Questions For The Next President

As Senators McCain and Obama move toward their party’s respective nominations, one should lay out a questionnaire for those men—a questionnaire that can inform the debate this fall. If one waits for intelligent television ads, we will be in the next generation.

Mr. President to Be—what do think— *you both have accepted the concept of a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

What is that timetable? What if the insurgents launch a major offensive as the US is leaving?

• Would you use US airpower to attack Iranian nuclear sites?

• What should be the limits of US-Israeli military cooperation?

• What areas should be negotiated in US-foreign trade agreements?

• Do you believe in universal medical coverage?

• Is balancing the federal budget a priority for your first term?

• How should Congress deal with the Alternative Minimum tax problem?

• Should No Child Be Left Behind be re-authorized and revised?

• Should the US increase its presence in Afghanistan and should it move into the Pakistan border areas even if the latter government opposed the US there?

• Do you support an open-ended commitment to Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac?

• Should changes be made in the Social Security system? • Medicare and Medicaid; the new prescription plan?

• Does the federal government have a role guaranteeing economic security for employees and preventing late career firings by companies before these people are eligible for retirement?

• Do you support a continuation of affirmative action policy in education and employment?

• Do you favor a closed shop for union members?

• Should there be a litmus test for federal judges on issues such as abortion, privacy, and civil liberties.

• If you oppose the use of “enhanced’ interrogation techniques how do you intend to extract critical information from hardened terrorists?

• You both oppose Guantanamo Bay prisons. What do you do with the 300 plus prisoners there?

• Should we suspend subsidies for ethanol?

• Are you pleased with medical services available to US veterans?

• What message is your choice of vice president meant to convey?

• What does a commitment to environment mean for resource extraction?

Michael P. Riccards is Executive Director of the Hall Institute of Public Policy – New Jersey.

Questions For The Next President