Monday, March 10, 2008

Presidential politics and the glass industry

What the candidates have to say about health care, immigration and the economy

—By Katy Devlin, commercial glass and metals editor, Glass Magazine

During the past several months, we issued two e-glass polls about the upcoming presidential elections—one about the issues and another about the candidates. Both received high response rates from readers, indicating that we need to do more to address the election and how it relates the industry.

The Dec. 11 poll that received 375 responses asked about the most searing issue in the election. No issue received more than 20 percent of responses. Education came in on top with 19 percent, followed by health care, the war in Iraq, immigration, the economy, taxes and energy.

The March 4 poll asked respondents which candidate would help the industry most as president. About 54 percent said John McCain; 17 percent, Barack Obama; 16 percent, Mike Huckabee; and 13 percent Hillary Clinton.

I wanted to use my blog today to briefly spotlight the remaining candidates’ positions on several issues that directly affect most, if not all, glass companies.

This information was pulled from each candidate’s Web site, as well as from a New York Times election guide detailing how all the candidates stand on the top issues. Please leave comments below and contact me if you have suggestions on other ways we can cover the election with an industry eye.

Health care

Hillary Clinton: Health insurance for everyone, subsidized by the government and employers. Large companies will be required to provide insurance or help pay the cost; small companies will receive tax credits to fund health care. Rollback in tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000 to help pay for the plan. More information.

John McCain: Health care in a free-market system driven by consumers, available to everyone, without a mandate. Focus on controlling health care costs by promoting drug competition and improving early diagnosis and education. Remove bias toward employer-sponsored programs; provide tax credits for individuals and families. More information.

Barack Obama: Universal coverage by the end of the first term. Require employers to provide insurance or contribute to its cost; exempt small business that meet certain revenue thresholds; reimburse companies for large health costs. Roll back tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000. More information.


Clinton: Secure borders—voted for border fence along Mexican border. Develop a universal, accurate and timely employer verification system. Path to legalization for illegal immigrants. Opposes guest worker program. More information.

McCain: First priority to secure borders—voted for border fence along Mexican border. Provide opportunities for immigrant workers. Path to legalization for illegal immigrants. More information.

Obama: Secure borders—voted for border fence along Mexican border. Path to legalization for illegal immigrants. Supports guest worker program and a crack down on employers that hire illegally. More information.


Clinton: $70 billion jump-start plan to go toward mitigating housing foreclosures, energy conservation grants to create jobs, and unemployment insurance, among others. Tax rebates to working and middle-class families. More information.

McCain: Stimulate economic growth by permanently repealing the alternative minimum tax and reducing the estate tax. Eliminate deficit spending. Make tax increases more difficult. More information.

Obama: Stimulate the economy through tax cuts for the middle class. Keep estate tax. Protect workers’ rights and raise the minimum wage. Support research, renewable energy and technology sectors to boost job growth in those areas. More information.

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