US Economy Remains Focus of Presidential Campaigns



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.
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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs