TOLEDO, Ohio (CNN) – Barack Obama said the average American consumer is facing an “immediate economic emergency” and steps need to be taken right away to stop things from any getting worse.
Watch: 'J-O-B-S,' says Obama
“If Washington can move quickly to pass a rescue plan for our financial system, there’s no reason we can’t move just as quickly to pass a rescue plan for our middle-class that will create jobs, provide relief, and help homeowners,” Obama told Toledo voters. “If Congress does not act in the coming months, it will be one of the first things I do as President of the United States.”
Obama proposed $60 billion worth of measures his campaign said would offer “relief” to homeowners and workers. Many of the ideas build on policies Obama has already proposed and authority the government already has. The campaign suggested many of them could even be passed in a lame duck session of congress after the election.
The Democratic nominee wants to: temporarily lift taxes on unemployment benefits; allow investors a penalty free withdrawl of up to $10,000 from their 401k or IRA this year or next year; place a 90 day moratorium on foreclosures for homeowners who are “making a good-faith effort” at meeting payment deadlines; and temporarily offer businesses a $3,000 tax credit for “every net new job” added in the United States in 2009.
“It’s a plan that begins with one word that’s on everyone’s mind, and it’s easy to spell, J-O-B-S. Jobs. We’ve got to work on jobs,” he said.
John McCain’s campaign told reporters on a Monday afternoon conference call that Obama’s plan would have little impact — adding that the Republican nominee would be unveiling economic proposals of his own on Tuesday.
Listen: McCain advisors blast Obama's proposals - and tell reporters how the Republican nominee plans to counter them
Obama’s job message could play well in the Toledo area. Recent data puts the city’s unemployment rate at close to 10% and the number statewide at 7.4 percent. These numbers are expected to rise given the recent economic downturn.
Northwest Ohio, where Obama is spending three days preparing for Wednesday’s final debate, is considered a crucial swing area. John Kerry handily won mostly Democratic Lucas County, which houses Toledo, in 2004 but lost almost all of the surrounding Republican leaning suburban, exurban and rural counties.
Upon his arrival Sunday, Obama canvassed a neighborhood in Holland, just West of Toledo, where many residents expressed concern about the home foreclosures on their street and not being able to pay the bills.
This area, according to Eric Rademacher of the Ohio Poll, “has been a fairly good predictor of how the state goes.” Given the current economic climate, Rademacher said he would give Obama the advantage here - but noted that the state of the race could change several times before Election Day.