John McCain was born on a naval base in Panama, and since then, he has led a long life of public service. After becoming a decorated officer in the U.S. Navy, McCain has enjoyed a long run as a U.S. senator from Arizona who, during the past two decades, has made waves for breaking ranks with the Republican Party.
Currently, he trails challenger Barack Obama 40 percent to 49.6 percent in an aggregate of national polls published this week at RealClearPolitics.com. Here's more about his platform.
Name: John McCain
Home: Phoenix, Arizona
Education: National War College, 1973-74; B.S., United States Naval Academy, 1958
Religion: Raised Episcopalian, attends a Southern Baptist church
Political experience: 1987-present, United States senator; 1983-87, representative, U.S. House of Representatives
Running mate: Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska
Would keep the top tax rate at 35 percent, maintain a 15 percent rate on dividends and capital gains, and phase out the Alternative Minimum Tax. Would lower corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. Would establish permanent R&D tax credit equal to 10 percent of wages and allow deductions for technology equipment and improvements. Would ban internet and cell-phone taxes.
Believes small-business growth is key to job growth and is best stimulated by lowering energy and health-care costs and taxes. To balance the budget by 2013, he would eliminate earmarks, encourage bipartisan budget planning and institute a one-year spending freeze in non-defense discretionary spending, pending review of all federal programs. Would overhaul unemployment insurance to train modern workers, and open foreign markets through multilateral trade agreements.
Believes offshore drilling and energy exploration send an international message that would lower energy prices. Would seek to build 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030. Would invest $2 billion annually in clean-coal technology. Would encourage development of wind, hydro-electric and solar energy. Would call for "greening" of federal purchases and penalties for auto manufacturers not meeting Corporate Average Fuel Economy mileage standards.
Advocates continuing increased Iraq counterinsurgency efforts started in 2007 and does not support a withdrawal timeline. Believes helping Iraqi self-government to be strategically, morally essential. Regarding Syria and Iran, favors international pressure, rather than "unconditional talks." Strongly supports development of missile-defense systems. Also would seek to increase size of armed forces and strengthen the strategic reduction of nuclear weapons through the Non-Proliferation Treaty and others.
Believes costs can be lowered through "common-sense" initiatives: increasing competition in drug markets, emphasizing prevention, using innovative information technology, reforming Medicare and Medicaid payment systems and increasing access to walk-in clinics. Would give every individual a $2,500 refundable tax credit ($5,000 for families) to be used for insurance. Would lead reform for portable insurance.