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Articles of Interest

Attorney Edward Alkalay writes a regular column for the Conway Daily Sun newspaper entitled "The Legal Corner." His articles address a wide variety of timely legal issues. Click on the titles below to review his past articles.

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The Legal Corner: McCain v. Obama II

September 9, 2008

About three months ago, I wrote an article comparing and contrasting some of the positions of John McCain and Barack Obama. Now we are entering the home stretch of the election season with only about 40 days left until Election Day. The race between Obama and McCain is neck and neck with the election likely to be decided by a few battleground states. New Hampshire is one such battleground state. Many people have told me that they have not had time to focus on the issues because of busy-life schedules. Time is running out. So, I thought that I would provide some quick help to compare and contrast the candidates, as well as to provide resources for further research. This is not a comprehensive analysis by any means, but a starting point.

(1) Taxes: John McCain has indicated that he will not raise taxes and will seek to make President Bush’s tax cuts permanent, including the current capital gains and dividends rate. Barack Obama’s tax proposal will raise taxes only on those making over $250,000 per year. All other would receive a tax cut. Obama would also propose raising the capital gains and dividends taxes. (Side note – with the government’s recent bailout of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG, both candidates’ tax and spending proposals will likely have to be revised.)

(2) Health Care: McCain proposes using tax credits to shift our health care system from its current employer-based coverage to a market system where people would select from competing policies. Obama would maintain the employer-based system, but expand government involvement. In doing so, Obama’s plan supports (although does not require) universal health coverage for the 47 million Americans without insurance. Obama’s plan does mandate health care coverage for all children.

(3) Abortion: Obama is pro-choice. McCain is pro-life.

(4) Death penalty: Both candidates support use of the death penalty under certain circumstances.

(5) Environment: Both candidates have taken pro-environmental stances on global warming, although it is likely that Obama would give this issue a higher priority than McCain.

(6) Gun control: McCain has consistently voted against gun control laws, while Obama has supported certain gun control proposals. Both candidates affirm an individual’s rights to bear arms in accordance with the Second Amendment.

(7) Iran: Obama would engage in direct talks with Iran in order to attempt to negotiate with Iran to drop its nuclear program. McCain opposes unconditional diplomatic talks with Iran.

(8) Trade/Business issues: McCain has been a firm supporter of free trade provisions such as the North American Free Trade Alliance (NAFTA). McCain has also historically supported deregulation of businesses. Obama believes that NAFTA should be renegotiated to provide better protections for U.S. workers. Obama also favors greater regulation of businesses.

(9) Energy: Both candidates support pursuing forms of alternate energy. McCain has recently supported off-shore drilling to address the rising price of gas and oil, although he had opposed such drilling in the past.

In deciding which candidate to vote for, you should listen to and read as much as possible. All television shows, newspaper article, and websites have their own slant. The sole way to become informed is to research the issues yourself. One good bipartisan website that compares and contrasts the candidates can be found at www.obama-mccain.info. Additionally, the first presidential debate is this Friday. There is still plenty of time to compare and contrast these candidates. Much of what the next President will do will impact our justice system, the environment, economic issues, and much more. Since New Hampshire is a critical battleground state, you should be sure that the candidate that you vote for best supports your positions now and for the future.

Edward D. Alkalay is a partner at Alkalay & Smillie PLLC and can be reached at (603)447-8994 or ed@northconwaylawyers.com. (This article conveys general information and should not be relied on for legal advice without further research and/or consultation with an attorney.)

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By: Edward D. Alkalay