Obama Denouces McCain's 'Strange' Economic Policies
By Robert Barnes
INDIANAPOLIS -- As the presidential candidates continued to battle over taxes, Democrat Barack Obama aggressively denounced Republican John McCain for what he called "strange" policies that would reward companies that ship job overseas.
"John McCain and I have real differences about how to get us out of this economic mess," Obama told a crowd estimated at 35,000 here in the American Legion Mall, who waited hours for his appearance.
"You see, Senator McCain thinks the economic policies of George W. Bush are just right for America.''
Obama pointed to a remark. McCain made Wednesday on CNN as evidence for a charge that McCain "strongly defended the Bush policy of lavishing tax cuts on corporations, including those that ship American jobs overseas."
Obama continued: "He made the strange argument that the best way to stop companies from shipping jobs overseas is to give more tax cuts to companies that are shipping jobs overseas. More tax cuts for job outsourcers. That's what Senator McCain proposed as his answer to outsourcing."
On CNN's Situation Room, McCain said that high corporate taxes are what force American companies to look overseas for expansion. He said Obama is "all about" trying to take money from the wealthy, and that corporations already pay their "full freight" of 35 percent.
"When [corporations] have the ability to go overseas, unfortunately they do go overseas" where they can "create wealth and create jobs," McCain said, "It's simple fundamental economics. So, to somehow allege that a company or corporation that can be international is not going to go where they pay the lowest taxes and can create the most jobs is just foolishness. The last time we practiced this kind of isolationism and protectionism that Senator Obama espouses on higher taxes was a guy named Herbert Hoover."
Obama said: "Well, Indiana, my opponent may call that 'fundamental economics,' but we know that's just another name for the Wall Street first, Main Street last. That's the kind of economic philosophy we've had for the past eight years -- and that's fundamentally wrong."
Taxes have become a key issue in the campaign, as McCain and the Republican National Committee have flooded the airwaves here with commercials that say Obama wants workers' "sweat" to pay for his spending plans.
And McCain is emphasizing the theme today in Florida with his "Joe the Plumber" tour.
Obama defended his own plan, as he does in every speech at every rally.
"The truth is, my opponent and I are both proposing tax cuts," Obama said. "The difference is, he wants to give a $700,000 tax cut to the average Fortune 500 CEO. I want to put a middle class tax cut in your pockets and the pockets of 95 percent of workers and their families.
"My opponent doesn't want you to know this, but under my plan, tax rates for middle class families will actually be less than they were under Ronald Reagan.''
The Indiana rally marked Obama's fourth straight day campaigning in states that went for President Bush in 2004, including Florida and Virginia.
He is scheduled to leave here for his home state of Hawaii, where the grandmother who helped raise him, Madelyn Dunham, is seriously ill. He will return to the campaign trail Saturday in Nevada.
Posted at 4:52 PM ET on Oct 23, 2008
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