News

    US Economy Remains Focus of Presidential Campaigns

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Nine days before the U.S. elections, the country's economic woes remain a focal point of the presidential race. VOA's Michael Bowman reports from Washington.

    With polls showing Americans worried about their jobs and finances, both presidential candidates have come up with plans to revive the economy - and each has said their opponent would make a bad situation worse.

    Republican presidential contender John McCain has sought to portray his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, as a big-spending government interventionist. Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press program Sunday, McCain said increasing government spending would be irresponsible, considering the government's current debt burden.

    "Spending was completely out of control. We laid a $10-trillion hole [debt] on future generations of America," said John McCain. "The housing crisis, combined with a country that is living way beyond its means, is a combination, which has put us into this great financial crisis we are in."

    McCain has pledged to rein in government spending.

    But Obama says McCain would continue President Bush's failed economic program that favored the wealthy over the middle class.

    The Illinois Senator spoke at a campaign rally in Colorado.

    "We are going to have to turn the page on eight years of economic policies that put Wall Street [investors] before Main Street [ordinary citizens] and ended up hurting both," said Barack Obama. "Rich people do better when ordinary folks are doing well. We need policies that grow our economy from the bottom up."

    The consensus view of economists is that, having been through a devastating credit crisis sparked by a rash of home foreclosures, the United States could already be in a recession. Senator Obama's plan to revive the economy includes a new federal economic stimulus package focusing on infrastructure projects and aid to states facing budget shortfalls as a result of declining tax revenue.

    An Obama economic advisor, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, spoke on CBS' Face the Nation program.

    "If you look at the credit markets, which is what is really going to determine what happens to our economy, not the stock market, there was quite a bit of improvement over the last week," said Robert Rubin. "But I think there is a lot more we need to do. I think it is imperative we have a very large fiscal stimulus. I do think the power of public policy in its entirety - that which has been done, plus a large fiscal stimulus - should be able to stem this [economic downturn] within a reasonable period of time."

    Also appearing on the program, a McCain advisor touted the Arizona Senator's proposal for the federal government to buy up mortgages that are in danger of default. Douglas Holtz-Eakin said the plan would aid struggling homeowners and address what many economic observers regard as the root cause of the current financial turmoil.

    "Where do you place your faith? Do you place it in the institutions that have failed us, which quite frankly are in Washington and in Wall Street, or do you put the money in the places where we know we can get effective results? And John McCain has not advocated sticking the money into Wall Street banks and the like," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin. "Let us put the money into the housing market. That is where this problem started. Let us get people into mortgages they can afford, and let us take care of the small businesses."

    Polls continue to show Barack Obama leading in the presidential race, both nationally and in key states that he and Senator McCain are contesting. Obama has warned his supporters against complacency, while McCain is predicting he will close the gap in the final days before the election. 

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora