McCain v. Obama- Part 2: Economy
This is part two in my feature series of McCain v. Obama. This post will deal with their stands on economic issues. First the key points of the McCain platform.
- Wants a summer gas tax holiday, to help relieve some of the strain on Americans pocketbooks.
- Wants to allow eligible homeowners to “trade-in” their current mortgage for a more affordable one.
- Wants to create a mortgage abuse task force.
- Wants to double the personal exemption for dependents.
- Wants to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax.
- Wants to require a 3/5 vote of the Congress to increase taxes.
- Wants to reduce the federal corporate tax rate by 10 percentage points to 25%.
- Wants to ban internet taxes and new cell phone taxes.
Now for the key points of the Obama platform:
- Wants a $1000 tax cut for working families. He states that this will completely eliminate income taxes for 10 million people.
- Wants to ammend NAFTA.
- Wants to fight for fair trade.
- Wants to create job training programs for the clean energy industry.
- Wants to deploy next generation broadband.
- Wants to raise the minimum wage.
- Wants to create a universal mortgage credit.
- Wants a credit card “bill of rights” and ranking system.
Note: all of the information here was taken exclusively from the websites of the individual campaigns. It is my belief that this is the most fair way to compare what the two candidates have to say. It is written in their own words (or those of their communications people) on their own campaign site.
Now for the analysis and scoring. First of all, while I think that many of the proposals made by Mr. Obama sound good, it seems to me that they do not go much deeper than that. There was not nearly as much detail on his site as their was on the site of his competitor. For example, he states that he wants a tax credit for working families that is going to eliminate the income tax for 10 million people. I would love not to have to pay taxes, however, I also want a working government. My question then is, how will it be paid for? This is one of the many things that are not addressed. His platform reads like a wish list more than a plan. He needs to explain what ammending NAFTA and fighting for Fair Trade mean. He needs to explain how much he wants to raise the minimum wage. He needs to explain how he is going to pay for broadband to the people that do not have it. This plan to me raises to many questions. So while I think many of the ideas are good in theory, I do not believe that we have enough specifics provided to us. Therefore, I give him a ranking of 2/5 on this issue.
Now, onto McCain. I think that he has many good ideas for the economy and provides details on how they will be implemented. However, I really do not like the mortgage trade-in plan. I believe that this will hurt business and ultimately harm those homeowners who are responsible and pay their mortgages on time. Despite what we hear in the media, the vast majority of Americans do pay their bills on time. I really like the elimination of the AMT and the ban on internet taxes. We need to have as few taxes as possible in this country. Overall, I believe that McCain has some very good ideas for the economy, and has provided some detail on how they will work. However, I am also a realist, I know that some of these ideas can never come to pass. I also disagree with him on some issues, and once again find myself wanting more detail. Therefore I am giving him a rank of 3/5 on this issue.
So, after the first issue is evaluated, McCain is leading Obama by 1 point, 3/5-2/5. Please feel free to leave your own comments, and check back tomorrow when we analyze where the candidates stand on energy issues.