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. E. Scott

    Lets not forget the Democratic controlled Congress that has been in power for years with an approval rating lower than Bush.

    August 1, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Maverick???

    obama is unfit to be president of this country August 1st, 2008 10:29 am ET–McCain is the BEST. LOVE HIM!!
    Go home obama !!!!! You lie and lie and lie. You will not get this country
    ****The country is not yours to give .......McCain Loves you Back ....Just like he loved Carrol his 1st Wife ........Drop her for RICH CINDY
    He owe Karl Rove Steve and the other Scumbags Big Time For Schooling him on DIRTY Politics......From Maverick to DISGRACE!!!****

    August 1, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. not an obamabot, thank GOD

    250 k isnt alot of money especially when you are a small business owner, the only businesses who can survive barracks redistribution plan are the major the corporations you people are complaining about. Since small business owners were the staple of our economy it seems that lowering taxes on them would make more since than redistributing their profits, but if these business owners just inflated their tires that will save them on their gas costs thus affording them extra income to give to the govt, maybe barack is right.

    August 1, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    So McCain wants to cut taxes for big businesses. hmm!! How will that help us? More jobs you say. I think not. I work for a big business and believe me it's not hurting. The CEO is not hurting, the people in upper management are not hurting. There are plenty of job openings in India but in America there is a job freeze. And on top of that, I haven't had a pay increase in the last 4 years even though my annual appraisals have been excellent. If you give this big business more money they will just go out and buy more small companies... you know the ones that they are in competition with.

    August 1, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. Credit Card Republicans


    August 1, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. Candy West Virginia

    Hey Mauri – you just made the case for why I AM NOT VOTING FOR MCCAIN. For him to be so bloody 'experirenced' he has made no great decisions FOR the american people in all those 30 yrs. He is owned by big oil and big companies. He has continued the same repuglican agenda for all those years. And how can a former POW vote AGAINST GI bills as he has consistently done during his long tenure???? Mccain is not for me or anyone I know since neither I nor my family or friends are multi millionaires. I am willing to give Obama a chance because he atleast is honest and has not consistently pandared or lied to us like your buddy mccain.

    August 1, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. Tony

    Got that right. Obama has one, McBush does not! End of story!

    August 1, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. shaik

    Common people are suffering and losing their jobs and McSame wants to preserve the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Make sense?
    And his promise of no new are we going to plug the nearly $500b deficit that his "boys" created? Get real!
    I would "gamble" on someone fresh...who promises a 180 from Bush!

    August 1, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. Tony

    Got that right. Obama has one and economic plan and McBush does not! End of story!

    August 1, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. Sherry, Atlanta

    Don't allow McCain to fear you. (1) 60% of our Oil comes from Canada
    (2) Bush extablished FREE TRADE, because of the Money needed to Finance Iraq (3) Products that are imported from China, are not inspected (allowing Health Problems for American's), and the only answers provided from the Govt' – "We can't do anything about it"-PRIME EXAMPLE: Over 1,200 American's with Salmenola-Mexico.

    How long did it take to discover the source?

    Senator Obama's plan to create GREEN JOB'S, and better control of protecting American's

    August 1, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Bill from ALabama

    The more time goes on,the more weaknesses and flaws Obama shows. His inexperience is going to be called in to focus,and he will falter at that point. His only hope is to keep the focus off the racism his buddies brought in to this campaign(Wright,Pfleger,Ayers)and his inexperience. That leaves slandering and Photo-ops in prestigeous places. He should have been a magician with his mastery of "slight of hand". Lets not be fooled by his meandering, and support Hillary at the DNC convention. If we don't succeed,we can always trust McCain for 36 more months before this whole thing starts ove again! McCain is a good "All American Man". OOOPS! There is another Obama flaw! He's not "All" American. He is half Kenyan!

    August 1, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. Cynthia

    It looks like to me if you are poor and struggling Obama makes more sense to vote for and if you are rich vote for Senator McCain. The trickle down thing never seems to work and those in need are always left in need.

    August 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Linda FL

    Businesses has not been using the tax cut given to by Bush to hire new workers. Instead they have been paying CEO millions of dollars in salary and bonus shipping out jobs to make even more money. The people that actually do the leg work barely makes enough to get by. Listen People, McCain's idea is exactly what we are doing right now. If you think it's working out great then vote for McCain. If not please help McCain find another way away from Bush.

    August 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  14. Larisa, Chicago IL

    McCain starts his every speech with "Senator Obama..." . And the easiest way to scare people is to say: "He will raise your taxes". At the same time he is promising to balance federal budget in 4 years. But according to the recent article in Fortune (6/28) McCain plan will ADD TO NATIONAL DEBT 4.5 TRILLION DOLLARS. Obama with all his proposed social programs will add "only" 3.3 trillion.
    The same day other article in Fortune quotes McCain's chief economic policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin: "I used to say that Barack Obama raises taxes and John McCain cuts them, and I weas convinced. I STAND CORRECTED".
    Another example regarding income. US average income in BOTTOM quintile: late 80's – $16,303; late 90's – $18,575; mid 2000s – $18.116.
    TOP 5 PERCENT: late 80's – 138,093; late 90's – $191,658; mid 2000s – $220,700. (:Disparity Rising" by Emily Kaiser, Chicago magazine, July 2008)
    Wake up people! If you are not in top 5%, your doomed with McCain keeping up "low taxes".

    August 1, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. Richard

    John McCain already admitted he needs to be educated on the economy. He is 71!!!!! If he knows nothing now, he will never know anything. Please..... DONT VOTE FOR JOHN MCCAIN. Obama is our best choice.

    If you think economic times are bad now, magine with McCain as president... Depression part 2 garanteed!

    August 1, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. Ron democrat turned independent


    August 1, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. ClintonDems4Cynthia08

    The role of a lifetime. Talent optional. Barack Hollywood Obama.

    August 1, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. sherry for Obama

    Well then....if keeping taxes down for big bussiness will spur more jobs........then why is it that the unemployment rate at an all time high?

    Republicans think they have all the answers.

    President Bush has torn down this country so much these last 8 years.

    No more repub's......Vote democrat to bring our great nation out of these pits of hell Bush has gotten us into

    August 1, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. Anonymous

    If we don't do something with this stupid free trade and make it more balanced for us and then we HAVE to be oil independent Something has to be done either with or to the oil companies to make them realize that our security and that of the free world is at stake. If they refuse to start drilling and marketing then pull all there leases and let them start over. And most of all we have to get out from under this stupid thinking that the radical ecology people and Pelosi and Obama and to many control freaks have. They will sell out the American people for their power plays. So it will take some time to get oil to us. Well they are lying about how long and they don't seem to understand we have to start someplace. None of us are going to live long enough to see their long term ideas materialize. They have been working on this since I was a kid 60 + yrs ago.

    August 1, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. Kate

    Europeans have higher taxes and are happier, however they aren't living in the US of A (where we get a kick out of grumbling over tiny tax cuts and tax hikes).

    August 1, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  21. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Yes, McCain has more experience but what he is proposing – cutting corporate taxes and keeping taxes low on the richest of Americans to solve the problem – hasn't worked. The rich just keep getting richer while the rest of America is plunging quickly into the worst economic crisis of the last 60 years. And there's no guarantee that cutting corporate taxes when these same companies are shipping their jobs overseas will do anything to spur job growth in the U. S.

    Obama's plan to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure AND investing in alternative energy development will not only guarantee jobs in the U. S. but these are things we ABSOLUTELY need to do anyway. So we accomplish many critical things at the same time.

    And the idea that people that are making more than $250,000 will pay more taxes to pay for some of not going to hurt MOST Americans.

    It's truly a win, win.

    August 1, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. Progressive Progressives for Progress in Progressive Progression

    Folks, for everyone who hates "big business" and the notion of making a profit, I have to ask, what DO you like? How much FREE work do you do? I do NONE because it's not in my interest to do so... much like how businesses exist to earn a profit.

    I like to work. I like to make money. The government isn't going to give it to me, so I have to earn it. When eeeeeeevil Big Business fails, PEOPLE fail. Their supplier business fail, all of those employees fail, in turn. When Big Business fails, their employees fail, their homes fail, their ability to spend and contribute to our economy and support small businesses fails too. When those smaller business fail, all of their suppliers fail too, as does those employees too.

    Wake up folks, even in what you decry as an eeeeeevil "every man for himself" system, you and I all have a better chance at a better life, than if we slid into the dark bowels of socialism. Believe me, if socialism were so great, I have to ask why the majority of Soviet Block countries have discarded it in favor of free market capitalism and why the Chinese are quickly becoming some of the most devout Capitalists on the planet? Because it simply produces better lives.

    Wise up. The government can not control the economy without first controlling the people. Capitalism, for all it's woes and for all the losers it produces, creates far more winners and raises far more boats than does government handouts. Government hand outs control the people. The only thing socialism spreads equally among the people is MISERY.

    August 1, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |

    I invite all of you to think about the real things !

    when a business owner can afford many mansions, and condos, many cars, and private jets, etc....IN GENERAL, That PROOVE that the business is fine, employees and materials are paid...and the owner is spending his BENEFITS !

    Cutting taxes for these people has nothing to do with them giving more allows them to buy a new private JET ! For someone like Cindy McCain 200 000 $ DOES NOT CHANGE MUCH IN HER LIFE QUALITY....maybe it will keep her from buying a knew luxury gadget.

    At the same time, that money can keep many others from bankrupcy.

    THEREFORE : Stop saying that cutting taxe for the wealthy help them give more job. IT IS JUST NOT TRUE ! Business owner will always try to have have more work done by for less money ( and in general that means less people)...They wont start giving job to everyone just because they have tax cuts...the proof is that they'd rather all move to india or china, where cheap labor helps them make more profit.

    That money goes right in their pockets while others cant make ends meet.

    Capitalism is capitalism...we beleive in free market and all...but please people...dont let them fool you.

    August 1, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. bill for barack

    McSame's 'economic poicy' is easy.
    4 more years of Bush and a shattered economy.

    August 1, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. T Guy



    August 1, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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