Friday, September 19th, 2014

Promise Kept rulings on The Obameter

Extend child tax credits and marriage-penalty fixes

Will extend aspects of the Bush tax cuts such as child credit expansions and changes to marriage bonuses and penalties.

Create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes

"Will create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to identify and invest in the most compelling advanced manufacturing strategies. The Fund will have a peer-review selection and award process based on the Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund, a state-level initiative that has awarded over $125 million to Michigan businesses with the most innovative proposals to create new products and new jobs in the state."

Create an international tax haven watch list

Create an international tax haven watch list of countries that do not share information returns with the United States.

Increase minority access to capital

"Strengthen Small Business Administration programs that provide capital to minority-owned businesses, support outreach programs that help minority business owners apply for loans, and work to encourage the growth and capacity of minority firms."

Require economic justification for tax changes

Adopt the economic substance doctrine, a policy that states that tax changes must have significant economic justification, as a federal law.

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."

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."

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)

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

Close the "doughnut hole" in Medicare prescription drug plan

"Barack Obama wants to close the 'doughnut hole' in the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program that limits benefits for seniors with more than $2,250 but less than $5,100 in annual drug costs. Approximately 4 million seniors hit the doughnut hole in 2006, paying full price for drugs while also paying drug plan premiums."

Provide easy-to-understand comparisons of the Medicare prescription drug plans

"An Obama administration will require companies to send Medicare Part D beneficiaries a complete list of the drugs the individual used the past year as well as the pertinent fees paid the previous year. Companies will also be required to provide seniors with online versions of this information, so that they can use it at a third-party comparison shopping site, similar to Priceline.com."

Expand the Senior Corps volunteer program

Expand "the Senior Corps program, which connects individuals over the age of 55 to local volunteer opportunities, and work to provide additional security, including assistance with retirement and family-related costs, to seniors who participate in public service."

Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions

Require insurance companies "to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans, regardless of their health status or history, can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums."

Give tax credits to those who need help to pay health premiums

"Income-based sliding scale tax credits will be provided for people and families who need it."

Require large employers to contribute to a national health plan

"Large employers that do not offer meaningful coverage or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the national plan. Small businesses will be exempt from this requirement."

Require children to have health insurance coverage

"Require that all children have health care coverage. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will expand the number of options for young adults to get coverage by allowing young people up to age 25 to continue coverage through their parents' plans."