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McCain, Obama trade jabs on economy, taxes

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Obama wants to eliminate the secret ballot for union votes..

This position would seem to be indefensible. Unions want to be rid of the secret ballot so that their organizers can either use strong-arm tactics to coerce votes out of employees or offer inducements in exchange for votes.

[Obama] even proposed a unilateral re-negotiation of NAFTA — our agreement with Canada and Mexico that accounts for 33% of American exports,” McCain said.

Unilateralism, this. And bad policy to boot.

McCain “wants to add $300 billion more in tax breaks and loopholes for big corporations and for the wealthiest Americans, and he hasn’t even explained how he’d pay for it,” Obama said.

McCain was right to oppose the Bush tax cuts on the grounds that they weren't "paid for" in spending cuts. As it turned out their stimulative effects were salutary given the bursting of the internet bubble and the drag of 9/11 but the principle was a good one. Both candidates should be pressed to provide more details on how they plan to pay for the programs and tax cuts they favor.

McCain would eliminate the tax subsidy for employer-based insurance and give individuals a tax break to offset the cost of buying their own insurance.

A good idea. A better idea would be to eliminate the subsidy altogether. The tax treatment of health benefits has been a major contributor to health care inflation and wage (though not compensation) stagnation.

Obama said the McCain plan would help only the wealthy...

It would mitigate the problem of "job-lock" which presumably affects workers at all income levels.

He’s offering a tax cut that won’t ensure that health care is affordable for hardworking families who need help most...

If Sen. Clinton is to be believed neither would his.

Sen. Obama's plan would do a good job of expanding insurance coverage but would do little to control health care costs - the overall affordability of health care. In fact, there's a good case to be made that they would exacerbate the problem. McCain is right to try to expand private insurance through cost control but he needs to supplement his plan by bolstering and rationalizing our safety net in the mean time.

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“Unfortunately, Senator Obama has a habit of talking down the value of our exports and trade agreements. He even proposed a unilateral re-negotiation of NAFTA — our agreement with Canada and Mexico that accounts for 33% of American exports,” McCain said.

While that may be true, in the process it wiped out what was left of Mexico's family farm-dominated agriculture sector. And that sent displaced farmers el norte seeking whatever jobs they could find. I'm with developing country activists who complain about the unfairness of subsidized agricultural products from the developed world being included in free trade agreements with developing countries.

Of course there are winners in Mexico. It's great for those who live in Mexico City because they can buy cheaper food stuffs. But it's not so great for the farmers, or for those whose communities, like mine, are inundated with "illegal aliens." NAFTA never resulted in the level of job creation south of the border which was envisioned.

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I run a business and pay a lot of taxes, and the ceiling on the Social Security tax is very important to me, since I pay double social security taxes up to the first $100,000 or so. If that were ever removed or raised, I would take drastic action in my business which would end up with cutting jobs and moving to the most tax-friendly state. Nobody better touch that since it's perfectly fair that there be a limit that I overpay, despite the fact that I won't likely get that much out of the system later.

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raise that minimum wage and I will be firing at least two part timers back in Chicago. I can not see just paying someone a higher wage for doing nothing more. I am happy to give them a raise, if they deserve it. But it being mandatory, now that I have a problem with.

There are pros and cons of NAFTA, and it has worked for me in the past. However, to be true, it has cost a lot of American Jobs. Too many when one weighs it. To give one recent example, Mexican Trucks are now allowed to grab business within the US and their prices are much cheaper and they don't have to pay the tax, except when getting gas. However, US truckers are not allowed to obtain business within Mexico or Canada. This is going to cause some big issue in this campaign, but McCain is actually one of the reasons for this lop-sided agreement.

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Hey! Shima is back!

I haven't seen you here at JT in a long time, Shimajiro. It's good to read your posts again.

Welcome back and good post.

Taka

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US truckers are not allowed to obtain business within Mexico or Canada.

Just another example of American jobs being given away. And John McCain would continue george bush's policies.

At least with Obama, the rich will have to pay a more fair share of their taxes, like the rest of us.

Go Obama!! Go Obama!! < :-)

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Hey, Taka! Thanks.

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With the greater transparency and vastly larger amounts of information available to the public in the internet age, voters can judge the candidates' economic sense by the campaigns they run and how well they manage before they win office:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/ Obama's Spendthrift Campaign

Just because the Obama campaign doesn't pay for cabs from O'Hare and staffers are expected to double-up at hotels doesn't make it frugal. Indeed, Obama oversees a team of 700 people--more than twice as many as Bush in 2004--the biggest, most bloated campaign in the history of presidential elections :

So far in 2008, combined campaign-spending data for the three most recent months available--February, March and April--show that Sen. Obama outspent Sen. McCain 4.5-to-1 on staff salaries, more than 2-to-1 on office rents, and 25-to-1 on broadcast advertising, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Sen. Obama has about 700 employees on the payroll, scattered across 19 states. The McCain cadre is around 100, divided among a handful of local offices.

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adaydream: I really don't think Obama nor McCain is going to do anything about NAFTA. First of all, Obama needs that Hispanic along the border vote, as he is not getting it now. McCain has them and one reason is due to him allowing Mexican companies to operate in his state. I really do not like that. But, he needed the Hispanic along the border vote. Will Obama do the right thing or pander. My guess is he will pander. The US has not any real leaders for a very long time and I don't see one coming now, despite the rock star status Obama has.

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