Obama talks about change for Nevadans

Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said that although he hasn't visited Douglas County, its residents are facing the same problems as the rest of Nevada.

"Part of what I've found traveling across Nevada and the country is that people are struggling with the same issues," said Obama in an exclusive telephone interview with The R-C on Wednesday.

"They're struggling with the rising cost of health care. Some people don't have healthcare. We have difficulties with families who are trying to afford sending their kids to college."

Obama said he is capable of working across party lines and appealing to conservatives.

"We got a lot of different views in this big country of ours," he said. "What I find are that most people are either conservative or liberal, but most people are looking for common-sense solutions to problems."

Obama is proposing to lower taxes for moderate-income Americans, those making $75,000 a year or less.

"I have said that those of us who are making a lot of money in this global economy will probably be paying more," he said. "We're going to roll back some of the Bush tax cuts that went to the top one percent. That will not only help pay for tax relief for moderate-income Americans, but help pay for healthcare for every American. What I'm looking for is a government that is balanced and fair, that is no larger than is required to get the job done, but is adequate to making sure our kids get a good education, that everybody has healthcare and that we got an energy policy."

Moving to the war in Iraq, Obama said U.S. soldiers have served nobly and their efforts have not been in vain, but that better civilian leadership is needed to resolve the conflict.

"We have deposed Saddam Hussein. We have invested billions of dollars and thousands of lives. It's now time for the Iraqi people to step up and do the job of reconciling themselves politically. I want to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in. It's time for us to start bringing our troops home."

Obama then discussed water use in the West.

"Whether its the cities or urban areas versus the needs of agriculture, farmers and ranchers, one thing everybody's got to agree on is that we need to use our water more wisely," he said. "We've got to put conservation programs in place, so we're not finding ourselves creating an unsustainable situation for the long term goals of Nevada and also for our future generation."

Obama discussed his much-touted slogans of hope and change.

"There are obviously all kinds of things we can't change. There are natural disasters, and tragedies in our lives that can't be changed and that are in God's hands, but my interest is making sure we're dealing with the changes we can make. We can make sure our schools are adequately funded and every child gets an opportunity to get a good education. We can change our energy policy, so we're not spending a billion dollars a day overseas. We can change to ensure that we have a healthcare system that isn't so burdensome on families. Those are things we have the power to change, if the American people and the people of Nevada step forward and are willing to get involved and participate and caucus, and if we got a president who's willing to be held accountable."


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