After a 4-year term under Barack Obama what are the big issues facing America – and what will the next President have to deal with on their agenda?
When the President took office in January 2009 the United States was in the midst of a deep recession, losing over 800,000 jobs per month.
While there is much more to do, private sector employers have now created 5.2 million jobs over 31 months.
The Obama administration says manufacturers are steadily adding jobs and “the U.S. auto industry is once again leading the world”.
The main issues from Obama are listed below.
Make the American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent to give more hardworking students a fair shot at an affordable higher education and the skills they need to find a good job. Rein in college cost by reforming student aid to colleges. Reward schools that set tuition prices responsibly. Schools that do the most to provide students with good long-term value should receive more money to help students attend than schools that don’t.
Provide better information about college costs. Develop tools that compare costs, graduation rates, and graduate earnings among schools to inform student decisions. Improve college quality and value through competition. Invest $1 billion in a competition to provide incentives for colleges to keep costs under control and graduate students on time.
Prepare workers with skills and credentials employers need. Support programs that train workers for jobs in growing industries like high-tech manufacturing and IT. Make the American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent to give more students a fair shot at an affordable higher education.
Implement supervision and regulation over previously unregulated financial services providers such as payday lenders, debt collectors, credit bureaus and money transmitting services. Impose a Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee on the largest financial institutions to compensate taxpayers for the extraordinary support they provided to stabilize the financial sector.
Make sure Wall Street plays by the same rules as Main Street. Continue implementing Wall Street reform to prevent practices that helped lead to the financial crisis. Crack down on fraud. Investigate large-scale financial fraud, and make the penalties for fraud count—not something banks and financial firms see as the price of doing business.
Reward companies that bring jobs back to America with lower taxes and pay for it by eliminating tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas. Open new export markets, stay tough on trade enforcement to protect U.S. companies selling products overseas, and provide U.S. businesses tools they need to export goods.
Open new export markets, stay tough on trade enforcement to protect U.S. companies selling products overseas, and provide U.S. businesses tools they need to export goods. Streamline government services by consolidating six agencies and several other programs into a single department focused on helping American businesses grow and export.
Keep taxes low for 98% of Americans and nearly every small business by preventing a $2,200 tax increase for the typical family of four on January 1st 2013. Jumpstart small business hiring by cutting taxes for businesses that hire new workers or pay higher wages.
Permanently eliminate capital gains taxes on certain small business stock held for more than five years to encourage investment that provides crucial funding for small businesses. Renew tax breaks that allow companies to immediately write off the total cost of certain purchases like computers and machines to encourage investment.
Put construction workers back to work with good jobs that can’t be outsourced building the tools and transportation network our businesses need to compete globally. Keep taxes low for 97 percent of small businesses by extending tax credits that will expire in 2013.
Reform K-12 education funding by encouraging states to adopt higher standards, and improving teaching and learning assessments. Encourage innovation in education. Continue funding competitions that increase student success and prepare students for college and careers.
Invest in the next generation of scientists and engineers. Improve science, technology, engineering and math education and expand programs that expose kids to opportunities in those fields. Put a great teacher in every classroom. Attract, prepare, support and reward effective teachers and school leaders, and reduce teacher shortages in STEM subject areas.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
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. 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.
Eliminate confusing financial forms by simplifying credit card agreements and consolidating two complex mortgage disclosure forms into one plain language document.
Establish new health insurance marketplaces where people can compare premiums and benefits across plans. State-based exchanges will come online in 2014 to help people shop for affordable insurance. Help families with the cost of health care. In 2014, 18 million middle class people and families will get a tax cut averaging $4,000 to help cover the cost of care.
Lower Medicare costs and close the donut hole. Seniors with traditional Medicare will save nearly $4,200 by 2021, and those with high prescription drug costs will save even more.
Learn more about these issues here