For decades, our politics have become increasingly polarized, as elected officials cater to the most extreme elements of their parties, and media companies work to shock, amuse and divide us. In the meantime, the problems we face grow as they are passed on to future generations.
President Obama has fought to find common ground and move our nation forward. His stimulus bill of 2009 included almost $300 billion in tax cuts. When the Bush-era tax cuts were set to expire at the end of 2010, President Obama signed compromise legislation extending them for another two years. When some Democrats demanded a single-payer health care system and then a “government option,” the President supported a moderate health care reform bill.
While we continue to debate and address many issues on which we all have strong opinions—abortion, gay rights, the relationship between church and state, to name a few—we will continue to support the President's efforts to break our government’s paralysis and meet the challenges we face as a nation.
We need President Obama to continue to unite the American majority
that wants to move forward and improve the long-term economic well-being
and independence of our nation.
Issues A Unified America Can and Must Address:
We cannot saddle future taxpayers with having to service the debt we create with our irresponsible fiscal policies.
Solutions to our growing national debt must include reduced military spending and entitlement reform. However, budget cuts alone will not solve our debt crisis. Any plan to address our national debt must include a reduction in expenditures written into our tax code, and should consider tax increases for our highest earners, whose incomes have skyrocketed over the past 30 years, while federal tax rates have dropped.
If current trends continue, total Social Security income will begin to fall short of total outgo in 2019. The Social Security system needs to be reformed to ensure its solvency throughout the 21st century and beyond.
We believe the President and Congress should consider a gradual increase in the full retirement age, and an increase in the amount of earnings subject to social security taxes.
Our tax code is inefficient and full of loopholes. A simplified code could help reduce our debt, aid economic growth and provide for a fairer tax system, especially for small businesses and the working poor.
As the world’s energy needs grow, it is critical that the United States be able to provide for its own energy requirements. By doing so we can deflate the power of dictators who are propped up by high oil prices, more effectively insulate ourselves from the world’s most volatile regions, and stimulate economic growth at home. Even without tapping into Alaska’s oil reserves or drilling offshore, we can dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil—we have not even begun to realize the possibilities of South Dakota wind or Montana coal. Nuclear power should continue to be part of our overall energy strategy, even with its risks.
Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants enter our country each year and will continue to enter unless much more is done. Thousands of employers hire these illegal workers, often times to the detriment of American workers, and often times exploit the illegal immigrants themselves. Despite extensive talk by both Republicans and Democrats to solve this and many other problems we face, nothing has been done.
Every year, the difference between what the United States imports from other countries and what it exports grows. The U.S.’s trade imbalance with China alone grew from just $10 billion annually in 1990 to well over $200 billion a year by 2006. Despite this increasing and extreme deficit, recent American administrations have been unable or unwilling to force China to revalue its currency and take other measures to strengthen our exports overseas.
Even those who still believe that global warming is a natural occurrence should agree that rising sea levels and other geological changes will be expensive to adapt to and probably impossible to undo. If we are able to reverse this dangerous trend, we must. No other nation has the economic and political power to take the lead on this issue.
As we continue to adapt our military to meet 21st century challenges, we should also work to increase our soft power throughout the world. We cannot continue to utilize only our military strength. Our foreign policy should put an emphasis on coalition building and in working with international institutions when it serves the national interest.
View Obama's Republican Endorsers from the 2008 Campaign here
Read our Featured Opinions from the 2008 Campaign here