Obama vs. McCain: How will you use your vote?

Two candidates.
Two radically different approaches to the issues of our time.
One opportunity to stop the assault on workers and their families.

Sen. Barack Obama Sen. John McCain
Proposes Health Care For All. Obama’s health care plan would provide affordable, high-quality coverage for all and would guarantee coverage for those who change jobs or have pre-existing medical conditions. (Campaign Web site; Obama speech in Iowa City, Iowa, 5/29/07) Places Insurance Companies Over Working Families. McCain wants to tax our health care benefits and push workers into the private market where insurance companies can charge whatever they want and refuse to cover people with pre-existing conditions like cancer. He also plans to give the top 10 health insurance companies $1.9 billion in tax breaks. (Health08.org, Forum,10/31/07; Los Angeles Times, 11/20/07; Center for American Progress, 4/9/08)
Opposes Unfair Trade Deals. Obama wants to close corporate tax loopholes so we don’t reward corporations for sending our jobs overseas and only enter trade agreements with strong labor protections. He voted against the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and supports extending Trade Adjustment Assistance to help workers (including many Boilermakers) who lose their jobs due to bad trade deals. (Obama speech at Building Trades Conference, 4/15/08; Cleveland Democratic Debate, NBC, 2/26/08; S. 1307, Vote 170, 6/30/05; Obama remarks, Raleigh, N.C., 6/9/08; Obama for America Web site) Thinks NAFTA Was ‘A Good Idea.’ McCain voted for the North America Free Trade Agreement and said, “I know NAFTA was a good idea.” He has repeatedly voted for unfair trade deals and supported tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. He also voted to weaken and waive Buy American laws that keep jobs here at home. (Des Moines Register and www.BigThink.com interview, 11/07; H.R. 3450, Vote 395, 11/20/93; H.R. 4444, Vote 251, 9/19/00; S. 1637, Vote 83, 5/5/04; S. 2400, Vote 135, 6/22/04; S. 1050, Vote 191, 5/21/03)
Protects Our Retirement. Obama will protect Social Security from benefit cuts and will not raise the retirement age. He voted against benefit cuts in the U.S. Senate and strongly opposes privatization. He also wants to give seniors making less than $50,000 a tax cut. (Quad-City Times, 9/21/07; S.C.R. 18, Vote 49, 3/15/05; S.Amdt. 144 to S.C.R. 18, Vote 47, 3/15/05) Wants To Privatize Social Security. McCain said he is “totally in favor” of risky personal savings accounts. He strongly supported President Bush’s efforts to privatize Social Security and has voted for similar measures multiple times. His chief economic aide also has said McCain will not rule out raising the retirement age or reducing cost-of-living adjustments. (Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08; S.C.R. 83, Vote 68, 3/16/06; S.Amdt. 489 to S.C.R. 21, Vote 89, 3/22/07; S.C.R. 86, Vote 56, 4/1/98; S.C.R. 86, Vote 77, 4/1/98)
Protects Union Wages and Jobs. “We need to make sure workers building America’s infrastructure are making the prevailing wage and getting the benefits they deserve,” Obama said. He voted against a proposal to strip prevailing wage requirements from bridge construction projects. He also believes “the government uses project labor agreements to encourage completion of projects on time and on budget.” (S.Amdt. 2844 to H.R. 3074, Vote 334, 9/12/07; Obama speech to Building Trades Conference, 4/15/08) Would Dump Prevailing Wage and Project Labor Agreements. McCain wants to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act (prevailing wage) and eliminate project labor agreements. These protections are essential to construction Boilermakers and others in the building trades, as they protect wage rates and ensure projects paid for with taxpayer money are done right. (Associated Builders and Contractors PAC)
Supports Employee Free Choice Act. Obama co-sponsored and voted for the Employee Free Choice Act, which would restore workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions without employer harassment. Obama says, “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when” the bill will be passed. (H.R. 800, Vote 227, 6/26/07; Chicago Tribune, 3/4/07) Strongly Opposes Employee Free Choice Act. McCain said he is “strongly opposed” to this important effort to level the playing field for workers trying to form unions. He voted against the Employee Free Choice Act, which would help save the middle class, and for a national “right-to-work” for less law that would attempt to eliminate unions altogether. (Congressional Record, page S8389, 6/26/07; H.R. 800, Vote 227, 6/26/07; S. 1788 Vote 188, 7/10/96)