OBAMA ON THE ECONOMY
September 8, 2008
How do John McCain and Barack Obama differ on the economy? The National Journal compared and contrasted the two presidential candidates. Below is a summary of Obama's positions on the economy.
Bush tax cuts:
- Obama wants to make permanent the 2001 and 2003 income-tax cuts for about 94 percent of tax filers -- those making less than $200,000 a year.
- He will either repeal the Bush cuts for the top one percent of taxpayers, or allow the cuts for those taxpayers to expire in 2010.
- He will let the tax cuts on income from capital gains and dividends expire in 2010 -- raising the rate from 15 percent to 28 percent.
- He will restore most of Bush's temporary estate tax cut to a 45 percent rate for estates valued at $3.5 million or more.
New tax cuts:
- Obama would grant a yearly tax credit of $500 for individuals and $1,000 for married couples that would apply to all workers who pay Social Security.
- Also, those 65 and older earning less than $50,000 a year would be exempt from income tax.
- The price tag: $280 million over 10 years.
- Obama has rhetorically committed to "pay-as-you-go."
- Some revenue -- but not much in the short term -- would come from a proposed 2 percent to 4 percent surcharge on high earners to reduce Social Security's projected shortfall after 2017.
Housing and credit crisis:
- Obama would empower the Federal Reserve to regulate investment banks and any other institutions to which it lends.
- His 2007 bill would expand federal regulation of mortgage lending and toughen criminal penalties for fraud.
- Proposes a $10 billion fund to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and $10 billion to help state and local governments.
Source: "Obama on the Economy," in "Where They Stand," National Journal, August 30, 2008.
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