Issue Position: Technology
"Let us be the generation that reshapes our economy to compete in the digital age. Let's set high standards for our schools and give them the resources they need to succeed. Let's recruit a new army of teachers, and give them better pay and more support in exchange for more accountability. Let's make college more affordable, and let's invest in scientific research, and let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America."
-- Barack Obama Presidential Announcement Speech in Springfield, IL
February 10 ,2007
The Obama-Biden Plan
Barack Obama and Joe Biden understand the immense transformative power of technology and innovation and how they can improve the lives of Americans. They will work to ensure the full and free exchange of information through an open Internet and use technology to create a more transparent and connected democracy. They will encourage the deployment of modern communications infrastructure to improve America's competitiveness and employ technology to solve our nation's most pressing problems -- including improving clean energy, healthcare costs, and public safety.
Ensure the Full and Free Exchange of Ideas through an Open Internet and Diverse Media Outlets
* Protect the Openness of the Internet: Support the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet.
* Encourage Diversity in Media Ownership: Encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation's spectrum.
* Protect Our Children While Preserving the First Amendment: Give parents the tools and information they need to control what their children see on television and the Internet in ways fully consistent with the First Amendment. Support tough penalties, increase enforcement resources and forensic tools for law enforcement, and encourage collaboration between law enforcement and the private sector to identify and prosecute people who try to exploit children online.
* Safeguard our Right to Privacy: Strengthen privacy protections for the digital age and harness the power of technology to hold government and business accountable for violations of personal privacy.
Create a Transparent and Connected Democracy
* Open Up Government to its Citizens: Use cutting-edge technologies to create a new level of transparency, accountability, and participation for America's citizens.
* Bring Government into the 21st Century: Use technology to reform government and improve the exchange of information between the federal government and citizens while ensuring the security of our networks. Appoint the nation's first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure the safety of our networks and lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices.
Deploy a Modern Communications Infrastructure
* Deploy Next-Generation Broadband: Work towards true broadband in every community in America through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund, better use of the nation's wireless spectrum, promotion of next-generation facilities, technologies and applications, and new tax and loan incentives. America should lead the world in broadband penetration and Internet access.
Improve America's Competitiveness
* Promote American Businesses Abroad: Support a trade policy that ensures our goods and services are treated fairly in foreign markets. Fight for fair treatment of our companies abroad.
* Invest in the Sciences: Double federal funding for basic research over ten years, changing the posture of our federal government to one that embraces science and technology.
* Invest in University-Based Research: Expand research initiatives at American colleges and universities. Provide new research grants to the most outstanding early-career researchers in the country.
* Make the R&D Tax Credit Permanent: Invest in a skilled research and development workforce and technology infrastructure. Make the Research and Development tax credit permanent so that firms can rely on it when making decisions to invest in domestic R&D over multi-year timeframes.
* Ensure Competitive Markets: Foster a business and regulatory landscape in which entrepreneurs and small businesses can thrive, start-ups can launch, and all enterprises can compete effectively while investors and consumers are protected against bad actors that cross the line. Reinvigorate antitrust enforcement to ensure that capitalism works for consumers.
* Protect American Intellectual Property Abroad: Work to ensure intellectual property is protected in foreign markets, and promote greater cooperation on international standards that allow our technologies to compete everywhere.
* Protect American Intellectual Property at Home: Update and reform our copyright and patent systems to promote civic discourse, innovation, and investment while ensuring that intellectual property owners are fairly treated.
* Reform the Patent System: Ensure that our patent laws protect legitimate rights while not stifling innovation and collaboration. Give the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) the resources to improve patent quality and open up the patent process to citizen review to help foster an environment that encourages innovation. Reduce uncertainty and wasteful litigation that is currently a significant drag on innovation.
* Restore Scientific Integrity to the White House: Restore the basic principle that government decisions should be based on the best-available, scientifically-valid evidence and not on ideological predispositions.
Prepare All our Children for the 21st Century Economy
* Make Math and Science Education a National Priority: Recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession and support efforts to help these teachers learn from professionals in the field. Work to ensure that all children have access to a strong science curriculum at all grade levels.
* Improve and Prioritize Science Assessments: Work with governors and educators to ensure that state assessments measure higher order thinking skills including inference, logic and data analysis, not just rote memorization of facts.
* Address the Dropout Crisis: Provide funding to school districts to invest in intervention strategies in middle school -- strategies such as personal academic plans, teaching teams, parent involvement, mentoring, intensive reading and math instruction, and extended learning time.
* Pinpoint College Aid for Math and Science Students: Launch an online database to give potential future scientists access to information about financial aid opportunities available in science and technology fields through the federal government and public or private resources.
* Increase Science and Math Graduates: Improve science and math education in K through 12 to prepare more students for these studies in college. Work to increase our number of science and engineering graduates and encourage undergraduates studying math and science to pursue graduate studies. Increase the representation of minorities and women in the science and technology pipeline, tapping the diversity of America to meet the increasing demand for a skilled workforce.
Prepare Adults for a Changing Economy
* Lifelong Retraining: Reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act, and increase resources for community colleges and lifelong learning initiatives to ensure our citizens can continue to gain new skills throughout their lifetimes. Modernize and expand the existing system of trade adjustment assistance to include service sector workers hurt by changing trade patterns. Create flexible education accounts that workers can use to retrain.
* Build a Reliable Safety Net: Through their proposals on portable health care and retirement savings accounts and expanding unemployment insurance, Obama and Biden will work for programs that will help Americans facing job transitions in a fierce global economy.
Employ Science, Technology and Innovation to Solve Our Nation's Most Pressing Problems
21st-century technology and telecommunications have flattened communications and labor markets and have contributed to a period of unprecedented innovation, making us more productive, connected global citizens. By maximizing the power of technology, we can strengthen the quality and affordability of our health care, advance climate-friendly energy development and deployment, improve education throughout the country, and ensure that America remains the world's leader in technology. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will:
* Lower Health Care Costs by Investing in Electronic Information Technology Systems: Use health information technology to lower the cost of health care. Invest $10 billion a year over the next five years to move the U.S. health care system to broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems, including electronic health records.
* Invest in Climate-Friendly Energy Development and Deployment: Invest $150 billion over the next ten years to enable American engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial-scale renewable energy, and begin the transition to a new digital electricity grid. This investment will transform the economy and create 5 million new jobs.
* Modernize Public Safety Networks: Spur the development and deployment of new technologies to promote interoperability, broadband access, and more effective communications among first responders and emergency response systems.
* Advance the Biomedical Research Field: Support investments in biomedical research, as well as medical education and training in health-related fields. Fund biomedical research, and make it more efficient by improving coordination both within government and across government/private/non-profit partnerships.
* Advance Stem Cell Research: Support increased stem cell research. Allow greater federal government funding on a wider array of stem cell lines.