America's leadership role in the world has grown out of our compassion and moral strength, as well as our unparalleled economic and military strength. We can be proud of our long history of using our strength to fight for the freedom of others, but our standing in the world has been badly tarnished. America can once again be looked up to and respected around the world. The first step is by immediately withdrawing 40,000-50,000 troops from Iraq, with the complete withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq within 12-18 months -- allowing the Iraqis to assume greater responsibility for rebuilding their own country. It also means working to restore our legitimacy by leading on the great challenges before us like the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the genocide in Darfur, extreme poverty, and living up to our ideals in the fight against terrorism.
Guaranteeing Affordable, Quality Health Care for Every American
The 47 million uninsured Americans often do not get the care they need. Each year, about 18,000 die as a result. Despite the problems of the uninsured and unnecessarily low quality care, our health care system is the most expensive in the world and insurance premiums have grown faster than wages for almost 50 years. John Edwards believes we need to reform our health care system to provide truly universal coverage - not mere access to insurance - and get better care at lower cost. Read More »
Every day, 37 million Americans wake in poverty. Our response to that reality says everything about the character of America. John Edwards has called for a national goal of eliminating poverty within 30 years, with policies rooted in the core American values of opportunity for everyone and responsibility from everyone. We can reach that goal by creating and rewarding work, strengthening families, helping workers save and get ahead, transforming our schools, expanding access to college, breaking up areas of concentrated poverty, reaching overlooked rural areas, and expecting people to help themselves by working whenever they are able.
The backbone of America is its middle class. But middle class families are struggling. Wages have fallen in recent years even as the economy has grown. At the same time, the costs of necessities like health care, child care, and education have grown. President Bush's tax policies have increased the share of the tax burden borne by middle-class workers. Our economic policies must reward work, help families save for the future, and fight the rising costs of middle-class life.