August 1st, 2008
08:09 AM ET
10 years ago Sharply different economic plans from candidates

NEW YORK ( - When it comes to stagnating wages, Barack Obama and John McCain agree on one thing: Americans are suffering. And that's about all they agree on.

The presidential candidates have starkly different plans on how to reverse the years-long slide in workers' incomes. Democrat Obama's proposals of creating jobs through government investments are aimed at helping the middle class. Republican McCain focuses his plan on cutting taxes on businesses that he says will spur more jobs and keeping tax rates low so people have money in their pockets.

Wage stagnation has made the downturn in the nation's economy is even more painful, economists say. Skyrocketing fuel and food costs have hit workers hard because their incomes largely have not kept pace with inflation during this decade.

On Friday, unemployment hit a four-year high after employers trimmed 51,000 jobs, the Labor Department said. A day earlier, a separate government report showed that inflation-adjusted wages showed their biggest decline in the survey's eight-year history.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. Jason

    That's exactly what people with constrained budgets need... more taxes for social programs -_-

    August 1, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  2. TJ Johnson

    See Obama's plan of government control of jobs???

    August 1, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. MD in Oklahoma

    First of all John McCain said he knows little about economics. Second, I doubt that this is his plan; sounds more like big corporations giving him advice.

    August 1, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  4. E. Scott

    Business has to be left alone to thrive. Many of the jobs are from small businesses. We dont need a Democratic president with the notion that business is bad. Profit is not bad. Big government is bad because it doesnt produce anthing and taxes have to be raised to pay for more government.

    August 1, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. Matt

    I wish Washington would spend more wisely.

    Say NO to increased taxes; congress has no willpower. They are on a "seafood" diet.

    NObama 08

    August 1, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Glenn

    Why would anyone want to elect McCain? He is the candidate emphazing his 30 years in Washington and is a member of the GOP which controlled the White House for the last eight years and the Congress for six of the last eight years that has caused all of the economic problems of today. McCain, personally, along with his thirty years of so-called "Washington experience" is definitely part of the problem. He clearly lacks the intelligence, vision, character and most importantly the judgement to turn the situation around. McCain can solve problems; he is part of the cause of the problems. Obama is clearly visionary leader to take on the GOP mess. McCain is the old senile, relic of the failed politics of the past. McCain is a loser!

    August 1, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. Matt

    The problem is, Obamas plan to invest government money into 'creating jobs' is taking taxpayer dollars to give taxpayers jobs so they can pay more taxes.

    Obama's plan just doesn't make sense to anyone past 7th grade math.

    August 1, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. Scott L

    People who love their taxes being raised for Obama!!!!!

    August 1, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Eric

    Here's McCain' plan. Keep on doing exactly what was done in the last seven years and try to sell the idea that the results will be different. People have to understand that US economy grew in the last 7 seven years. You did not notice it because the wages did not increase while food, fuel, tuitions became more expansive (Exxon is doing well though). And McCain wants to apply the same medicine that made the economy sick. It's amazing to think a lot of people will go for that. But they will. You can't help them, they think Obama is a "socialist". Is there any hope left for this country?

    August 1, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    The recently released unemployment numbers are just one more indication of the failed policies of the Bush administration. No question that he will go down in history as one of the worst if not the worst President in hstory.

    Senator John Mc Same would obviously continue the failed policies if elected. This country CANNOT AFFORD for that to happen.

    August 1, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Vote Nader

    Deb, Allentown, PA August 1st, 2008 10:20 am ET

    The only people who will benefit from cutting taxes on businesses are the business owners themselves. Do we really expect to see a trickle down effect? Successful businesses have already pared the fat out of their operations and are running those businesses at efficient levels. Tax cuts for them won't make them go out and hire new people and add to their overhead.


    You're wrong. The point of a business is to make money. To make money, you need to grow your business. To grow your business you have to take on extra costs (incl. labor, most of the time). You can't take on extra costs if you are taxed heavily.

    I don't understand the incorrect and well-adopted theory that businesses hate their workers. Most small business owners want to do everything possible to make life better for everyone involved in their business. That's one of the joys of owning a small business, and it's a win-win situation. Corporations, maybe not as much, but the majority do.

    Mandating a high minimum wage and keeping taxes at 35% will harm the economy, which futhers the hatred Americans have with the business world. Giving people tax credits is nothing but a ploy to make you think the Democrats care. It all adds up to having less jobs (with a lower average wage) and high consumer prices. You just have $500 bucks from the governement to help you out. Funny thing is, it was you're money all along.

    Less taxes = more money in the economy = growth = jobs = good wages.

    August 1, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Marvin Higgins

    The Republicans dont care about unemployment or anything else. all they can do is scare people, some people are to stupid to realize what these idiots are during. Most of us are poor now if Mccain gets in there we will still be poor.

    August 1, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. BR

    How is the Messiah going to create jobs by raising corporate taxes? You think jobs are going overseas now. Just ask Michigan how that increased corporate tax worked out. You liberals are truly ignorant.

    August 1, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. Charlotte

    Rise America Rise, try to find anything that is made in the USA. If we do not purchase anything that is not made here, we will force ever retail store in this country out of business. A major depression will ensue...

    August 1, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. ProudToBeDemocrat

    eight year under republican admistration destroyed everthing this had. Now they are asking as to vote for them in 2008 again, who in the right mind is going vote republican again, but then there is a lot of idiots out there.

    August 1, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    So Obama wants to make company's pay $3 per hour more and increase the taxes that they pay lowering the amount of money they can make or spend on advertising or any other way of growing a business.

    Can some one please explain how this will help create jobs. This is one business oner that dose not under stand or agree at all with what Obama is trying to do.

    Someone please explain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No really Explain It !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 1, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Trish Hussein - PA

    Not to change the subject or anything, but why, on earth, is Hillary still in the news? And what's this complete bull crap about her crying sexiism again? I am a 44 year old white woman who makes less than 20,000 a year and not once did I detect even a hint of sexism during this campaign. she got the same treatment all of the other candidates got. If you can't take the heat, Hillary, stay the heck out of politics. Good Lord! What a whiner she is!! It's politics, woman! What did you expect?? Did you think everyone was going to be "nice" to you because you are a woman?? What a joke she is! She is STILL dividing the party with her stupid claims of sexism. I can't stand that horrible woman!

    August 1, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. Crush Rush

    MMN, Gm knew this was coming and is using it as a way to cut their entire workforce and rehire and retool at Walmart level wages with no benefits.IT WAS PLANNED.

    August 1, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. Failed Politics!!!

    Obama's campaign said the latest McCain ad is beyond Karl Rove's playbook........Rove has no official role with the McCain campaign, though Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser in charge of the day-to-day message, was a longtime protégé of Rove's=Low Road Polictic
    John McCain is Confused this is not the Maverick .....It is a strategy to Win ...ATTACK ATTACK And ATTACK again .....whatever sticks on the Wall .........Mr McCain you are a disgrace to The Rrepublican Party
    ***McCain is Old and stuck on the same Old Politcs***

    August 1, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  20. Kelby from Houston, TX

    There isn't a single economist or person who survived the 80s that thinks that Reaganomics/Trickle down economics works. It has proven to fail. I learned how and why trickle down econmics doesn't work in ECON 101.
    This is crazy. I have said it before and I will say it again, The GOP is for big business because that is who funds their campaign. They are for the religious right, not because of their high moral standards, but because that is who funds their campaigns. The GOP shapes their policies and platform not on their own politcal ideals but rather by whom is funding their campaign. This is why the people get screwed over when a repug is in power

    August 1, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Mike from Newport, KY

    For what it is worth, and please pay attention, for the government to spend any money it first has to obtain money to spend. And guess where that comes from, don't be afraid – I know you have the answer.... Yes that is right, it comes from you and me. Government is not a wise user of funds, quite frankly the government wastes billions of dollars on an annual basis. And yet now we have a candidate who wants more government spending.

    Please wake up before it is too late America, you are smarter than this.

    August 1, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. Terri in Fl

    Businesses need to make money. Period. That's why there is so much outsourcing going on. Wages are MUCH lower in China and India, so businesses make more money!

    Attempting to tell us that conditionless tax breaks for businesses will create jobs is nonsense. If the business gets a tax break, they'll just make even more money and continue to take jobs overseas. Period!

    1. I believe any additional tax breaks for businesses should only go to those who are keeping the jobs at home.

    2. I also believe that if we invest in our infrastructure, it would be difficult for that to get outsourced and businesses would need to keep the jobs at home!

    That's why McCain's plan is hooey and I believe Obama's plan could work.

    August 1, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    How can 'trickle-down" economics possibly succeed when the jobs that it is supposed to create are allowed to be shipped overseas?

    How can the economy grow with all of the deficit spending? Reagan ran up the largest US debt in history at the time. Bush has actually outdone Reagan by at least 10-fold.

    It is time for "bottom-up" economics while there is still some bottom left.

    August 1, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. Debby

    Obama's proposal is to raise taxes for what he calls the rich. Alot of these are probably buisness owners so if they get a huge tax hike and have to fold up because they can't afford paying big business or personal taxes how is this creating new jobs. McCain's idea is right anyone that owns a business knows payroll and workmans comp are through the roof paying out, so by helping the business owner new jobs can be created.

    August 1, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. Donna in ID

    I never thought in a million yrs that I would be looking at voting a straight ticket. I think I will be straight Republican. From everything I have seen and heard I believe that Obama and Pelosi and Reid are way worse than anything that has happened to this country . They are dangerous to our Military, tax structure and our National Security and economy to just name a few. They have had me scared for a long time ( over a yr) . It might be worth while to pull up last nights Sean Hannity and take a look. I can probably count the times I have watched that program or even FOX. Bad TV night.
    This will never get posted because of the mention of Hannity and FOX TV.
    It is getting so much closer to voting. Think long and hard before marking that ballot in Nov/

    August 1, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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