A summary of Obama and Romney's stances on top issues
By Meagan McGone
BREVARD - Less than a week remains until voters flock to the polls to decide the next president of the United States. To better prepare readers for the big decision of 2012, Hometown News has provided an overview of Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's positions on top issues.
Jobs and the economy
. Obama: Allow Bush-era tax cuts to expire for individuals making $200,000 and couples making $250,000 annually. Bring jobs to the U.S. by eliminating tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs, as well as provide tax breaks to businesses that produce domestically.
. Romney: Reduce federal spending, in part by cutting programs such as Planned Parenthood and repealing "Obamacare." Reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and continue the Bush-era tax cuts. Raise visa caps for highly skilled workers to develop competitive workforce.
. Obama: Reform education policies and provisions in the No Child Left Behind law. Continue his "Race to the Top" competition, which has awarded states with more than $4 billion in grants for pursuing education policies he supports.
. Romney: Emphasizes school choice for students and incentives for improving teacher quality with his education plan, "A Chance for Every Child."
. Obama: Achieved regulations on heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming and on toxic mercury pollution from power plants. Established safety regulations for offshore drilling in the wake of the BP oil spill.
. Romney: Wants to increase drilling and supports drilling in limited areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska. Deregulate energy industries.
. Obama: Put the U.S. on path to universal healthcare with the Affordable Care Act. Under the law, more Americans will be insured.
. Romney: Though the Affordable Care Act was modeled after his health-care law in Massachusetts, Romney supports repealing it. Believes health care should be handled at the state level.
. Obama: Extended payroll tax cuts that would have added to the Social Security pot. Opposes privatization of Social Security.
. Romney: Offers plan that raises retirement age and slows growth in inflating the benefits of high-income recipients, both of which would affect the next generation - not current recipients.
. Obama: Deported 1.4 million immigrants during his presidency thus far. Supported the DREAM Act, a path to citizenship for undocumented youth.
. Romney: Wants to secure borders and create a pathway to citizenship for those who have served in the U.S. military, as well as for children who came to the U.S. "through no fault of their own."
. Obama: Captured and killed Osama bin Laden under his presidency. Ended the Iraq war and plans to have all troops out of Afghanistan by 2014. Increased unmanned drone strikes to kill high-level terrorists, also killing civilians and creating fragile relations with Pakistan. Supports major Army and Marine Corps cuts in an effort to cut $487 billion in military spending over a decade.
. Romney: Believes Iran is a threat to the United States. Endorses withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in 2014, depending on the state of the situation. Would increase strength of armed forces.
Abortion and birth control
. Obama: Supports abortion rights. His Affordable Care Act made birth control available without a co-pay for insured women. Defends Planned Parenthood.
. Romney: Supports an overturn of Roe v. Wade, which struck down various state laws restricting abortion. Wants to leave abortion rights up to state law. Supports a measure to allow employers to deny contraceptives. Said the government should cut federal aid for Planned Parenthood.
Information gathered from AP, CNN, www.barackobama.com and www.mittromney.com.