McCain vows tax cuts to jump-start economy
Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Tuesday pledged to cut taxes and reform rules to help investors saving for retirement in a bid to jump-start an economy hard hit by the crisis in financial markets, dpa reported.
"We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight - waiting for our luck to change," the Arizona senator said in an attempt to distance himself from fellow Republican George W Bush.
"The hour is late and our troubles are getting worse. We have to act immediately. We have to change direction now. We have to fight."
Speaking to voters in the battleground state of Pennsylvania hours after the government said it would spend 250 billion dollars to take stock in banks, McCain vowed not to allow the government to become a permanent stakeholder in private enterprise.
"We're going to get government out of the business of bail-outs and equity stakes, and back in the business of responsible regulation," he said.
McCain's actions to restore investor confidence and get the economy moving would include a guarantee on all savings accounts regardless of size for six months and modifications to retirement accounts to allow seniors to keep their money invested until the markets recuperate.
He also pledged to cut taxes on businesses in a bid to encourage hiring, halve capital gains taxes on stocks and remove taxes from government unemployment benefits. He reiterated his pledge to renegotiate home mortgages at the heart of the crisis.
The speech came a day after Democratic candidate Barack Obama unveiled his own updated economic plan calling for new measures to spur job growth and help homeowners threatened by foreclosure stay in their homes. Opinion polls released this week show Obama gaining ground with more voters trusting him to deal with the economic crisis.