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.

Full story

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

    I always listen to CNN until now. The ones that was for Hillary was very
    upset the way Obama was always shown in a positive way and
    Hillary was made fun of from Campbell Brown, Roland Martin,Jack C.
    No wonder CNN and MSNBC ratings are 22 and 30 and Fox is 5.
    I watch Fox now and so does my friends. You have lost a lot of loyal
    support and if you continue like you have you will lose more. Women
    are the ones that watch day time and evening and that is the large
    viewers you have lost and will lose.

    August 1, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. No Republicans

    So– sad– as to what these republicans have done to this country. Go OBAMA.

    August 1, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. marianna

    Oil prices sharply up by $4 on unemployment figures (51,000 lost jobs) better than expected (72,000) – reports.

    So, is it so bad

    August 1, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Alice in Florida

    Latest Gallup Poll (and Gallup does call cell phones!):

    Obama = 45%
    McCain = 44%

    Read it and weep, Obamabots!

    August 1, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Joe in NJ

    "Obama just wants more tax on the upper 1% and use the money saved from IRAQ war"

    No, because the money currently being spent on the war is money we can't actually afford to spend. If (and I say if) Obama ends the war in Iraq, it's not like there's suddenly going to be all this money that he can play with.

    August 1, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. norml

    i like obama's plan , is the same plan everyday.mccain's is different everytime,and appears to be pandering,at best.

    August 1, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. John, Catholic

    You people need to read more.

    (Paraphrased) Adam Smith on the Wealth of Nations, Book 5, Chapter 2:

    "The most fundamental requirement of any economy is infrastracture. By means of establishing infrastructure one may not only employee the citizenry, but one also improves the economic efficency of the state. As such infrastructure is an investment that not only pays the people for the work they do but benefits the state by facilitating economic growth."

    Obama's plan is to get the people to build infrastructure. Which has not been touched since the time of the New Deal about fifty years ago. That will facilitate private industry thus creating new jobs immediately and in the long run.

    Honestly people books will not bite you. Reading will give you an informed opinion rather than just spouting off at the mouth without any understanding of the big picture. But I suppose that is why many are McCain supporters to begin with. If you could see the big picture you would know better. But you are to busy get stuck on stupidity.

    August 1, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. MikeH

    Let's see, the economy is spiraling into the worst econmic crisis since the Depression, and this article lists a very few hand-picked conservative economists who essetially say `stay the course' against `liberal' economists who argue otherwise, and tries to give the opinion that it's a balance argument.

    Why don't you list the opinion of the top 50 or 100 economists, without listing their affiliation and see what the consensus is?

    Tami, you should not hang out with Alex Mooney, he will only ruin your objectivity.

    August 1, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. VahMonter

    Let me get this right. The Republicans have controlled the White House and our economic policies for 28 of the past 40 years and they're asking us to believe they are better for America. During the Clinton years we reformed the welfare system, had a balanced budget, were not spending billions of dollars on a war, attempted to work on health care, and had reasonably affordable energy costs.

    August 1, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  10. ber6964

    The Economy only works from the bottom up, If people don't buy the goods being sold then Big Companies can make all the goods they want but if people can't afford them then the Big Companies can't sell sheet!! Americans are idiots or a vast majority are anyway.......

    August 1, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Progressive Progressives for Progress in Progressive Progression

    I'm beginning to think our founders had it right when they said the only people who could vote were land owners, because they reasoned if you're going to be the people paying for the government, you should be the only people who have a say on how who is elected to it.

    I find it amazing that what generations of attempts from Soviets and other socialists failed to do, stealth American socialists in our our country managed to pull off: souring the American Spirit and getting us to believe that government can solve all ills.

    Our founders are spinning in their graves. Heaven help this great Republic.

    August 1, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Not An Idiot

    Ignorance = Doing the same thing over & over and expecting something different

    Albert Einstein

    August 1, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Bayou Joe

    You Demos don't get it. Without profits no business can afford to pay their employees, decent wages, medical benefits, and pensions. Without profitable businesses, there will be no outlets to buy gas,
    groceries or anything else.

    You are the Government and those tax dollars from Washington don't come from thin air. They come mostly from American Business and
    high income tax payers. The bulk of it comes from Middle income
    taxpayers like me and you. Think twice before you elect a Tax and Spend President (Obama). If you want more taxes and less Freedom
    then vote for Obama, but don't say you were not informed.

    August 1, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Diane

    We have several problems: 1) spending more than we earn, with a negative savings rate, and that starts with the federal government. My checkbook needs to balance, so does the government, and we need to get out of debt and stay there or the rest of the world will own us. 2) too many tax loopholes and the extremely wealthy often pay proportionately less in taxes. I'm in the 38% bracket and pay a lot of taxes–but if money was going for rebuilding our country instead of other countries who hate us anyway I might favor a flat tax rate to get out of debt and fund ourselves for a change. 3) invest in alternate energy sources now with tax credits or whatever it takes–we put solar power in our home and actually get a check each month for the power we produce. Start working on biofuels, wind, solar, etc, 4) stop our over consumption of non-essential toys and reckless mortgages and start saving for our future or we won't have much–and I don't think it's the government's responsibility to do that.

    August 1, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. roger dowdle, lockhart, Tx

    McCain does have a point- cutting taxes and increasing profits on business should allow them to create more jobs thru expansion. The problem is that many of those businesses have relocated to other countries, and the increases will go there at the expense of the U.S.! Allowing drilling leases offshore won't do much to alleviate the oil problem, as the oil companies will sit on the leases for years until they can make even greater profits. If they were serious about easing the problem, they would be drilling on the milions of acres they already have leases on-but they are waiting for the price to go even higher.

    August 1, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |

    The Media is putting the Repub. Party in jeopardy.. Look at what the Deomcratic control is doing presently in the Congress and Senate. They are spendning money behind close doors, even with out voting. This is a disgrce the way this country is doing business. Both Dem & Repub. shoud be booted out and let the Independent. canidates have a chance. BO donations are coming from over seas, (Saudi Arabia & China) not from the USA, why isn't he Media jumping on this? The media should go back to just reporting and not be bias,

    I was a Dem, now I am turning Independent. Hope the rest of the USA does the same thing to send a strong message to our so call learders.

    August 1, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Kurt C.

    Obama's plan – Tax everything that moves. That will help the economy.

    McCain's plan – let the people who earn money keep more of the money they earned.

    I know who I'm voting for.

    August 1, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. The Real Issue

    The Real Issue is that McCain is going to provide money for the businesses and corporations. The business and corporations as the record has demonstrated cut costs, send jobs overseas, build plants internationally, hire a few workers, and do everything to keep the unions out. The money provided by the Republican administration has not helped businesses to spur jobs and the Bush Administration has had 7 years. We now have 51,000+ jobs lost during the month of July, 2008 which has a domino affect on: tax monies to pay for unemployment, non-purchases of products and real estate that affects other businesses, less spending and savings, etc.

    August 1, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. Bill-C-Bus OH

    I love how this. Every election, Republicans think that they can get Trickle Down to work. Every time, it fails and badly. The 1% get richer while the rest get poorer. I bust my butt everyday and still find it hard. So I would like a tax cut for once. I supposedly got one about 8 years ago but the fact that everything else has gone up greater to the cut, it does not equal out. It does not matter if the business get the tax cuts. If the poeple do not have the money to spend, the businesses are not going to get any business. They close up shop. How about that trickle down effect.

    August 1, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. Mike

    The difference on their economic outlook is expressed in their shoes.
    Obama has a total of four pairs of off the rack shoes. McSurge wears five hundred dollar custom Italian Farragama shoes. Does he really feel your pain?

    August 1, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. ber6964

    Oh and by the way the same people that complain about the government taxing them to much are the same people that complain that the government isn't doing enough. So you have Bridges that fall down and other Bridges that go to nowhere thanks to the GOP. If you want your government to pay for infirstructure than you have to pay for it and make sure that crooked people (GOP) don't build bridges to nowhere!!

    August 1, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. EBC

    The REPUBLICANS have taken this country down into the gutter.

    The BUSH/CHENEY Administration have clearly proven in the form of Karl Rowe that our government is operating like a bunch of "gangsters" who are above the law. They've made a mockery of our Constitution and have corrupted every level of decency and honor within the justice department!! This Administration has ABUSED it's powers and have manipulated the laws of the land to benefit their selfish greed and political ambitions. THIS ADMINISTRATION IS NOTHING BUT A DISGRACE TO THSI COUNTRY!!

    If the average Joe Smith had done half of what Bush and his crooks have done he would have gotten the DEATH PENALTY!! This entire Administration has been nothing but a SHAM and SHOULD have been impeached a LONG TIME AGO. It's NO wonder what we are HATED around the world!!

    John McCain himself has repeatedly supported this Administration and has proven that he will continue with this Administration's FAiLED policies. NOW we have Karl Rowe in front of a camera carrying on like he's the President himself!!! Unbelievable.

    August 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Mark

    I will support the candidate that is for the Fair Tax, giving the american people their money back and only pay taxes when we consume goods and has the government pay American citizens a monthly check (prebate check). It also forces everyone to to pay their share of taxes (i.e illegal immigrants, criminals,)

    Just think of the economic stimulis if every working american suddenly receives their entire paychecks without the federal taxes, social security taxes, and medicare taxes. It will be an instant raise in everyones pay without business spending more money and will help with the rising fuel prices.

    August 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Bob from Pittsburgh

    If I owed $10,000.00 to a credit card, and my payment is $1000.00 per month, but I am only able to pay $800.00 then I have a deficit of $200.00 Now lets say the credit card adds that deficit ($200.00) to the total amount owed, then every moth I would get further and further in debt..

    Now think… the USA has a “”TEN TRILLION DOLLAR DEBT, AND A MEGA BILLION DEFICIT”” During the last fifty years the “R” in Republican stands for Recession, Nixon administration, Regan, Bush, all have ended in Recession and whopping debts and deficits.

    Remember that in November..

    August 1, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. Kongtooth


    Everytime taxes go down revenue goes up... for those of you that don't understand... that means the gov gets more money. Higher taxes has the reverse effect because buisness lay people off to cover the new tax... they don't lose their bottom line... that's buisness.

    Obama is a moron... and won't win anyway... polls are sliding... in a year when it should be a landslide the dems are going to blow it.

    To bad Hillary is gone... she'd have a 20 point lead by now.

    August 1, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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