Barack Obama and John McCain: Stating Their Case in the Wall Street Journal

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and Republican nominee John McCain made their respective closing arguments on Monday to that key constituency at Ground Zero of the global financial crisis. In opinion pieces in the Wall Street Journal, both candidates made the economic case for their presidencies.

Given the historic nature of the financial crisis, it’s interesting to read the candidates’ pitches to America’s business elite.

First, an except from John McCain’s piece:

We need to grow our small businesses, not tax them. I will fight the Democrats’ plans to redistribute the fruit of America’s labor and turn our economy into a full-fledged disaster. I will cut taxes on families, seniors, savers and businesses. We need to double the child deduction, cut the capital gains tax, and keep jobs in America with a lower business tax.

After the jump, the rest of McCain’s excerpt, and an excerpt from Obama’s column.

McCain continues:

I will make government finally live on a budget and enforce that discipline by the power of veto. I won’t spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money. I will impose a short-term spending freeze and rid the government of waste, duplication and fraud. And I will chart a different course than the administration and Barack Obama and not spend your money just to bail out Wall Street bankers and brokers. I have a plan to protect the value of homes and get them rising again by refinancing mortgages so your neighbor won’t default and further drag down the value of your house.

I will end three decades of failed energy policies; stop sending $700 billion to countries that oppose American values and finance our enemies; and drill for oil and natural gas. We must strengthen incentives for all energy alternatives — nuclear, clean coal, wind, solar and tide. We will encourage the manufacture of hybrid, flex fuel and electric automobiles. We will lower the cost of energy, and create millions of new jobs.

I will not impose “one size fits all” health care on families and small businesses through expensive mandates and fines. I will bring down the skyrocketing cost of health care with competition and choice, reform the insurance market to be fair, and allow you to keep the same health plan if you change jobs or choose to stay home.

More from McCain’s column here.

And now, an excerpt from Obama’s column:

To rebuild that middle class, I’ll give a tax break to 95% of workers and their families. If you work, pay taxes, and make less than $200,000, you’ll get a tax cut. If you make more than $250,000, you’ll still pay taxes at a lower rate than in the 1990s — and capital gains and dividend taxes one-third lower than they were under President Reagan.

We’ll create two million new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and laying broadband lines that reach every corner of the country. I’ll invest $15 billion a year over the next decade in renewable energy, creating five million new, green jobs that pay well, can’t be outsourced, and can help end our dependence on Middle East oil.

When it comes to health care, we don’t have to choose between a government-run system and the unaffordable one we have now. My opponent’s plan would make you pay taxes on your health-care benefits for the first time in history. My plan will make health care affordable and accessible for every American. If you already have health insurance, the only change you’ll see under my plan is lower premiums. If you don’t, you’ll be able to get the same kind of plan that members of Congress get for themselves.

To give every child a world-class education so they can compete in this global economy for the jobs of the 21st century, I’ll invest in early childhood education and recruit an army of new teachers. But I’ll also demand higher standards and more accountability. And we’ll make a deal with every young American: If you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford your tuition.

And when it comes to keeping this country safe, I’ll end the Iraq war responsibly so we stop spending $10 billion a month in Iraq while it sits on a huge surplus.

More from Obama here.

More

Be sure to watch Jeff Hankins and I Tuesday night, as ArkansasBusiness.com joins with Today’s THV for live coverage of the presidential race.

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