The 57th United States presidential election has once again predictably narrowed down to only two realistic presidential candidates: the incumbent, President Barack Obama for the Democrats, and Gov. Mitt Romney, for the Republicans. Accordingly, we've compiled the most comprehensive database of their positions on all the topics and all the issues to assist you, the electorate, in casting your vote on November 6. Just scroll down below the introductions and click one of the 29 issues and 12 profile categories to compare the political stances and biographical data of 2012 Presidential Candidates.
“Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik, we had no idea how we'd beat them to the moon. The science wasn't there yet. NASA didn't even exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn't just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs…
.. Think about it. Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school degree. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren't even finishing high school. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations. America has fallen to 9th in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us -- as citizens, and as parents -- are willing to do what's necessary to give every child a chance to succeed…
… In South Korea, teachers are known as "nation builders." Here in America, it's time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect. We want to reward good teachers and stop making excuses for bad ones. And over the next ten years, with so many Baby Boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. In fact, to every young person listening tonight who's contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child -- become a teacher. Your country needs you. Of course, the education race doesn't end with a high school diploma. To compete, higher education must be within reach of every American…”
January 24, 2012: President Obama’s State of The Union Address
“Getting the best possible education has never been more important than it is right now. And that’s because in today’s world, a good job requires a good education. I travel all across the country, I go into factories, I go into companies. And it doesn’t matter where you are working, if you do not have a good education you are not going to be able to succeed. And that includes being on the factory floor these days, because most of the equipment is highly technical.
Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require a level of education beyond a high school degree. Which means, obviously, first of all, you can’t drop out of TechBoston. That’s not allowed. All ight? You can’t even think about dropping out. But, can’t even think about it. But even after you graduate, you’re going to need some additional education. And I know that TechBoston is doing an outstanding job of making sure that every student is prepared to go to college.
Unfortunately, the reality is too many students are not prepared across our country. Too many leave school without the skills they need to get a job that pays. Today, as many as a quarter of American students are not finishing high school, a quarter. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations. And America has fallen to ninth in the proportion of young people with a college degree. We used to be number one, and we’re now number nine. That’s not acceptable.”
March 08, 2011: President Obama speaking at TechBoston Academy in Massachusetts.
“At this defining moment in our history, America faces few more urgent challenges than preparing our children to compete in the global economy. The decisions our leaders make about education in the coming years will shape our future for generations to come. It will help determine not only whether our children have the chance to fulfill their God-given potential or whether our workers have a chance to build a better life for their families, but whether we as a nation will remain in the 21st century the kind of global economic leader that we were in the 20th century. The rising importance of education reflects the new demands of our new world.”
September 9, 2008: Obama offers comprehensive educational plan during a campaign speech in Dayton, Ohio
Johnson opines that a federally managed education system is wasteful and inefficient. He advocates the abolishment of the Department of Education and in its place, allow the 50 states to experiment with their own education system.
Hi, I'm Stella Lohmann from Atlanta, Georgia. I've taught in both public and private schools, and now as a substitute teacher I see administrators more focused on satisfying federal mandates, retaining funding, trying not to get sued, while the teachers are jumping through hoops trying to serve up a one-size-fits-all education for their students. What as president would you seriously do about what I consider a massive overreach of big government into the classroom? Thank you.
Bret Baier: That topic is for all candidates. And to get everyone to weigh in, 30 seconds each, please. Governor Johnson?
Gary Johnson: I'm promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013. That's a 43 percent reduction in federal spending. I am going to promise to advocate the abolishment of the federal Department of Education.
The federal Department of Education gives each state 11 cents out of every dollar that every state spends, but it comes with 16 cents worth of strings attached. So what America does not understand is that it's a negative to take federal money. Give it to 50 laboratories of innovation, the states, to improve on, and that's what we'll see: dramatic improvement.
September 22, 2011: Fox News-Google Republican Presidential Debate in Orlando, Florida American education is at a crossroads.
We can either choose to continue down the path of higher costs, poorer results, and top-down thinking, or challenge the status quo by using what actually works rather than what we wish would work. The problem is public education in America is now doing less with more. This is unsustainable for our pocketbooks and, most importantly, unfair to our children.
Now, imagine an educational system that not only educates students better, but also does it for less money every year. It would give each American child the opportunity to choose an individualized education to realize his or her dreams.
#1 Give Education Back to Parents and Teachers
• All parents should have an opportunity to choose which school their children attend.
• Putting educational funds in the hands of the people who use them gives parents and students a vote as to which schools are best and which need to improve.
• Our children deserve the chance to succeed educationally, but the same old way of thinking won't cut it. It's time to free individuals and states from burdensome federal mandates and regulations so they can pursue the right educational strategies for their students.
#2 End the Department of Education
Although it may sound drastic, there are practical reasons why it should be considered.
• The Department of Education grants each state 11 cents out of every dollar it spends on education. Unfortunately, every dollar of this money comes with 16 cents of strings attached. States that accept federal funding lose five cents for every dollar spent on education to pay for federal mandates and regulations, taking millions of dollars out of the classroom.
• Schools should have the authority to decide how best to spend educational dollars. Without federal regulations and mandates, schools could choose to purchase new computers, better lab equipment, and maintain after-school sports and music programs even during times of tight budgets.
• Once citizens and their local representatives have the freedom to decide how their educational funds will be spent, they can consider innovations that will drive student choice, educational competition, and better results.
Campaign Website: garyjohnson.com, Civil Liberties
“Gary Johnson: I was an absolute advocate of home schooling. It just makes all the sense in the world. And I was very much, I was more outspoken regarding school choice than any governor in the country, believing that we needed to bring competition to the public education which is in essence what you’re doing.
Question: Do you support, ending the Department of Education?
Gary Johnson: Yes, and I do that from the standpoint that the federal government gives each states about eleven cents out of every school dollar that every state spends, but it comes with about 16 cents worth of strings attached. And those are the strings that you’re talking about. They’re really making it a negative to take federal money. Just get the states out of education, and yours is a great example I think, of, you’ve taken education on yourself and I dare say your results are going to be, if measured, would be outstanding.
Should everyone emulate what it is you’re doing? On that basis, I don’t think so. But this is the choice that you’ve made and if we were to open up the entire school system to genuine competition on how to deliver education, we would see some startling innovation. Giving it back to the states
Question: How do you feel that, by taking the government out of education that’ll help the family core?
Gary Johnson: Well, yours is the best example, yours is the best example that I think I’ve ever seen. You’ve obviously bonded together as a family unlike perhaps any family I’ve seen.
You’re living on a bus. But because of that, you get to travel all over the country, you get to do things constantly, and I think it’s really cool, just think it’s really cool. I think, I wish I had the same opportunity.
April 23, 2011: Gary Johnson speaking with the Halldorson family on the unschoolbus