President Barack Obama says his Republican challenger has the “wrong vision” for the country. So what is his?
Some of his agenda for a second term is a continuation of the first. He’d raise taxes on annual family incomes above $250,000. He’d continue to spend on education and green energy. He’d implement the health care law and financial regulations already enacted. And he’d continue to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan with a goal of getting them all out by the end of 2014.
Much of his plan is an open question, though, rendered all the more mysterious when he was caught on an open microphone telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier this year that he’d have “more flexibility” after the November election. To do what isn’t yet clear. Though he’s offered broad themes on the campaign trail, Obama has yet to flesh out the details.
Some of the possible second-term goals are ones he set aside in the first when they were too difficult or politically costly. They include a rewrite of immigration laws, efforts to combat global warming and a sweeping change in the tax code beyond the year-to-year extensions of Bush-era tax cuts.
Despite the gridlock that’s paralyzed Washington since Republicans took control of the House of Representatives after the 2010 elections, Obama thinks his re-election would make it more likely that he could reach agreements with them. With him in for another four years and no more, he thinks, the Republican “fever” would break.
“My hope and my expectation is that after the election, now that it turns out the goal of beating Obama doesn’t make much sense because I’m not running again, that we can start getting some cooperation again,” he said earlier this summer.