A dear friend asked today for 10 reasons why she should vote for Obama. I put a great deal of work into the document, so I decided to share the fruits of my labor with everyone. I feel very strongly about this chance we have to make America better. It will be, by far, the most important vote I have ever cast.
It was very hard to narrow it down, but here are some things that are extremely important to me. Obama’s plans for tackling each issue strike me as thorough and well laid out. The man has vision, and I think America has a lot to gain from leadership we aren’t embarrassed by.
1. Barack Obama has the intellect, natural talent and charisma to communicate effectively to the entire world, bring people together, change the status quo and move our country forward. It’s time for us to stop being the laughingstock of the industrialized world. We are not a nation of Yosemite Sams. Obama and Biden will renew American diplomacy to meet the challenges of the 21st century. They will rebuild our alliances. And they would be willing to meet with all nations, friend and foe, to advance American interests.
2. Barack Obama is committed to universal health care by the end of his first term. Obama and Biden will require coverage of preventive services, including cancer screenings, and will increase state and local preparedness for terrorist attacks and natural disasters. The Obama plan will lower health care costs by $2,500 for a typical family by investing in health information technology, prevention and care coordination. Obama and Biden will allow the federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices for the Medicare program. They also support allowing seniors to import safe prescription drugs from overseas. They will reduce waste in the Medicare system and will tackle fundamental healthcare reform.
3. Joe Biden is a competent and experienced running mate. Sarah Palin flat out is NOT. Biden is a leader who has worked for decades in Washington, but takes the train home everyday to take care of his family. An expert on foreign policy, whose heart and values are firmly rooted in the middle class; one who has stared down dictators, and spoken for America's cops and firefighters. He is uniquely suited to serve as Barack Obama’s partner in the urgent mission to bring about the change America needs to put our country back on track.
4. Obama has sponsored, co-sponsored and advocated for significant and realistic legislation to end global warming by capturing and safely disposing carbon dioxide, raising vehicle fuel economy standards and replacing petroleum with home-grown biofuels like cellulosic ethanol.
5. Obama has the broadest base of supporters, has not accepted PAC money and is the least compromised by big money special interests, unlike McCain. No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration. Obama and Biden will fight for an independent watchdog agency to oversee the investigation of congressional ethics violations.
6. Barack Obama will provide a tax cut for working families. Obama and Biden will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 95 percent of working Americans the tax relief they need. They will create a new "Making Work Pay" tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family.
7. Obama will reward companies that support American workers. Barack Obama introduced the Patriot Employer Act of 2007 with Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to reward companies that create good jobs with good benefits for American workers. The legislation would provide a tax credit to companies that maintain or increase the number of full-time workers in America relative to those outside the US; maintain their corporate headquarters in America if it has ever been in America; pay decent wages; prepare workers for retirement; provide health insurance; and support employees who serve in the military.
8. Obama will invest in a clean energy economy and create 5 million new green jobs. Obama and Biden will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, invest in low emissions coal plants, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid. The plan will also invest in America's highly-skilled manufacturing workforce and manufacturing centers to ensure that American workers have the skills and tools they need to pioneer the first wave of green technologies that will be in high demand throughout the world.
9. Obama will make college affordable to all Americans. Obama and Biden will create a new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth $4,000 in exchange for community service. It will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students.
10. Obama will rebuild the military for 21st century tasks instead of leaving our troops hanging out to dry underequipped and with no real strategic direction. Obama and Biden will complete the effort to increase our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines. They will also invest in 21st century missions like counterinsurgency by building up our special operations forces, civil affairs, information operations, foreign language training and other units and capabilities that remain in chronic short supply. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will require the Pentagon and State Department to develop a strategy for determining when contracting makes sense, rather than continually handing off governmental jobs to well-connected companies. An Obama-Biden administration will create the transparency and accountability needed for good governance. Finally, it will establish the legal status of contractor personnel, making possible prosecution of any abuses committed by private military contractors. Obama and Biden will restore the government's ability to manage contracts by rebuilding our contract officer corps. They will order the Justice Department to prioritize prosecutions that will punish and deter fraud, waste and abuse.