Thursday, November 27th, 2014

The Obameter

Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises

Create a retirement savings tax credit for low incomes

A tax credit for retirement savings up to $500 (couples) or $250 (singles). Phases out when incomes exceed $65,000 (couples) or $32,500 (single). Indexed for inflation.

End income tax for seniors making less than $50,000

"Will eliminate all income taxation of seniors making less than $50,000 per year. This will eliminate taxes for 7 million seniors -- saving them an average of $1,400 a year-- and will also mean that 27 million seniors will not need to file an income tax return at all."

Establish a small business initiative for rural America

"Will support entrepreneurship and spur job growth by establishing a small business and micro-enterprise initiative for rural America. The program will provide training and technical assistance for rural small business, and provide a 20 percent tax credit on up to $50,000 of investment in small owner-operated businesses. This initiative will put the full support of the nation's economic policies behind rural entrepreneurship."

Implement "Women Owned Business" contracting program

"Will implement the Women Owned Business contracting program that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, but has yet to be implemented by the Bush Administration." The program seeks to get more women-owned businesses to compete for federal contracts.

Change standards for determining broadband access

Will direct the Federal Communications Commission to "provide an accurate map of broadband availability using a true definition of broadband instead of the current 200 kbs standard and an assessment of obstacles to fuller broadband penetration."

Create a consumer-friendly credit card rating system

"The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will assess the degree to which credit cards meet consumer-friendly standards … (such as) the underwriting standards used to issue the card, the card's interest rate spread between the introductory rate and the maximum rate allowed, and transaction fees. ... 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."

End no-bid contracts above $25,000

"Will ensure that federal contracts over $25,000 are competitively bid."

Create a $60 billion bank to fund roads and bridges

"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 and stimulate approximately $35 billion per year in new economic activity."

Create a tax credit of $500 for workers

Enact a Making Work Pay tax credit that would equal 6.2 percent of up to $8,100 of earnings (yielding a maximum credit of approximately $500). Indexed for inflation.

Establish a credit card bill of rights

The credit card bill of rights would "ban unilateral changes ... apply interest rate increases only to future debt ... prohibit interest on fees ... prohibit 'universal defaults' (whereby a credit card raises its rates because the consumer was late paying a different creditor ... require prompt and fair crediting of cardholder payments."

Enforce pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget rules

"Obama believes that a critical step in restoring fiscal discipline is enforcing pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting rules which require new spending commitments or tax changes to be paid for by cuts to other programs or new revenue."

Create more public-private business incubators for poor communities

"Obama and Biden will invest $250 million per year to increase the number and size of incubators in disadvantaged communities throughout the country."

Expand loan programs for small businesses

Expand "the Small Business Administration's loan and micro-loan programs which provide start-up and long-term financing that small firms cannot receive through normal channels."

Extend the Bush tax cuts for lower incomes

Extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single)

Repeal the Bush tax cuts for higher incomes

Repeal the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single)

Phase out exemptions and deductions for higher earners

Restore the phaseouts of personal exemptions and itemized deductions for those making more than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single), with threshholds indexed for inflation.

Extend and index the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch

Extend and index the temporary fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax that was passed in 2007

Freeze the 2009 estate tax law

Freeze the 2009 estate tax law, which exempts the first $3.5 million and has a top rate of 45 percent.

Tax carried interest as ordinary income

Carried interest is a way of compensating executives by giving them ownership stakes, or "interest," in a business. Carried interest is taxed as a capital gain, which has a lower tax rate than ordinary income. Obama proposes taxing carried interest at the same rate as regular income.

Sign the Employee Free Choice Act, making it easier for workers to unionize

"Obama is a cosponsor and strong advocate of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a bipartisan effort to make the unionization process more transparent and increase penalties on companies that violate employee rights. He will sign EFCA into law as president."