Plan to Strengthen the Economy
believe that America’s free market has been the engine of America’s
great progress. It’s created a prosperity that is the envy of the
world. It’s led to a standard of living unmatched in history. And it
has provided great rewards to the innovators and risk-takers who have
made America a beacon for science, and technology, and discovery…We are
all in this together. From CEOs to shareholders, from financiers to
factory workers, we all have a stake in each other’s success because
the more Americans prosper, the more America prospers.”
— Barack Obama, New York, NY, September 17, 2007
At a Glance
Speak your mind and help set the policies that will guide this campaign and change the country.
Wages are Stagnant as Prices Rise:
While wages remain flat, the costs of basic necessities are increasing.
The cost of in-state college tuition has grown 35 percent over the past
five years. Health care costs have risen four times faster than wages
over the past six years. And the personal savings rate is now the
lowest it’s been since the Great Depression.
Tax Cuts for Wealthy Instead of Middle Class:
The Bush tax cuts give those who earn over $1 million dollars a tax cut
nearly 160 times greater than that received by middle-income Americans.
At the same time, this administration has refused to tackle health
care, education and housing in a manner that benefits the middle class.
Barack Obama’s Plan
Jumpstart the Economy
- Provide Additional Tax Rebates to American Workers:
The economy has continued to weaken significantly, despite
congressional action to provide immediate tax rebates to American
consumers. Stimulus: $20 billion.
- Establish a $10 billion Foreclosure Prevention Fund:
Given the downturn in the economy, Obama is calling for immediate
creation of his Foreclosure Prevention Fund that will dramatically
increase emergency pre-foreclosure counseling, and will help families
facing foreclosure to responsibly refinance their mortgages or sell
their homes. Obama’s plan will not help speculators, people buying
vacation homes or people that falsely represented their incomes. It is
meant to help responsible homeowners through this difficult period. Stimulus: $10 billion.
$10 billion in Relief for State and Local Governments Hardest-Hit by
the Housing Crisis to Prevent Cuts in Vital Services: Because
of the housing crisis and the weakening economy, many state and local
governments are facing significant revenue shortfalls. Barack Obama
believes that in the areas hardest-hit by the housing crisis we should
provide immediate, temporary funding to state and local governments so
that the decline in property values does not cause them to slash
critical public services and cut vital infrastructure spending. Stimulus: $10 billion.
- Extend and Expand Unemployment Insurance:
Barack Obama believes we must extend and strengthen the Unemployment
Insurance (UI) program to address the needs of the long-term
unemployed, who currently make up nearly one-fifth of the unemployed
and are often older workers who have lost their jobs in manufacturing
or other industries and have a difficult time finding new employment.
Expanding UI is one of the most effective ways to combat economic
turmoil; every dollar invested in UI benefits results in $1.73 in
economic output. Obama is calling for a temporary expansion of the UI
program for those who have exhausted their current eligibility. Stimulus: $10 billion.
Provide Middle Class Americans Tax Relief
Obama will cut income taxes by $1,000 for working families to offset the payroll tax they pay.
- Provide a Tax Cut for Working Families:
Obama will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 150 million
workers the tax relief they need. Obama will create a new “Making Work
Pay” tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family.
The “Making Work Pay” tax credit will completely eliminate income taxes
for 10 million Americans.
- Eliminate Income Taxes for Seniors Making Less than $50,000:
Barack Obama will eliminate all income taxation of seniors making less
than $50,000 per year. This proposal will eliminate income taxes for 7
million seniors and provide these seniors with an average savings of
$1,400 each year. Under the Obama plan, 27 million American seniors
will also not need to file an income tax return.
- Simplify Tax Filings for Middle Class Americans:
Obama will dramatically simplify tax filings so that millions of
Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than five minutes.
Obama will ensure that the IRS uses the information it already gets
from banks and employers to give taxpayers the option of pre-filled tax
forms to verify, sign and return. Experts estimate that the Obama
proposal will save Americans up to 200 million total hours of work and
aggravation and up to $2 billion in tax preparer fees.
believes that trade with foreign nations should strengthen the American
economy and create more American jobs. He will stand firm against
agreements that undermine our economic security.
- Fight for Fair Trade:
Obama will fight for a trade policy that opens up foreign markets to
support good American jobs. He will use trade agreements to spread good
labor and environmental standards around the world and stand firm
against agreements like the Central American Free Trade Agreement that
fail to live up to those important benchmarks. Obama will also pressure
the World Trade Organization to enforce trade agreements and stop
countries from continuing unfair government subsidies to foreign
exporters and nontariff barriers on U.S. exports.
- Amend the North American Free Trade Agreement:
Obama believes that NAFTA and its potential were oversold to the
American people. Obama will work with the leaders of Canada and Mexico
to fix NAFTA so that it works for American workers.
- Improve Transition Assistance:
To help all workers adapt to a rapidly changing economy, Obama would
update the existing system of Trade Adjustment Assistance by extending
it to service industries, creating flexible education accounts to help
workers retrain, and providing retraining assistance for workers in
sectors of the economy vulnerable to dislocation before they lose their
Invest in the Manufacturing Sector and Create 5 Million New Green Jobs
- Invest in our Next Generation Innovators and Job Creators:
Obama will create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to identify and invest
in the most compelling advanced manufacturing strategies. The Fund will
have a peer-review selection and award process based on the Michigan
21st Century Jobs Fund, a state-level initiative that has awarded over
$125 million to Michigan businesses with the most innovative proposals
to create new products and new jobs in the state.
- Double Funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership:
The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with manufacturers
across the country to improve efficiency, implement new technology and
strengthen company growth. This highly-successful program has engaged
in more than 350,000 projects across the country and in 2006 alone,
helped create and protect over 50,000 jobs. But despite this success,
funding for MEP has been slashed by the Bush administration. Barack
Obama will double funding for the MEP so its training centers can
continue to bolster the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.
- Invest In A Clean Energy Economy And Create 5 Million New Green Jobs:
Obama 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.
- Create New Job Training Programs for Clean Technologies:
The Obama plan will increase funding for federal workforce training
programs and direct these programs to incorporate green technologies
training, such as advanced manufacturing and weatherization training,
into their efforts to help Americans find and retain stable,
high-paying jobs. Obama will also create an energy-focused youth jobs
program to invest in disconnected and disadvantaged youth.
- Boost the Renewable Energy Sector and Create New Jobs:
The Obama plan will create new federal policies, and expand existing
ones, that have been proven to create new American jobs. Obama will
create a federal Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that will require
25 percent of American electricity be derived from renewable sources by
2025, which has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new
jobs on its own. Obama will also extend the Production Tax Credit, a
credit used successfully by American farmers and investors to increase
renewable energy production and create new local jobs.
New Jobs Through National Infrastructure Investment
Obama believes that it is critically important for the United States to
rebuild its national transportation infrastructure – its highways,
bridges, roads, ports, air, and train systems – to strengthen user
safety, bolster our long-term competitiveness and ensure our economy
continues to grow.
- Create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank:
Barack Obama will address the infrastructure challenge by creating a
National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance, not
supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent
entity will be directed to invest in our nation’s most challenging
transportation infrastructure needs. The Bank will receive an infusion
of federal money, $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to
transportation infrastructure projects across the nation. These
projects will create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs per
year and stimulate approximately $35 billion per year in new economic
Technology, Innovation and Creating Jobs
Obama will increase federal support for research, technology and
innovation for companies and universities so that American families can
lead the world in creating new advanced jobs and products.
- Invest in the Sciences:
Barack Obama supports doubling federal funding for basic research and
changing the posture of our federal government from being one of the
most anti-science administrations in American history to one that
embraces science and technology. This will foster home-grown
innovation, help ensure the competitiveness of US technology-based
businesses, and ensure that 21st century jobs can and will grow in
- Make the Research and Development Tax Credit Permanent:
Barack Obama wants investments in a skilled research and development
workforce and technology infrastructure to be supported here in America
so that American workers and communities will benefit. Obama wants to
make the Research and Development tax credit permanent so that firms
can rely on it when making decisions to invest in domestic R&D over
- Deploy Next-Generation Broadband:
Barack Obama believes we can get broadband to every community in
America through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund,
better use of the nation’s wireless spectrum, promotion of
next-generation facilities, technologies and applications, and new tax
and loan incentives.
Support Small Business
- Provide Tax Relief for Small Businesses and Start Up Companies:
Barack Obama will eliminate all capital gains taxes on start-up and
small businesses to encourage innovation and job creation. Obama will
also support small business owners by providing a $500 “Making Work
Pay” tax credit to almost every worker in America. Self-employed small
business owners pay both the employee and the employer side of the
payroll tax, and this measure will reduce the burdens of this double
- Create a National Network of Public-Private Business Incubators:
Barack Obama will support entrepreneurship and spur job growth by
creating a national network of public-private business incubators.
Business incubators facilitate the critical work of entrepreneurs in
creating start-up companies. Obama will invest $250 million per year to
increase the number and size of incubators in disadvantaged communities
throughout the country.
will strengthen the ability of workers to organize unions. He will
fight for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Obama will ensure
that his labor appointees support workers’ rights and will work to ban
the permanent replacement of striking workers. Obama will also increase
the minimum wage and index it to inflation to ensure it rises every
- Ensure Freedom to Unionize:
Obama believes that workers should have the freedom to choose whether
to join a union without harassment or intimidation from their
employers. Obama cosponsored and is strong advocate for the Employee
Free Choice Act, a bipartisan effort to assure that workers can
exercise their right to organize. He will continue to fight for EFCA’s
passage and sign it into law.
- Fight Attacks on Workers’ Right to Organize:
Obama has fought the Bush National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) efforts
to strip workers of their right to organize. He is a cosponsor of
legislation to overturn the NLRB’s “Kentucky River” decisions
classifying hundreds of thousands of nurses, construction, and
professional workers as “supervisors” who are not protected by federal
- Protect Striking Workers:
Obama supports the right of workers to bargain collectively and strike
if necessary. He will work to ban the permanent replacement of striking
workers, so workers can stand up for themselves without worrying about
losing their livelihoods.
- Raise the Minimum Wage:
Barack Obama will raise the minimum wage, index it to inflation and
increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that full-time
workers earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and
pay for basic needs.
Protect Homeownership and Crack Down on Mortgage Fraud
will crack down on fraudulent brokers and lenders. He will also make
sure homebuyers have honest and complete information about their
mortgage options, and he will give a tax credit to all middle-class
- Create a New FHA Housing Security Program:
Barack Obama strongly supports the efforts of Senate Banking Committee
Chair Chris Dodd (D–CT) to create a new Federal Housing Administration
(FHA) program that will provide meaningful incentives for lenders to
buy or refinance existing mortgages and convert them into stable
30-year fixed mortgages. This plan provides an important federal
backstop – not a bailout – to this growing national problem. Neither
lenders nor homeowners would receive a windfall from this plan.
- Create a Universal Mortgage Credit:
Obama will create a 10 percent universal mortgage credit to provide
homeowners who do not itemize tax relief. This credit will provide an
average of $500 to 10 million homeowners, the majority of whom earn
less than $50,000 per year.
- Ensure More Accountability in the Subprime Mortgage Industry:
Obama has been closely monitoring the subprime mortgage situation for
years, and introduced comprehensive legislation over a year ago to
fight mortgage fraud and protect consumers against abusive lending
practices. Obama’s STOP FRAUD Act provides the first federal definition
of mortgage fraud, increases funding for federal and state law
enforcement programs, creates new criminal penalties for mortgage
professionals found guilty of fraud, and requires industry insiders to
report suspicious activity.
- Mandate Accurate Loan Disclosure:
Obama will create a Homeowner Obligation Made Explicit (HOME) score,
which will provide potential borrowers with a simplified, standardized
borrower metric (similar to APR) for home mortgages. The HOME score
will allow individuals to easily compare various mortgage products and
understand the full cost of the loan.
- Create Fund to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosures:
Obama will create a fund to help people refinance their mortgages and
provide comprehensive supports to innocent homeowners. The fund will be
partially paid for by Obama’s increased penalties on lenders who act
irresponsibly and commit fraud.
- Close Bankruptcy Loophole for Mortgage Companies:
Obama will work to eliminate the provision that prevents bankruptcy
courts from modifying an individual’s mortgage payments. Obama believes
that the subprime mortgage industry, which has engaged in dangerous and
sometimes unscrupulous business practices, should not be shielded by
outdated federal law.
Address Predatory Credit Card Practices
will establish a five-star rating system so that every consumer knows
the risk involved in every credit card. He also will establish a Credit
Card Bill of Rights to stop credit card companies from exploiting
consumers with unfair practices.
- Create a Credit Card Rating System to Improve Disclosure:
Obama will create a credit card rating system, modeled on five-star
systems used for other consumer products, to provide consumers an
easily identifiable ranking of credit cards, based on the card’s
features. Credit card companies will be required to display the rating
on all application and contract materials, enabling consumers to
quickly understand all of the major provisions of a credit card without
having to rely exclusively on fine print in lengthy documents.
- Establish a Credit Card Bill of Rights to Protect Consumers: Obama will create a Credit Card Bill of Rights to protect consumers. The Obama plan will:
- Ban Unilateral Changes
- Apply Interest Rate Increases Only to Future Debt
- Prohibit Interest on Fees
- Prohibit “Universal Defaults”
- Require Prompt and Fair Crediting of Cardholder Payments
Reform Bankruptcy Laws
will reform our bankruptcy laws to protect working people, ban
executive bonuses for bankrupt companies, and require disclosure of all
- Cap Outlandish Interest Rates on Payday Loans and Improve Disclosure:
Obama supports extending a 36 percent interest cap to all Americans.
Obama will require lenders to provide clear and simplified information
about loan fees, payments and penalties, which is why he’ll require
lenders to provide this information during the application process.
- Encourage Responsible Lending Institutions to Make Small Consumer Loans:
Obama will encourage banks, credit unions and Community Development
Financial Institutions to provide affordable short-term and
small-dollar loans and to drive unscrupulous lenders out of business.
- Reform Bankruptcy Laws to Protect Families Facing a Medical Crisis:
Obama will create an exemption in bankruptcy law for individuals who
can prove they filed for bankruptcy because of medical expenses. This
exemption will create a process that forgives the debt and lets the
individuals get back on their feet.
will double funding for after-school programs, expand the Family
Medical Leave Act, provide low-income families with a refundable tax
credit to help with their child-care expenses, and encourage flexible
- Expand the Family and Medical Leave Act:
The FMLA covers only certain employees of employers with 50 or more
employees. Obama will expand it to cover businesses with 25 or more
employees. He will expand the FMLA to cover more purposes as well,
including allowing workers to take leave for elder care needs; allowing
parents up to 24 hours of leave each year to participate in their
children’s academic activities; and expanding FMLA to cover leave for
employees to address domestic violence.
- Encourage States to Adopt Paid Leave:
As president, Obama will initiate a strategy to encourage all 50 states
to adopt paid-leave systems. Obama will provide a $1.5 billion fund to
assist states with start-up costs and to help states offset the costs
for employees and employers.
- Expand High-Quality Afterschool Opportunities:
Obama will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool
programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve a million
more children. Obama will include measures to maximize performance and
effectiveness across grantees nationwide.
- Expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit:
The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit provides too little relief to
families that struggle to afford child care expenses. Obama will reform
the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit by making it refundable and
allowing low-income families to receive up to a 50 percent credit for
their child care expenses.
- Protect Against Caregiver Discrimination:
Workers with family obligations often are discriminated against in the
workplace. Obama will enforce the recently-enacted Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission guidelines on caregiver discrimination.
- Expand Flexible Work Arrangements:
Obama will create a program to inform businesses about the benefits of
flexible work schedules; help businesses create flexible work
opportunities; and increase federal incentives for telecommuting. Obama
will also make the federal government a model employer in terms of
adopting flexible work schedules and permitting employees to request
Barack Obama’s Record
In the U.S. Senate, Obama introduced the STOP FRAUD Act to increase
penalties for mortgage fraud and provide more protections for
low-income homebuyers, well before the current subprime crisis began.
- Predatory Lending:
In the Illinois State Senate, Obama called attention to predatory
lending issues. Obama sponsored legislation to combat predatory payday
loans, and he also was credited with lobbying the state to more closely
regulate some of the most egregious predatory lending practices.
- American Jobs:
Barack Obama introduced the Patriot Employer Act of 2007 to 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; pay decent wages; prepare
workers for retirement; provide health insurance; and support employees
who serve in the military.
For More Information about Barack’s Plan
Read the plan
Read the plan for small businesses
Read the plan to protect homeownership and crack down on mortgage fraud
Read the Speech
Uttar Pradesh to check rampant commercialisation of education
Lucknow, July 10 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh legislative council has
constituted a committee to keep a check on educational institutions
that charge excess fees from students, an official said Thursday. “The
move intends to check the rampant commercialisation of education,” Om
Prakash Sharma, leader of the teachers group in the council, told IANS.
The committee will keep a tab on all types of educational institutions, ranging from primary schools to degree colleges offering courses on medical sciences, engineering, business, management studies and others, he added.
The first meeting of the newly constituted committee will take place
July 16, during which the functioning of the committee members will be
decided, officials said.
Complaints by guardians and students pertaining to excess fees being
charged by educational institutions have been pouring in from different
districts of Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh to make colonies greener
Lucknow, July 10 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to
undertake a sapling plantation drive in residential colonies in various
districts to develop the colonies as eco-friendly areas, an official
said Thursday. State Urban Development Minister Naseemudin Siddiqui has
given instructions to district development authorities to carry out the
Confirming the report, Lucknow Development Authority secretary M.P.
Mishra said, “We have been instructed to initiate the plantation drive
on a massive scale in our housing colonies.”