[Opinion] – McCain’s plan to kick-start American success begins with the financial markets

Just days after the stock market plummeted and then rallied back 900 points in three days, both candidates are now poised to present their plans to reinvigorate the U.S. economy for the long haul. John McCain has taken a more âÄúhands offâÄù approach, but it definitely still includes forms of government intervention. Barack Obama, on the other hand, blames this mess on Washington, while simultaneously demanding Washington get substantially more involved. ObamaâÄôs record may be short, but when compared to McCainâÄôs in the Senate, there is a drastic difference: McCain has opposed tax increases that damage the American economy while Obama has supported them. McCain has a substantial plan that proposes solutions for all areas of the economy. At the core of his solutions lies the basic principle that many economists have always believed: minimal government intervention is preferred. Granted, this may not always be possible (as we learned this week with the presidentâÄôs $700 billion package for banks), but it should be strived for when at all possible. First and foremost, high fuel and food prices have bogged down economic spending across all sectors, so McCain has proposed government action to level off costs. An increased production of oil domestically will lower our dependence on foreign energy, which means less American money going abroad. Additionally, taxes on fuel should be closely monitored, and when possible, gas taxes should be lowered. The best investment one can make is in a home, so McCain supports any action that keeps smart mortgage borrowers in their homes. McCain has rightfully disagreed with action that uses taxpayer dollars to bail out lending companies that failed to follow correct due diligence. Millions of Americans are facing foreclosure or have already lost their homes, but at the same time, tens of millions have not. These citizens that have followed the rules should be kept in consideration, which is why McCain supports increased transparency and accountability in lending practices in exchange for the bail outs. Balancing the deficit has never been more important, and McCain has supported a sound federal budget since some of his early years in Congress. His plan calls for paying down the national debt by 2013. This would be done by frugally monitoring large expenditures like Social Security, Medicare and defense spending. A key point to this reform is McCainâÄôs absolute opposition to any pork-barrel spending, where members of Congress seek âÄúpet projectsâÄù like rain forest museums in Iowa to please their voters. McCain will veto all bills that include these pork projects and will announce the names of their authors on national television. McCain believes Social Security can be reformed without raising taxes by utilizing personal accounts to allow people to save for their own retirement. There are those that cannot meet obligations on their own, and McCain has made a bi-partisan promise to look out for them as well. This will be a challenge because Democrats have refused to work on Social Security for the past eight years, hoping they could wait it out until a Democratic president was sworn in. The American people deserve better. Furthermore, small business growth has always been at the base of the U.S. economy, and McCain believes this entrepreneurial spirit must not be stifled. Capping tax rates on small businesses is critical to growing jobs, while lowering corporate tax rates keeps current jobs on our shores. Some on the left have made it their mission to tax companies until they leave the country, blindly ignoring the hundreds of thousands of Americans employed by them. The fact is that other nations have lowered tax rates in order to entice companies to leave America, and they are succeeding. We need to step up to the plate and provide an environment that companies can operate in. McCain would also lower the estate tax rate so families can pass their businesses on to their children. Making the confusing and complex tax system more simple and easy to follow is a priority for McCain, while keeping taxes low. He would also make technology improvements for businesses tax-exempt so that companies can grow. Obama has yet to announce real solutions to this economic crisis, which is why Jay Leno recently joked that McCain could not respond to ObamaâÄôs economic plan because âÄúnobody knowsâÄù what it is. Finally, energy is a necessary piece of improving economic stability to compete with 21st century factors worldwide. McCain has consistently supported new energy sources like nuclear and new gas reserves found all over the country. On top of that, alternative fuels for our transportation needs like battery powered cars, and also wind and solar power energy will be well funded by a McCain presidency. Unfortunately, Obama supports a higher tax burden on all income levels during economic hardship, including a tax on natural gas, Social Security, investments and even a higher tax on capital gains (making it harder to cash out money thatâÄôs already been earned in the market), which would affect many older Americans. These are all proposals Obama has either voted for or endorsed on the campaign trail. One thing is clear: with the discretionary funding that will disappear after this economic package passes Congress, there will be little money left for Obama to spend on his expensive new ideas, if he were elected. Considering this, I guess there is a bright side to every situation. Andy Post welcomes comments at [email protected] .