Obama Has Released A 27-Point Plan For His Second Term, And It's A Doozy

Barack Obama

Photo: Official White House Flickr

After failing to deliver a line by line economic plan, the Obama campaign stepped up to the plate this week and delivered a glossy memo with 27 points on how he would use a second term in office.It’s called The New Economic Patriotism: A Plan For Jobs & Middle-Class Security and millions of copies have been printed and shipped off to swing states.

The plan is broken up into seven different parts, focusing on topics that include manufacturing, energy, small businesses, education, taxes and the deficit, healthcare, and Medicare and Social Security. While a lot of crucial details are still missing, it’s a start to understanding what another four years under Obama would look like.

For voters who can’t get their hands on a copy, we’ve broken down the points here.  

 

Lower the corporate tax rate

End deductions for outsourcing companies

Fight China' s unfair trade practices

For the third point of his manufacturing plan, Obama wants to create a new enforcement force devoted exclusively to Chinese trade by 2016.

According to the document, the president is already aggressively pursuing trade litigation against China:

President Obama brought more trade cases against China in four years than the previous president did in eight years and won every one of them that has been decided.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Train 2 million new workers through community colleges

One particularly unique strategy that the Obama plan has for improving the economy is to connect community colleges to companies so that the colleges serve as a training space for the employers.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

The President also wants to create a network of 'manufacturing innovation institutes,' where businesses and research universities collaborate in order to design new projects.

It's unclear what sort of model or precedent the President has in mind with this. But one example is the Los Alamos Laboratory during the Second World War, where industry and academia collaborated under the supervision of the University of California to build the atomic bomb. Other models could be any of the universities involved in the DARPA system.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Open up more acreage for energy resource development

Invest in domestic energy sources

The second point of his energy plan emphasises developing alternative energy sources, 'including wind, solar, clean coal, nuclear, and biofuels. All while increasing our energy efficiency.'

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Double vehicle fuel economy by 2025

This portion of the plan would double the average fuel economy for cars and light trucks over the next thirteen years.

According to Obama, this would drastically reduce the amount of oil imported and would likewise save the average car owner a substantial amount of money.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Get Congress to invest in high-tech batteries

According to the plan, Obama wants to calling on 'Congress to build on our success in positioning America to be the world's leading manufacturer in high-tech batteries,' which could be used by the military as well as in civilian transportation.

To accomplish this, Obama wants Congress to extend tax credits that support clean energy manufacturing.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Make utility companies shift to 80% clean energy sources by 2035

Cut taxes for companies that hire

With his small business plan, Obama is appealing more to a class of entrepreneurs as a whole rather than any specific subset of the economy, so it makes sense that the plan is more a strategy that a point by point goal set.

The first is to create a tax cut for businesses that hire or increase wages, and to allow businesses to continue writing off business expenses.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Extend tax cuts for middle class families

Obama's plan to extend the Bush tax cuts for middle class families is included in the Small Business section of Obama's second term blueprint, because many small businesses are incorporated as S-corps, which means that the revenue passes through the company to the shareholders without being taxed, and then the shareholders pay taxes on the revenue personally.

In these cases, most small business owners in the middle class would see their taxes remain the same instead of rising with the cuts' expiration. Here's the exact phrasing:

Extending the middle-class income tax cuts which would prevent 97% of small business owners from facing a tax increase.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Expand the health reform tax credit

The Affordable Care Act includes tax credits for small businesses that offer employer-provided health insurance. Obama wants to expand this tax credit 'to cover 50% of small businesses' health care costs in 2014.' He also wants to provide small businesses access to group rates so they 'won't continue to pay up to 18% more than large firms for health insurance.'

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Slow the growth rate of rising college tuition

One of the stated top priorities for Obama's next term is to work on the expansive rise in the cost of going to college. The goal is to cut tuition growth in half over 10 years.

Via the new plan:

We can make college more affordable by continuing tax credits to help middle-class families afford college tuition, doubling the number of work-study jobs and creating incentives for schools to keep tuition down.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Recruit 100,000 STEM teachers

Obama's second-term blueprint also includes a plan to aggressively seeks to recruit and maintain Science, Technology, Engineering and maths majors in the U.S. university system in the hope that many of these students go on to become teachers in the primary and secondary education spheres.

The final goal is to recruit 100,000 maths and science teachers. Via the Obama plan:

'We can out-compete China and Germany by out-educating them. The STEM Master Teacher Corps and investments in research and innovation into the best ways to teach maths and science will help improve maths and science education nationwide.'

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Expand Race to the Top

The final point of Obama's new education plan is to invest in primary and secondary education through the Race to the Top initiative.

Here's the full quote of the plan:

Because we can't compete for jobs of the future without educating our children, we must prevent teacher layoffs. We also must expand Race to the Top to additional school districts willing to take on bold reform. The President will offer states committed to reform relief from the worst mandates of No Child Left Behind, like incentives to teach to the test, so they can craft local solutions.

The idea is to defend unions and prevent teacher layoffs. The rollback of the No Child Left Behind program will continue on pace.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Cut $2.50 for each $1 in revenue increases

This portion details the ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases in the Obama tax plan.

The idea is to get the right mix of government cuts and tax increases to cut the deficit without cutting essential services to the point that the economy is harmed.

Here's the policy:

President Obama's plan reduces the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade, including $1 trillion in spending cuts he signed into law last summer, and cutting $2.50 in spending for every $1 in additional revenue from the wealthiest families and closing corporate loopholes.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Implement the Buffett Rule

The second point is the boilerplate 'make sure millionaires aren't paying less in taxes than middle class Americans' -- the philosophy behind the Buffett Rule.

The Buffett Rule would make the minimum effective tax rate for people who make more than a million dollars per year 30%.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Commit money saved from ending wars overseas to repairing infrastructure and paying down the federal debt

Obama wants to use the money saved from drawing down U.S. troop presence in Iraq and Afghanistan to pay for improving the nation's roads bridges, airports, and schools. He would use the leftover savings to start paying off the federal deficit.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Keep requiring health insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions

While Romney has sworn to gut the healthcare reform bill as soon as he walks into the office, Obama's new blueprint promises that the law will continue to go into effect during his second term. out what will go into effect over a second term here.

The most popular provision of the law -- forcing health insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions -- is set to go into effect in 2014.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Make health care exchanges operational by 2014.

The state health care exchanges mandated in the Affordable Care Act are also set to become operational in 2014.

According to the plan, this will create 'a marketplace that offers group rates and new tax credits so everyone can afford insurance.'

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Stop health insurance companies from discriminating by gender

Another near-universally approved aspect of the health care legislation is the move to prohibit discrimination on premiums based on gender.

According to Obama's plan women now spend up to 50% more on the same policy as men. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies will no longer be allowed to discriminate by gender starting in 2014.

Here's the projected extent of the bill's effects:

'47 million women will benefit from the health care reform provision that requires health plans to cover lifesaving preventive care that women need without out-of pocket costs.'

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Work with hospitals to reduce infections

One novel focus that the next Obama administration would 'save 60,000 lives and $10 billion for Medicare's future by partnering with hospitals to reduce inpatient infections and needless re-admissions' of seniors on Medicare.

How Obama plans to accomplish this goal is not specified.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Oppose plans to turn Medicare into a voucher system

According to the plan, Obama would also 'stop proposals to turn Medicare into a voucher system,' a veiled shot at his opponent's plans to overhaul the federally-funded retiree healthcare program.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

Oppose attempts to privatize Social Security

According to the plan, Obama will:

Oppose efforts to gamble Social Security on the stock market. President Obama will fight for balanced deficit reduction, and extend the life of Medicare and Social Security, without ending guaranteed benefits or slashing benefits.

The implication here is that failing to elect Obama would make the privatization of Social Security a possibility.

Source: The New Economic Patriotism Plan

So how does Obama's blueprint stack up?

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