The Wall Street Journal (a pretty good source of information if you avoid the editorial page) has an interesting breakdown of the economic policy changes proposed by both presidential candidates.
To respond to voters who want immediate economic help, both candidates have proposed specific plans on how to jump-start the economy in 2008 and 2009. Sen. Obama proposes a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to families ($500 for individuals) and penalty-free withdrawals of 15% from 401(k)s and IRAs up to $10,000. He also wants to temporarily suspend minimum distribution requirements for retirement accounts. Sen. McCain proposes cutting the capital-gains rate on stock held for more than a year to 7.5%. He also would increase the amount of stock loss that is deductible against ordinary income from $3,000 to $15,000, and would tax withdrawals by seniors from IRAs and 401(k)s no more than 10%.
So Obama will offset your energy bills by up to a grand, which will help working families a lot this winter, and allow you take up to 15% of your 401(k) out to keep in the bank for paying bills without penalty. Not bad.
McCain… really doesn’t suggest a damn thing for working people. All of his suggestions center around stocks and making owning stocks more lucrative. Well, that’s great for people who own stocks, but what about the rest of us, John?
I have to admit I watched the Wall Street implosion over the last few weeks with no small amount of schadenfreude. I don’t own a lick of stock, so beyond the overall impact to the economy, I really don’t care what the stock market does. I may have lost buying power due to the inflation we’re in for, but I personally didn’t lose a dime this month. Because I get 100% of my money from wages, the stock market doesn’t mean much to me.
That’s the key difference anymore between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats are the party of people who work for their money. Republicans are the party of people whose money works for them. If you get the majority of your income from wages, as most middle class families do, Democrats are the party for you. If you get most of your money from investments, then Republicans are more your speed.
So, “thanks but no thanks”, John. Cutting capital gains taxes doesn’t do a damn thing to put more money in my pocket. Your ideas don’t help me at all. I’m voting for “that one.”