August 1st, 2008
08:09 AM ET
12 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. California Gold

    McCain admitted he doesn't understand finance, thus his approach to fixing the economy amounts to putting more money in the pockets of big businesses, make more tax cuts for large businesses, provide more opportunity to Exxon (record profits reported) and other oil companies and that's somehow or another that's going to put money in my pocket. Unbelievable.

    August 1, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Vote Nader

    MMN-Milwaukee WI August 1st, 2008 10:23 am ET

    Without spin or politics someone expalin this one.

    GM Posts $15.5 Billion Loss

    Breaking Own Record, Exxon Sets Highest U.S. Profit Ever:
    Second-Quarter Earnings Total $11.68 Billion


    You (American consumer) are buying a lot of gas/oil. You (American consumer) are not buying GM cars.

    That's the simple answer. Exxon/Mobil is a net importer. Meaning they purchase more oil than they drill. This cuts their gross margin to under 10%. They also buy back a lot of stock, which keeps the number low, but really they have high costs. Not a good business to get into. The fact that the oil industry has consolidated into a few corporations has spread the large market over a few businesses, thus high profits for each.

    GM is a poorly run company. But, they have also had a lot of costs incurred during this quarter from buyouts and plant closures. Going against my man Nader, this is partly to blame on Unions. Non-union auto manufacturers have consistently made money. Add in a weak dollar, higher prices across the board in America and a fleet that doesn't sell when gas is >$3.50 and you get a loss.

    Hope that helps.

    August 1, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. Denise Groves

    why would anybody in their mind elect mcgrumpy? he has the support of the wh, and the oil companies. that is all i need to know

    August 1, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. 57 states

    You hit it on the head......Everyone in America thinks they are etitled to cell phones, movies, plasma TV's, nice cars etc..... The days of saving for these Luxuries are over. Now Obama wants to tax those smart enough to make it and reditribute the wealth.

    PEOPLE IN AMERICA ARE IRRESPONSIBLE LOOK AT THE HOUSING MARKET. 350K home on a 50K salary didthey really think that was going to work. Yet incomes the gov. and saves them, makes me sick

    August 1, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. eric

    McCain supporters must have awoken from a deep 8-year long coma or something, because nothing of what they say has any bearing on reality. Even if they woke up 8 years ago, they would still be able to see how great Clinton ran the economy and could see Clinton's and Obama's tax policies lining up exactly, so that can't be it. What is the matter with you people? Do you want to CONTINUE the debt building of Bush? Do you want to CONTINUE to allow the wage disparity Bush eagerly helped along? You're all traitors.

    August 1, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Maggie

    strong economy = democrat

    August 1, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Scott, Phoenix

    The dems are looking at increasing the federal gas tax another 10 cents. Seem they now like the ideal of giving us an another stimulus check since the first one seems to be help the economy. Well it was our money in the first place paid by our taxes. If they really want to stimulate the economy than eliminate the IRS and payroll taxes.

    August 1, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. ECHO!!!1

    MD in Oklahoma August 1st, 2008 10:37 am ET
    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.****DITTO!!!!

    August 1, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Deb, Allentown, PA

    Hi neighbor, while I respect your point of view, I would like to know what makes you think that "The only people who will benefit from cutting taxes on businesses are the business owners themselves". I am A business owner and let me tell you the only way I see any extra money is if we see a high rate of sales. Most of the time that money is not taken by the owner it is used for new machines or to advertise or open a new division to create new jobs and grow your company. The first rule off business is grow and grow as big as you can. If you force a company to spend $3 per hour per person more fore the same job then you can expect to see allot of businesses fail.It will all start with advertising companies as advertising is the first thing people stop spending on when short on cash.

    August 1, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Jamaal Kansas

    Obama is the canidate we need Mcshame wants to continue the failed Policies of the Bush adminstration Mcshame has no sense of where we need to be going in this County especially if he said he doesn't know how to use a Computer but you want to be President MCshame go get a Job as a truck drive and drive into Mexico

    August 1, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. Mauri

    For those who "wonder why anyone can support McCain," here's the reason(s). McCain did not just appear like magic on the scene one day. We've been able to watch him and his actions for the past 20 years. Yes, he's made some unpopular choices, but the main thing, he was actively working when he MADE them. And the majority of the time, he has been a bipartisan senator, working on both sides of the senate. He has often split with his own party for us, and publicly rebuked President Bush for the direction Iraq was taking, finally succeeding in getting Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld fired! This man will fix our economy and put people to work; he will fix the energy crisis, and his worldwide popularity will work for America's return to the number one position it previously enjoyed. By contrast, Obama is going to give us everything. Where on earth does he plan to get the money for all these promises when our national debt is now in the trillions. And to date, his ONLY economic policy centers around how his picture is going to look on the one and five dollar bills!!! As a life-time Democrat, now an Independent, I say it's time to wise up America.

    August 1, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. JIM...TX

    These folks whining about taxes kill the hell do you think we can pay for some of the mismanagement and debt that the Bushies have placed upon us. Guess you figure it's ok to keep borrowing from the Saudis, China and whoever. Glad you don't do my finances!!!

    August 1, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. robert e lowe

    hey republicans have never did nothing for america but tear it down so if you thank McCane will you need t Mental Health Counseling. Obama o8

    August 1, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. Griff

    And as CNN keep threatening an Obama win in November, things can only get worse....

    August 1, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. Veteran for McCain

    So for those making over 250k (I'm not one of them) do they get any added benefit for paying more taxes? Or are they just supposed to feel good about it since they are helping others with their unemployment benefits?
    I say you keep the tax cuts in place. You put a limit on unemployment benefits and you force people to go out and get a job. Just because you start a job and your making minimum wage doesn't mean your always going to be at that level. You can work hard and move your way up the chain. People in the country feel too entitled and are ashamed of not making huge amounts of money. Get over it! Do the work and the money will come!

    August 1, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. Lori

    People think. TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS DOES NOT WORK. It has never worked. It didn't work for Ronald Reagan, George Bush the first, George W, and it won't work for John McCain.

    For those of you unfamiliar with what exactly trickle down economics is, here is a quick lesson. It was first coined by Reagan. His thought was if you cut taxes to the rich and powerful, and to corporate America then more money would be coming in to the top tier of individuals. Those individuals would turn around and share the wealth with those below...hence Trickle Down.

    The problem is with that theory, the rich and powerful and corporate America don't share. That's that sad truth. It's more for me me me to keep in my own pocket. Why would I want to share my money. This is why we are in the sad state that we are in right now. This will not change with McCain.

    August 1, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. atypical

    yes, I do believe we are in a psychological recession and we are a bunch of whiners. take a time out, refocus and find some clarity and create a new direction in which to move.

    Obama 08

    August 1, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  18. Michelle

    Romney would be a good choice for VP because of his
    knowledge of economics.

    And Obama needs to stop playing the race card when faced with
    tanking numbers and legitimate criticism.

    Hey, Obama, let's see these cards:

    Accomplishment card
    Debate card
    Experience card
    Specific plan card
    Substance card

    Oh, that's right–you don't HAVE any of those so you have to falsely accuse and whine.


    August 1, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. William Spivey

    Would someone please call McBush's wheelchair driver so he can be on his way. How can he get a handle on anything. His arms are too short.

    August 1, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. Frank Canada

    A business has to make money and a business does provide jobs but at what point do tax cuts to wealthy businesses and corporations just mean obscene profits. John McCain just got a huge monetary donation from big oil after he changed positions on drilling for oil off shore. That just support for another Bush plan.

    It is rather startling to see John McCain within 40% of Obama in the polls with the issues so clear and positions so far apart. Do that many Americans supporting McCain really want to self destruct?

    August 1, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  21. CW4Barak

    When has the McCain philosohy of cutting taxes for business owners benefit the, it benefits the few 1 or % of the wealthiest in America....who give the jobs to who they like and make others do twice as much for twice as less. No McBush economics SUCKS!

    August 1, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  22. FLA Voter

    I see we have a bunch of ecomomics professors here today!!!

    You tax and give liberals kill me!!! Obama says that raising taxes will create more jobs, PLEASE. He wants the government to fund EVERYTHING!!!

    Keep on with this and you will see the unemployment rate reach 20%. Because why would a business have the motivation to make more money if they are just going to have to give it away? Businesses will cut jobs, not create them.

    Obama=Carter (The worst American President EVER!!)

    August 1, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Xavier, Saint Louis, Missouri

    I have to agree with Obama. The only way to ensure people get a fair deal is let the government regulated businesses to a degree. If you leave it up to companies; which is McBush’s plan, who is to say that these companies are not going to rip us off? Just look at the oil companies, Exxon has made $11 Billion and that is not for the entire year. These oil companies are screwing us consumers BIG TIME . . . with no Vaseline!

    August 1, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  24. Stan

    Yes, they have different opioinions. Barack is for the American people, while McCain is for big oil companies.

    Obama 08

    August 1, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. Pitch forks and brooms

    Bye bye Republican tape worms.

    August 1, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
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