Democratic platform focuses on fixing the economy

By Donna Cassata

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 4 2012 1:15 a.m. MDT

First Lady Michelle Obama waves to volunteers during a sound check for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday, Sept. 3, 2012.

Lynne Sladky, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — Democrats unveiled a party platform at their national convention Monday that echoes President Barack Obama's call for higher taxes on wealthier Americans while backing same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

Delegates will vote Tuesday to adopt the platform that reflects the president's argument that his work is unfinished and he deserves another four years to complete the job.

"Today, our economy is growing again, al-Qaeda is weaker than at any point since 9/11, and our manufacturing sector is growing for the first time in more than a decade. But there is more we need to do, and so we come together again to continue what we started," the platform said.

The document is a sharp contrast from the Republican blueprint that the GOP adopted at its convention last week. The Republican plan would ban abortion and gay marriage, repeal Obama's health care overhaul law and shift Medicare into a voucher-style program.

Democrats acknowledged that divergent views.

"This election is not simply a choice between two candidates or two political parties, but between two fundamentally different paths for our country and our families," the Democrats said.

TAXES

The Democratic platform calls for extending the middle-class tax cuts for the 98 percent of American families who make less than $250,000 a year, and makes a promise not to raise taxes on them. The platform claims a typical family has saved $3,600 during Obama's first term. "Now he's fighting to stop middle-class families and those aspiring to join the middle class from seeing their taxes go up and to extend key tax relief for working families and those paying for college, while asking the wealthiest and corporations to pay their fair share," the platform says.

The Republican platform would extend the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, pending reform of the tax code. It also says the party would try to eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains altogether for lower- and middle-income taxpayers. It also would work to repeal the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax.

ABORTION

The Democratic platform states that it "unequivocally" supports Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal, and "supports a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay."

The platform states: "Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way."

The Republican Party platform bans abortion in all cases, even rape, incest and when the life of the mother is endangered. Republicans say "the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed." It opposes using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or to fund organizations that perform or advocate abortions.

GAY MARRIAGE

The Democratic platform supports the movement to get equal treatment under the law for same-sex couples.

The platform says: "We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference." The platform opposes "federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection under the law" to same-sex couples.

The Republican Party platform affirms the rights of states and the federal government not to recognize same-sex marriage. It backs a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

IMMIGRATION

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