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Council on Foreign Relations Media Guide
U.S. Presidential Debate

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will face off in Denver on Wednesday for the first of three presidential debates. Here is a nonpartisan guide from CFR and Foreign Affairs on the most salient campaign issues.

 

COMPARING THE CANDIDATES ON THE ISSUES

Fifteen continuously-updated summaries of Obama's and Romney's positions on the economy, homeland security, defense policy, and more. View the Issue Trackers.

 

THE NEXT PRESIDENT'S INBOX

Video Issue Briefs on the challenges confronting the next president with Sebastian Mallaby on the global economy, Edward Alden on immigration, and Michael A. Levi on energy, among others. Watch the Video Issue Briefs.

 

WHAT IS THE FISCAL CLIFF?

A series of tax increases and spending cuts are due to take effect at the end of 2012 and early 2013. Budget austerity in the midst of a fragile economic recovery has led economists to warn of a double-dip recession in 2013 if Washington fails to intervene. Read the Backgrounder.

 

U.S. EDUCATION REFORM AND NATIONAL SECURITY

The United States' failure to educate its students leaves them unprepared to compete and threatens the country's ability to thrive in a global economy and maintain its leadership role. The country will not be able to keep pace—much less lead—globally unless it moves to fix the problems it has allowed to fester for too long. These are among the findings and recommendations of a CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force. Read the full report.

 

DOMESTIC UNDERPINNINGS OF U.S. GLOBAL POWER

CFR's Renewing America initiative focuses on revitalizing the country's economic strength and building the foundation for future prosperity and influence. This project examines six issues that affect the United States' ability to project its power abroad: debt and deficits, infrastructure, education and human capital, corporate regulation and taxation, innovation, and international trade and investment.

 

ROAD TO NOWHERE: FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE POLICY

Just a generation ago, the United States invested heavily to create one of the world's best transportation infrastructure networks. This infographic on federal transportation policy maps where the United States is being outpaced, how it affects economic strength, and why the United States needs to develop innovative funding solutions. View the Scorecard.

 

AMERICA THE UNDERTAXED

Compared with other developed countries, the United States has very low taxes, little income redistribution, and an extraordinarily complex tax code, writes MIT professor Andrea Louise Campbell in Foreign Affairs. Read the article.

 

WHO BENEFITS FROM “TAX EXPENDITURES”?

CFR Senior Fellow Benn Steil and Analyst Dinah Walker look at tax expenditures by income bracket, showing that three of the largest expenditures disproportionately benefit the well-off. See the Geo-Graphic.

 

THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT

By comparing the current recovery with those of the past, this Chart Book, published by CFR's Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies, illustrates that the economy would need to grow at an "inconceivable 7.6 percent annualized rate" in order for this recovery to catch up with the typical one by the end of 2012. See the Chart Book.

 

 

 

 

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