Accepting his party’s renomination for president at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, Barack Obama zeroed in on the top policy goals he will seek to accomplish in a second term.
The Obama campaign issued a white paper sketching out — in some areas ambiguously — the policy prescriptions for a total of nine ambitious goals, three of which the document prioritized.
1) Create one million manufacturing jobs over the next four years
Obama aims to accomplish this by pushing for comprehensive tax reform that includes lower rates on domestic manufacturers and an additional credit for businesses that return jobs to the United States. The plan would enhance job training by investing in community colleges and aid for students. The money spent would be recovered by closing tax loopholes elsewhere.
“We can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here, in the United States of America,” Obama said. “We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years.”
2) Cut oil imports in half by 2020
Obama’s new energy policy would enhance oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic by easing up the leasing and review process. It involves doubling fuel efficiency standards, expanding the use of ethanol and biofuels and promoting clean energy sources — although the policy paper was light on how.
“If you choose this path,” the president said, “we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone.”
“And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet - because climate change is not a hoax.”
3) Halve the growth of college tuition costs over the next decade
Obama says he’ll push to cut the skyrocketing rate of growth of college tuition in half over 10 years — a highly ambitious goal. His administration aims to accomplish this by creating a “Race to the Top-like initiative” to reward states that find ways to reduce tuition costs, promote recognition of transfer credits and strip funding from colleges that “cannot or will not offer students a good value and an affordable price.”
“Help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next ten years,” Obama implored the Charlotte, N.C. crowd. “We can meet that goal together. You can choose that future for America.”
Sahil Kapur is a congressional reporter for TPM. He previously covered politics and public policy for numerous publications including The Guardian and The Huffington Post. He can be reached at sahil [at] talkingpointsmemo.com.