The campaign for president — to be decided in November — is going to be determined, most people believe, by the state of the economy and its impact on each of us as we enter the voting booth. I believe while the economy will hold a high priority with voters, they will also consider domestic policies and foreign affairs in choosing the next president.
Most Americans understand the difference in views on the domestic agenda between the two candidates — Obama and Mitt Romney – and the parties they represent. President Obama and the Democratic Party believe we must never privatize Social Security and Medicare, but instead take measures to keep them solvent while always keeping them as entitlements.
|Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch and Diane Mulcahy arrive at the White House for a State Dinner in March. Koch is supporting President Obama in his re-election bid.
The Republican Party and Mitt Romney as well as former president George W. Bush have made it clear they are desirous of ending the entitlement contract between the government and the individual American.
They want to substitute the concept of privatization with individual stock accounts, making Social Security dependent in part on the stock market and ending Medicare as we know it. They would instead provide a voucher system, allowing those eligible to receive a government voucher with the beneficiary being personally responsible for the cost of an insurance policy as the voucher buys less with each passing year.
The Democrats believe Medicaid — healthcare for the poor — should remain an entitlement, no matter the number of poor qualifying.
Republicans believe Medicaid should instead become a block grant to the states, eliminating the federal responsibility to care for the poor and giving all 50 states the power to decide the benefits to be provided, as well as the funding.
In the field of foreign affairs, one major issue is that of Iran and what to do to prevent Iran from achieving possession of nuclear bomb capability.
The president’s position was recently articulated by American Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro in The New York Times of May 18. “The American ambassador to Israel said this week that not only was America willing to use military force to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but that preparations had already been made for a possible attack. ‘It would be preferable to resolve this diplomatically and through the use of pressure than to use military force,’ the ambassador, Dan Shapiro, said Tuesday at a meeting of the Israeli bar association. ‘But that doesn’t mean that option is not fully available. And not just available, but it’s ready. The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready.’”
I believe that here both parties and candidates are basically in accord
Another major foreign policy issue is our commitment to defend Israel. Most people know of my expressed concern on this issue, putting the president and me at odds at one time.
I am convinced the president’s actions resulted in preventing the entry of the Palestinian Authority as a state at the U.N. — his statement in support of Israel given at the United Nations that supporters of Israel unanimously concluded was magnificent, as well as his personal actions at the Security Council. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that he could “hardly remember a better period of support, American support and cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us than what we have right now.”
Barak had earlier said, “I don’t think that anyone can raise any question mark about the devotion of this president to the security of Israel.”
Most important, convincing me of the president’s firm commitment to the security of the state of Israel, was our personal extended conversation on that issue on Sept. 21.
Finally, there is the issue of fairness in taxes, collected from the wealthy (millionaires and billionaires) and the middle class. The Republicans and Romney do not believe in collecting more taxes from the wealthy; President Obama and most Americans do.
I will, whenever the president asks me, go on his behalf to Florida and anywhere else where I can be helpful to campaign for him. This will not be an easy campaign for either side.
I believe the Democratic positions considering domestic and foreign affairs are far more preferable to that of the Republicans, and I intend to do my part to assist in the re-election of President Barack Obama.
Edward Koch was the 105th mayor of New York City for three terms, from 1978 to 1989. He previously served for nine years as a congressman. Read more reports from Ed Koch — Click Here Now.
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