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Key issues in 2012 presidential race

Where President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stand on key issues
by Chris Casteel Published: November 4, 2012



President Barack Obama

• Would raise taxes for those couples making more than $250,000 and single filers making more than $200,000; has called for requiring millionaires to pay tax rate of at least 30 percent

• Would agree to lower corporate tax rate, but wants to end tax breaks that he says reward companies for moving jobs overseas

• Agreed to $1 trillion in deficit reduction as part of debt ceiling negotiations and $1.2 trillion more that will kick in early next year. Has said a target of $4 trillion in debt reduction over 10 years could be achieved, with tax hikes and spending cuts

• Quote: “If we're serious about reducing the deficit, if this is genuinely a moral obligation to the next generation, then in addition to some tough spending cuts, we've also got to make sure that the wealthy do a little bit more.” (October 2012)

Mitt Romney

• Would cut marginal tax rates for individuals by 20 percent, eliminate the estate tax, repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax and eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for those with adjusted gross income below $200,000

• Would cut corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent

• Would immediately cut spending by 5 percent on areas unrelated to national security or entitlements and sign House Republican budget to roll back nonsecurity spending to 2008 level (excluding entitlements)

• Quote: “I will not under any circumstances reduce the share that's being paid by the highest income taxpayers. And I will not, under any circumstances, increase taxes on the middle-class.” (October 2012)



• Has stressed continued investment in renewable energy sources like wind and solar and negotiated higher mileage standards for fleet vehicles

• Has endorsed natural gas production in “environmentally sound way” and administration is developing hydraulic fracturing regulations on public land and studying whether the process threatens water

• Wants to raise taxes on oil and gas companies by estimated $4 billion a year

• Quote: “We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. Natural gas production is the highest it's been in decades. We have seen increases in coal production and coal employment. But what I've also said is we can't just produce traditional sources of energy. We've also got to look to the future.” (October 2012)


• Has said he would open up more public land to drilling, including offshore Virginia and the Carolinas, and make permitting easier

• Would approve northern segment of Keystone XL pipeline

• Campaign has said he would not support renewal of tax credit for wind energy

• Quote: “I will fight to create more energy in this country to get America energy-secure. And part of that is bringing in a pipeline of oil from Canada, taking advantage of the oil and coal we have here, drilling offshore in Alaska, drilling offshore in Virginia where the people want it.” (October 2012)

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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