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Obama spells out plans for change

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  • Sen. Barack Obama vows to cut taxes "for 95 percent of all working families"
  • Obama sets goal to end U.S. dependence on Mideast oil in 10 years
  • Democratic nominee urges "affordable, accessible health care" for all Americans
  • Obama promises to end Iraq war "responsibly," finish fight in Afghanistan
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DENVER, Colorado (CNN) -- Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama called his acceptance speech on Thursday "the American Promise." It included a list of promises for change that he said, "We need right now."

Sen. Barack Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Sen. Barack Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Here is a look at what Obama said he would do, if elected, about a variety of topics:


Obama said he would:

• Cut taxes "for 95 percent of all working families."

• "Eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses" and start-ups "that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow."

• Advocate "a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it."

• "Stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas" and "start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America."


Obama said he would:

• Set a goal that "in 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East."

• "Tap natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology and find ways to safely harness nuclear power."

• "Help our auto companies retool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America." Video Watch Obama's acceptance speech »

• Make it easier for Americans to afford U.S.-built, fuel-efficient cars.

• Have the federal government "invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy -- wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels." Doing so, he said, would "lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced."


Obama said he would:

• "Finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education."

• Find more money for early childhood education and recruit teachers with better pay while also pushing "higher standards and more accountability."

• Make sure young Americans can afford college if they serve their community or country. Photo See the highlights of the Democratic convention's last day »

Health care

Obama said he would:

• "Finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American."

• Lower premiums for those who have health care and let those without coverage "get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves."

• Make sure insurance companies "stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most."

Labor law

Obama said he would:

• Provide paid sick days and "better family leave" for workers.

• Close the pay gap between the sexes.

Bankruptcy law

Obama said he would:

• Change bankruptcy law "so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses."

Federal spending

Obama said he would:

• Pay for "every dime" of his plans' costs "by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow."

• Cut federal programs that don't work and improve those that do while reducing their costs.

National defense

Obama said he would:

• "End this war in Iraq responsibly and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan."

• "Only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home."

• "Rebuild our military to meet future conflicts."

Foreign relations

Obama said he would:

• "Restore our moral standing" in the world.

• Provide "tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression."

• "Build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation, poverty and genocide, climate change and disease."


Obama said he would:

• Work with people on all sides of the issue to reduce unwanted pregnancies.

Gun control

Obama said he would:

• Uphold the Second Amendment but also keep "AK-47s out of the hands of criminals."

Gay rights

Obama said he would:

• Help ensure that gays and lesbians have the right "to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination."

Illegal immigration

Obama said he would:


• Pursue policies that don't result in separated families.

• Discourage companies from undercutting American wages by hiring illegal workers.

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