With the first Presidential Debate set for tonight at 9PM (EST) we thought it would be fun to point out the major differences between the candidates on issues involving finances. Information was compiled by the Sacramento Bee and ProCon.org.
The main focus tonight is on domestic policy and will be divided into six segments of approximately 15 minutes.
Which financial issues are most important to you?
OBAMA: Fourth consecutive year of trillion-dollar deficits projected. Won approval to raise debt limit to avoid default. Calls for tackling the debt with a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases. Central to Obama’s plan is to let Bush-era tax cuts expire for couples making more than $250,000.
ROMNEY: Defended 2008 bailout of financial institutions as necessary step to avoid the system’s collapse and opposed the auto bailout. Plans to cap federal spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product by end of 1st term (down from 23.5 percent currently) with spending cuts. Favors constitutional balanced budget amendment.
OBAMA: Term marked by high unemployment, a deep recession that began in previous administration and gradual recovery. Responded to recession with $800 billion stimulus plan. Continued implementation of Wall Street and auto industry bailouts begun under George W. Bush. Proposes tax breaks for U.S. manufacturers producing domestically or repatriating jobs from abroad, and tax penalties for U.S. companies outsourcing jobs.
ROMNEY:Lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budget, more trade deals to spur growth. Replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts. Proposes repeal of the law toughening financial-industry regulations after the meltdown in that sector, and the law tightening accounting regulations in response to corporate scandals.
OBAMA: No comprehensive plan to address Social Security’s long-term financial problems. In 2011, proposed a new measure of inflation to reduce annual increases in Social Security benefits. The proposal would reduce the long-term financing shortfall by about 25 percent, according to the Social Security actuaries.
ROMNEY:Protect the status quo for people 55+. For the next generation of retirees, raise the retirement age for full benefits by one or two years and reduce inflation increases in benefits for wealthier recipients.
OBAMA: Wants to raise taxes on the wealthy and ensure they pay 30 percent of their income at minimum. Supports extending Bush-era tax cuts for everyone making under $200,000, or $250,000 for couples. But in 2010, agreed to a two-year extension of lower rates for all. Wants to let the top two tax rates go back up 3 to 4 percentage points to 39.6 percent and 36 percent, and raise rates on capital gains and dividends for the wealthy. Health care law provides for tax on highest-value health insurance plans. Together with Congress, built a first-term record of significant tax cuts, some temporary.
ROMNEY: Keep Bush-era tax cuts for all incomes and drop all tax rates further, by 20 percent, bringing the top rate, for example, down to 28 percent from 35 percent and the lowest rate to 8 percent instead of 10 percent. Curtail deductions, credits and exemptions for the wealthiest. End Alternative Minimum Tax for individuals, eliminate capital gains tax for families making below $200,000 and cut corporate tax to 25 percent from 35 percent.