Clinton’s policies, goals more specific than Obama’s

I am voting for Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Texas primary election because I feel of the three presidential contenders, she is the most qualified and the most experienced.

Experience is not something anyone should make light of, especially in politics. Throughout history, we have witnessed the demise of many great men who had the best intentions.

We should take the background, skill and personal accomplishments of each candidate into careful consideration when electing who will hold the highest office in the land. Clinton’s unique experiences in the Governor’s Mansion in Arkansas, the White House and the U.S. Senate make her ready to reform a broken system and enact policies that will change the course of history and get our nation back on track. It would be wrong to say I agree with every position Clinton has taken. However, she has a proven record of success that will make her a highly effective leader and commander in chief.

War in Iraq

According to her campaign Web site, Clinton has a plan to convene the Joint Chiefs of Staff, her Secretary of Defense and her National Security Council to come up with a plan to bring our troops home. Clinton intends to bring together regional partners and other global powers in a multinational effort to reconstruct Iraq, “replacing military force with diplomatic and global leadership.”

Obama has often accused Clinton of initially voting for the war in Iraq. He claims opposing the war from the beginning makes his argument stronger against the formidable GOP frontrunner, John McCain. However, Obama’s record for opposing the War in Iraq has been inconsistent. He never voted on the Iraq war – he was a senator in the Illinois Legislature at the time.

According to the Chicago Tribune in 2004 Obama said, “There’s not much of a difference between my position and George Bush’s position at this stage.”

In June of 2006, he was opposed to timetables for withdrawing troops and waited 18 months before delivering his first speech condemning the war on the Senate floor.

Health Care

Clinton has outlined a comprehensive plan that seeks universal coverage. Insurance costs would be adjusted according to household income.

Obama claims that anyone who wants coverage will have it, but many argue his approach will inevitably leave out millions of Americans.

According to the research of one of American’s leading health care economists, Jonathan Gruber, mandates are often the key in covering the uninsured and guaranteeing cost-effectiveness. His research demonstrates Obama’s plan would only cover half of the uninsured (about 23 million people).

A plan like Obama’s, without mandates, would cost roughly $4,400 per person, while a plan resembling Clinton’s proposal would run at about $2,700 per person, according to Gruber’s research. These differences will impact the lives of the millions of uninsured Americans.

Like Paul Krugman, an economist and columnist for the New York Times, it is my belief that Clinton’s plan is “the difference between achieving universal health coverage and falling far short.” Obama’s plan does not go far enough.

College

According to Clinton Web site, “The U.S. used to rank first in the world in our percentage of young people with a postsecondary degree; now we have fallen to seventh.”

Clinton believes a college education should be an opportunity for anyone with “talent, determination and ambition to learn.”

Clinton’s plan provides a $3,500 tuition tax credit to individuals and involves increasing Pell Grants and annually adjusting the amount according to rising tuition costs. She intends to award students who choose careers of public service and give a year or two of service to organizations, such as AmeriCorps.

Clinton also supports getting rid of Free Application for Federal Student Aid, allowing families to inquire on income tax returns to find out how much federal aid in grants and loans they can receive. It also increases the number of students who qualify for aid and rewards hard work and service. She has been much more specific than Obama on her goals, detailing specific actions she will take to make college education more affordable.

Clinton should not be punished for being associated with the accomplishments of the 1990s or for her experience. She has the power to make things happen, and if given the Democratic nomination, she will work with Americans to change the course of this country.

Melanie Harris is a TCU alumna from Fort Worth.