Clinton issues new blueprint on economy

Other News Materials 19 February 2008 06:45 (UTC +04:00)

( Reuters ) - U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released a new "Economic Blueprint" on Monday that touts ways to help working Americans as she seeks to gain an edge on rival Barack Obama, who has moved into the lead in the Democratic contest.

The pamphlet repackages ideas Clinton has already proposed, such as putting a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of subprime mortgages, removing tax breaks for oil companies and investing the money in clean energy programs, and putting new restrictions on credit card companies, including a cap on interest rates.

"Over the past seven years, big corporations and special interests have been given a free pass to profit, often at the expense of the American worker," the brochure said. "As president, Hillary will make it a priority to scale back special benefits and subsidies to these corporations and put those resources to work for our economy again."

The pamphlet is being distributed at campaign events as she battles to be the Democratic nominee in the November election.

"The middle class is the backbone of America," Clinton told a campaign event in the Wisconsin city of De Pere. "It's time we started taking care of the middle class again."

Obama also packaged his economic proposals into a 48-page booklet called "Keeping America's Promise" that his campaign began distributing last week to voters in Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas and other states holding upcoming Democratic contests.

The Obama booklet outlines a variety of the Illinois senator's plans, including a $500 income tax cut per worker, a $10 billion foreclosure fund to help Americans struggling to keep their homes and proposals for "green jobs" created through a comprehensive energy independence plan.

Clinton's speeches over the past few days have had a new populist, anti-corporate message on the economy that has echoes of former presidential candidate John Edwards.

The Clinton campaign hopes this rhetoric will play well with working-class voters in Wisconsin, which holds its primary on Tuesday, and in Ohio, a must-win state for Clinton where anxiety over the economy is particularly high because of the loss of manufacturing jobs over the last several years.

Both Clinton and Obama have met Edwards to discuss his endorsement. The former senator from North Carolina had made fighting corporate interests and poverty major themes of his failed bid for the Democratic nomination.