.

The debate will can be viewed on ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC at 8:00 p.m. CST.

It will be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on topics that will be selected by the moderator in domestic policy issues.  The moderator will open each segment with a question, at which time each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the remaining time in the segment for discussion of the topic.

A summary of each candidate’s view, as described on each candidate’s official website is as follows:


President Obama:
-Keep taxes low for 98 percent of Americans and nearly every small business by preventing a $2,200 tax increase for the typical family of four on January 1, 2013.
-Ensure the wealthiest Americans do their fair share by paying at least the same tax rate as middle class families so we can reduce the deficit in a balanced way while preserving investments in education, clean energy, manufacturing, and small businesses.
-Make the American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent to give more students a fair shot at an affordable higher education.
-Extend the expansions of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit to help hardworking families with children become a part of the middle class.

Governor Romney:
Individual Taxes:
-Make permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates
-Maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains
-Eliminate taxes for taxpayers with AGI below $200,000 on interest, dividends, and capital gains
-Eliminate the Death Tax
-Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

Corporate Taxes:
-Cut the corporate rate to 25 percent
-Strengthen and make permanent the R&D tax credit
-Switch to a territorial tax system
-Repeal the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)


President Obama:
-Take control of our energy future by expanding domestic oil and gas production to create 600,000 new jobs and using more renewable energy like wind and solar power.
-Invest in a domestic clean energy economy powered by sources like wind, solar, and clean coal. Renew successful bipartisan tax incentives that create American jobs and reduce our reliance on foreign oil.
-Reduce building energy use. Create jobs, save money, and cut pollution by improving energy efficiency in our non-residential building space.
-Make more than 75% of our potential offshore oil and gas resources available for exploration and development and permit clean energy projects on public lands that will generate enough renewable energy to power 3 million homes.

Governor Romney:
-States will be empowered to control all forms of energy production on all lands within their borders, excluding only those that are specifically designated off-limits.  Federal agencies will certify, but the states will lead.
-Establish the most robust five-year offshore lease plan in history, that opens new areas for resource development – including off the coasts of Virginia and the Carolinas – and sets minimum production targets to increase accountability.
-Approve the Keystone XL pipeline, establish a new regional agreement to facilitate cross-border energy investment, promote and expand regulatory cooperation with Canada and Mexico and institute fast-track regulatory approval processes for cross-border pipelines and other infrastructure.
-Instead of relying on decades-old surveys developed with decades-old technologies, Mitt’s plan facilitates new energy assessments to determine the true extent of our resource endowment.
-Pursue measured reforms of our environmental laws and regulations to strengthen environmental protection without destroying jobs or paralyzing industries.  Mitt’s plan will also streamline the gauntlet of reviews, processes, administrative procedures, and lawsuits that mire so many new projects in red tape.  
-Promote innovation by focusing the federal government on the job it does best, research and development, and will eliminate any barriers that might prevent new energy technologies from succeeding on their own merits. Strengthening and streamlining regulations and permitting processes will benefit the development of both traditional and alternative energy sources, and encourage the use of a diverse range of fuels including natural gas in transportation.