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Published:October 31st, 2008 15:23 EST
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Issues Obama And McCain Need To Address

By Robert Paul Reyes

It`s the economy, stupid. Understandably, with the economy in a tailspin this subject has been dominating the election in the last few weeks.

The Web...But a few irrelevant issues like Ayers, Palin`s wardrobe and the alleged socialist tendencies of Obama have managed to share the spotlight with the sorry state of the economy.

I`m glad Barack Obama and John McCain are discussing a serious issue like the economy, but there a few important topics that the candidates are not talking about.

*LIVING WAGE

When the economy goes south, it`s the working poor who are the hardest hit. How can a single person, nevermind a family, make ends meet making the federal minimum wage at $6.55? It`s a rhetorical question, it`s impossible. Had the minimum wage been raised to meet cost of living expenses since 1968, the minimum wage would currently be $10 an hour.

A few enlightened municipalities have enacted a living wage, but this problem needs to be addressed at the federal level. I`m not surprised that McCain has failed to mention a living wage, but why has Obama been silent on this issue?

Instead of bailing out criminal and greedy CEO`s, the federal government should provide assistance to struggling working class families.

*WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN

Obama and McCain are in favor of increasing, not decreasing, troop levels in Afghanistan. I predict that Afghanistan will be the new Iraq, and war-weary Americans will demand that the next president exit this god-forsaken part of the world. We don`t have to occupy Afghanistan to battle al Qaeda, if we finally find out where bin Laden is we can take him out with a cruise missile.

REPEAL OF THE PATRIOT ACT

Under the guise of fighting terrorism George W. Bush has restricted the freedoms and violated the civil liberties of the American public. The Patriot Act is an abomination that should be repealed by Congress, but unfortunately both McCain and Obama have voted to increase electronic eavesdropping on American citizens.

This excerpt from a Wikipedia article concisely explains the objections I have with the Patriot Act:

"In particular, opponents of the law have criticized its authorization of indefinite detentions of immigrants; searches through which law enforcement officers search a home or business without the owner`s or the occupant`s permission or knowledge; the expanded use of National Security Letters, which allows the FBI to search telephone, email and financial records without a court order; and the expanded access of law enforcement agencies to business records, including library and financial records."

AIDS EPIDEMIC IN MINORITY COMMUNITIES

This is a timely issue for the candidates to discuss, because October is HIV/AIDS Awareness Month

"In the South, an African-American woman is 16 times more likely to contract HIV than her white counterpart. In Mississippi, African-Americans account for less than 40 percent of the total population, but constitute almost 70 percent of the new cases diagnosed in our state.

African-Americans and Hispanics account for most of the country`s new HIV/AIDS cases and deaths from AIDS-related causes. These are also the people least apt to receive proper medical care and treatment."

http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20081029/OPINION01/810290334

Even though Obama has not made AIDS awareness a central issue in his campaign, at least he believes in universal health care which will finally provide the poor with decent health care coverage.

ANY OTHER ISSUES THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES ARE NEGLECTING?

Send me an email to let me know of any other important issue that has been neglected in this presidential campaign.