Starting this week, White House contenders John McCain and Barack Obama put forward their plans for the troubled US economy, amid soaring oil prices and fears of recession. Major differences emerge on free trade, taxes and social protection.
With Americans returning to work after the Independence Day holiday weekend, both candidates turned to the No. 1 issue for voters -- the economy -- in a bid to win support from people wrestling with home foreclosures, job losses and the soaring cost of gasoline.
In a speech to reporters after mechanical trouble forced his plane to make an unscheduled stop in
Obama, a Democrat, said Republican McCain, like unpopular President George W. Bush, would favor the wealthy over the middle class if he won the November election.
"He trusts that prosperity will trickle down from corporations and the wealthiest few to everyone else," the
Obama delivered the address in
The incident, which occurred about 10:30 a.m. EDT as the plane was climbing out of
BALANCING THE BUDGET
Brushing up his economic credentials in a speech in
"I will veto every single bill with wasteful spending," he said.
Income taxes are a key difference between the two candidates.
McCain wants to keep in place Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, which are set to expire at the the end of 2010, and he would double a $3,500 deduction for parents.
Obama would let the Bush tax cuts expire for those making more than $250,000 per year. He proposes a $500 per person tax credit and would eliminate taxes for elderly people making less than $50,000 per year.
"The choice in this election is stark and simple," McCain said. "Senator Obama will raise your taxes. I won't."
Obama rejected McCain's tax claims and said the
"Only a quarter of his total tax cuts will go to the middle class, less than a quarter," the
He expressed skepticism over McCain's plan to balance the budget in four years.
"Not only is it overly ambitious," Obama said. "Every independent observer who has looked at John McCain's plan says that his plan would add $200- to $300-billion a year in deficit spending. He hasn't specified how he would bring it down. His own campaign has acknowledged that they don't have specifics."
Under Bush, the
The candidates disagree in other areas connected to the economy, including trade and health care reform. Both propose spurring job growth through programs to increase
"My opponent's answer ... is no; no to more drilling; no to more nuclear power; no to research prizes that help solve the problem of affordable electric cars," McCain said. "For a guy whose 'official seal' carried the motto, 'Yes, we can,' Senator Obama's agenda sure has a ... whole lot of 'No, we can't.'"
Date created : 2008-07-08