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US: Democratic candidates’ economic policy views

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama detailed their views on what can done to shore up the sagging US economy during a debate in Austin, Texas, on Thursday.

Here are some of their comments:

New York sen. Hillary Clinton
“We are going to rid the tax code of these loopholes and giveaways. We’re going to stop giving a penny of your money to anybody who ships a job out of Texas, Ohio or anywhere else to another country. We’re certainly going to begin to get the tax code to reflect what the needs of middle class families are so we can rebuild a strong and prosperous middle class.”
“We’re going to start having trade agreements that not only have strong environmental and labor standards, but I want to have a trade time-out. We’re going to look and see what’s working and what’s not working, and I’d like to have a trade prosecutor to actually enforce the trade agreements that we have before we enter into any others.”
“There are steps I would take immediately. One is on this foreclosure crisis. I have been saying for nearly a year we had to crack down on the abusive practices of the lenders. But we also need a moratorium on home foreclosures.”
“We also need to invest in our infrastructure. We don’t have enough roads to take care of the congestion, we have crumbling bridges and tunnels. We need to rebuild America, and that will also put people to work. And, finally, we need to end George Bush’s war on science.”

Illinois sen. Barack Obama
“We have to restore a sense of fairness and balance to our economy ... Number one, with our tax code: We’ve got to stop giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas and invest those tax breaks in companies that are investing here in the United States of America.”
“If you are making $75,000 a year or less, I want to give an offset to your payroll tax that will mean $1,000 extra in the pockets of ordinary Americans. Senior citizens making less than $50,000, you shouldn’t have to pay income tax on your Social Security. We pay for these by closing tax loopholes and tax havens that are being manipulated.”
“I think it is absolutely critical that we engage in trade, but it has to be viewed not just through the lens of Wall Street, but also Main Street, which means we’ve got strong labor standards and strong environmental standards and safety standards, so we don’t have toys being shipped in the United States with lead paint on them.”
“I think there are also opportunities in our economy around creating a green economy ... And for us to move rapidly to cap greenhouse gases, generate billions of dollars that we can reinvest in solar and wind and biodiesel -- that can put people back to work.” (Reuters)