Election 2008

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Candidates Jostle to Be Doctor to Ailing Economy

April 01, 2008 09:31 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
With fears of recession growing, the presidential contenders are touting their recovery plans. Skeptics doubt if any of these remedies would be effective.

30-Second Summary

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With U.S. fiscal indicators tumbling downward, the economy is emerging as the most important issue in the presidential campaign, even turning voter attention away from the Iraq war, analyst Robert Pollin writes in Dollars and Sense.

But some economists doubt the effectiveness of any of the candidates’ proposals.

“We have an unprecedented housing meltdown that is spilling over into the financial sector, and I'm not sure any of the three candidates really appreciates the enormity of this problem,” says Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Clinton, McCain and Obama have all applauded the Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate cuts, but they differ on the next steps to be taken.

John McCain is calling for banks to make the loan process more transparent and to regulate themselves.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
both propose their own $30 billion economic stimulus plans, supplementing President Bush’s $168 billion package, recently passed by Congress.

If fears about an ailing economy do decide the election, it won’t be the first time.

President George H.W. Bush’s 1992 bid for re-election was doomed in part by a fiscal slowdown, Edmund L. Andrews of The New York Times writes, leading to Bill Clinton’s victory and his Democratic advisers’ now-famous campaign mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan in 1980 after a term marked by high unemployment and inflation.

And back in 1888, Grover Cleveland lost his re-election bid to Benjamin Harrison when voters fearful of overseas competition rejected his protectionist stance.

Headline Link: ‘Presidential Candidates Propose Rival Economic Recovery Plans, One May Make Next Budget’

Reactions: The candidates and their economic platforms

John McCain
Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama

Historical Context: Economic cycles and presidential elections

Opinion & Analysis: Critics evaluate candidates’ proposals

Audio: ‘How Will Our Next President Fix the Economy?’

Reference: Data for elections past and present

Related Topics: Recent campaign developments

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