Sunday, October 12, 2008

Exclusive: McCain to unveil new economic plans


As part of a plan to reinvigorate his flagging campaign, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is considering additional economic measures aimed directly at the middle class that are likely to be rolled out this week, campaign officials said.

Among the measures being considered are tax cuts – perhaps temporary – for capital gains and dividends, the officials said.

“The market’s the focus,” a McCain adviser said. “You want to stop the fleeing.”

No more bailout money is being contemplated, the adviser said. “We’ve written a check to everyone in sight,” the adviser said. “We’re not in that game.”

McCain advisers hope that by being specific, he can pose a contrast to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who has been benefited from taking a vague but consistent approach to policy during the economic crisis.

McCain and his inner circle will consider the possibilities at a meeting Sunday, officials said. The measures being considered are aimed at jump-starting the economy by helping the middle class and bolstering trust and confidence in financial markets, the officials said.

On Friday, without fanfare, McCain during remarks in LaCrosse, Wis., proposed that Congress suspend the current U.S. Tax Code requirement that seniors begin selling their retirement assets at age 70 ½. “Current rules mandate that investors must begin to sell off their IRAs and 401Ks when they reach age 70 and one half,” McCain said. “To spare investors from being forced to sell their stocks at just the time when the market is hurting the most, those rules should be suspended.”

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