Hofstra University, Hempstead NY, hosted the third and final presidential debate Oct. 15 between Senators Barrack Obama and John McCain. Moderator Bob Schieffer, CBS News chief Washington correspondent, had an easier time keeping the candidates in line and to their agreed rules then the past few debate moderators. Candidates held almost to the expected decorum of our next president with only a few cut offs and smirks toward one another and actually focused on the issues at hand. The major points of the last debate being health care, education, and alternative power.
McCain first responded to the oil crisis question by stating we need to eliminate our dependence on Middle Easter oil as well as Venezuelan oil, “Canadian oil is just fine”. Another was we can eliminate our dependence on foreign oil is to build 45 new clear power plants where we can store and reprocess. McCain wrapped with “So the point is with nuclear power, with wind, tide, solar, natural gas, with development of flex fuel, hybrid, clean coal technology, clean coal technology is key in the heartland of America that's hurting rather badly.”
Obama followed by agreeing to the 10 year time frame McCain proposed and he continued on by saying that we need to expand domestic production which in short means telling the oil companies with millions of undrilled acreage to “use them or lose them. Obama believes that Americans should put more focus into solar, wind, biodiesel, and geothermal resources built here in the United States not ones produced in Japan or South Korea.
Health Care has been a topic plastering out television screens over the last two weeks. When the candidates had a chance to debate it they spent more time tearing each other’s plans apart then explain the details of their own plans. Obama’s health care plan is to allow those who already have health insurance to continue with whatever plan they have. “The only thing we’re going to try to do is lower costs so that those cost saving are passed onto you” Obama stated before moving on to admit it will cost Americans money on the front end but the long term is where the benefits would be. The insurance companies would have to take on all person even with preexisting conditions and provide these person with a low premium because they would negotiate with drug companies. He also plans to put money into preventive care for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease and fine large businesses who don’t provide health care to the guidelines his administration would set.
McCain’s approach is different in he believes in small taxation of provided health care he is also looking to cut health care cost through putting records online, having employers reward employees who join health clubs and practice wellness and fitness. McCain also believes in the building of more community health centers and walk in clinics. He plans to implement better physical fitness programs and nutrition programs in schools to prevent the growing number of obese children in America. McCain summed his plan up by “ 95 percent of the people in America will receive more money under my plan because they will receive not only their present benefits, which may be taxed, which will be taxed, but then you add $5,000 onto it, except for those people who have the gold-plated Cadillac insurance policies that have to do with cosmetic surgery and transplants and all of those kinds of things.”
A final point of the evening was education and plans on how to better every students chance at the best education possible. On the high school level Obama believes the way to close the achievement gap is to “recruit a generation of new teachers, an army of new teachers, especially in math and science, give them higher pay, give them more professional development and support in exchange for higher standards and accountability”. McCain makes the point of what to do about low income areas. Sending children to failing schools is a rather useless option which is why he is a supporter of charter schools. These schools are providing competition for public schools to better themselves instead of just handing schools money to make them better themselves. Providing good teachers with incentives and assisting poor teachers in finding a new line of work is another aspect of the McCain plan.
A final add on to Obama’s education plan is his proposition of “ $4 thousand tuition credit, every student, every year, in exchange for some form of community service, whether it's military service, whether it's Peace Corps, whether it's working in a community.” While, being college students, this sounds like a fantastic idea, as a tax payer I can’t help but ask where on earth is that kind of money going to be taken from every year?
On Nov 4, 2008 as we all proceed to the voting booths we are making a huge decision for the future of our nations. Do your research and learn the issues and pick your choice based on that. Answering your own questions and doing your own research is the best way to pick which candidate is right for you. Most importantly VOTE!