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Current Event Summary- 2012 US Presidential Elections

Whether it is about taxes, spending, the bailouts, the debt ceiling or entitlements, a fundamental source of disagreement between Republicans and Democrats is whether the federal government should be a support system for the country or play an extremely limited role in business, social and day-to-day life. The tea party wing of the Republican party has used reducing the size of government as a rallying cry while progressive Democrats decry it as an elimination of the traditional safety net responsibilities of the federal government.

President Obama, like many in the Democratic party, believes that the federal government has an important role to play in shaping the lives of the people, building infrastructure, regulating and helping to grow business. During his first term as president, he backed a number of measures that increased the role of government including the health care reform bill sometimes called "Obama care." President Obama also pushed forward a federal stimulus plan, an over $800 billion injection into the U.S. economy in 2009 that was aimed at helping the U.S. economy recover from the 2008 bank failures. His critics from the right, many of whom believe in small government and less federal government interaction, said that the Stimulus Plan was an example of government overreach and was going to make the country’s financial situation worse by pushing the country further into debt. President Obama also supported a 2009 bailout of the auto industry, despite critics who believed that the government should stay out of free enterprise and let the cards fall where they may. Obama was criticized for comments in the summer where he said in Roanoke, Virginia in July: "If you are successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive....
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