Candidates on Middle Class: What They Propose

Obama & McCain - 10/15/08
Image by Eric (a.k.a. Hervé) via Flickr

By Nick DeMarco
Staff Writer

With the elections looming, one of the most important topics for both candidates is the middle class, the class in American society that is often faced with many grueling challenges, from the rising cost of gas and food prices, to relief in the area of taxes. The middle class could very well decide the election, so both candidates are pouring it on with all they plan on doing for the middle class if elected to the presidency of the United States. This article was prepared due to the fact that many of those who go here to Marywood University come from middle class families, struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis. So what do Barack Obama and John McCain plan on doing for you?

Barack Obama wants to restore fairness to the tax code and provide 150 million American workers tax relief by creating a “Making Work Pay” tax credit for $500 a person, and $1,000 per working family. This credit is supposed to eliminate income taxes for 10 million Americans.

Obama wants to eliminate all income taxation for seniors making less than $50,000 a year. This proposal will eliminate income taxes for 7 million seniors, saving them on average $1,400 a year. Under this plan, it would eliminate income tax filings for 27 million Americans. There are also plans for making the filing of taxes every year less strenuous and time consuming, saving 2 billion dollars in preparation, and saving up to 200 million total hours Americans would be spending on filing their taxes.

These are just some of the basic plans Barack Obama has for the middle class. In addition, there is the expansion of the Medical Leave Act, encouraging states to adopt paid leave, and expanding flexible work arrangements.

John McCain promises that the United States could become independent when it comes to oil, no longer dependent on foreign oil companies. His policies, on giving the middle class tax relief and better conditions at work, will in turn strengthen our economy and make our dollar stronger in the world markets. It seems that the most important thing, at least by looking at the McCain website, is the reform of the government, especially against wasteful spending and a greater responsibility to economic growth.

Both candidates face harsh criticism, not only from each other, but from the media and political analysts. The debates have shown us, neither one of them seem to have a clear idea of what’s factual and what’s untrue about their policies. This was prominent in their ideals about tax cuts for small businesses, for an example. Looking on, a site that gives politicians grades each year in how they deal with legislation regarding the middle class. McCain hasn’t faired well in the past, and at the moment has a grade of 50%, while Obama has a better track record, getting straight A’s in the past, with a 78% right now.

As the elections continue, talks about the middle class will continue, as they very well will make or break the election for each presidential candidate.

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