Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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President-Elect Barack Obama's Plans for the Economy

Last night, we experienced a historic event in the election of our new president. President-elect Barack Obama will be the 44th American President to lead our great nation.

Though nearly half of American voters are likely to be extremely disappointed in the victory of the Democratic candidate, all Americans should be proud that we have reached a symbolic new era that proves that greatness isn't dictated by the color of our skin or the nation of our ancestors' descent.

Though we may often divide ourselves and others into groups such as conservative or liberal, rich or poor, black or white, male or female, and gay or straight, we are all Americans.

The cultural richness of our country is one of the things that makes this the greatest place in the world to live. We are all lucky to live in a country of limitless opportunity and incomparable rights and freedoms - "with liberty and justice for all."

And although many consumers have been struggling to meet some of their financial obligations, even those of us in the middle and lower income groups still enjoy a relatively high standard of living when compared to the rest of the world.

Even so, there is much room for improvement, and Americans are ready for those improvements, as evident in the election of Barack Obama for our next president. Let's look at some of the big plans that Barack Obama and Joe Biden have to improve our economic situation:

Jump start the economy:

  • Tax excessive oil company profits and give families $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help pay rising energy bills. This is part of a long-term plan to provide middle-class families with tax relief of at least $1,000 per year.
  • Spend $50 billion to help save over 1 million jobs - $25 billion to prevent state and local job cuts in education, housing, health, heating assistance, and to prevent increases in property taxes, tolls, or fees. Also $25 billion to prevent job cuts in road, bridge, and school maintenance and repair.


Provide tax relief to the middle-class:

  • Provides a new "Making Work Pay" tax credit of $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family that will completely eliminate income tax for 10 million workers.
  • Eliminate income tax for seniors making less than $50,000 a year. 7 million seniors will have no tax liability under this plan, and 27 million seniors will not have to file a tax return.
  • Simplify tax filings for the middle-class, by allowing the IRS to use the information it already has from banks and employers to give taxpayers the option of a pre-filled form to verify, sign, and return. This plan is estimated to save taxpayers 200 million combined hours in tax preparation, as well as save up to $2 billion in tax-prep fees.
  • Create a Universal Mortgage Credit for homeowners who do not itemize their tax deductions, for an average credit of about $500 to 10 million homeowners, most of whom make less than $50,000 a year.

Take actions to promote job growth and job security:Reform trade arrangements to keep more American jobs.

  • Make changes to North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • End tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas.
  • Reward companies that create good jobs with good benefits for American workers.
  • Create 5 million new "green" jobs by investing in the manufacturing sector, renewable energy sector, clean technology sector.
  • Create new jobs by investing in the rebuilding of the national transportation infrastructure - roads, highways, bridges, ports, air, and train systems. The goals are to improve user safety, bolster the nation's long-term competitiveness, and growth of the economy.
  • Eliminate the capital gains tax on start-ups and small businesses to promote innovation and job creation.
  • Raise the minimum wage so that all workers earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs.

Protect borrowers and prevent fraudulent and predatory lending tactics:

  • Ensure more accountability in the sub-prime mortgage market, and creates new criminal penalties for mortgage professionals found guilty of fraud.
  • Mandate accurate loan disclosure so that home buyers can fully understand their loan costs and more accurately compare rates and terms.
  • Close the bankrupcty loophole for mortgage companies, by eliminating the provision that prevents bankruptcy courts from modifying a home owner's mortgage payment.
  • Simplify credit card disclosure so that consumers can compare credit card terms and features without having to read lengthy and difficult to understand documents.
  • Establish a Credit Card Bill of Rights to protect consumers. This bill will ban unilateral changes, allow interest rate changes to only apply to future debt, prohibit interest charges on fees, prohibit universal default, and required payments to be applied promptly and fairly.
  • Cap outlandish interest rates on payday loans at 36% and improve disclosure. Will require lenders to provide clear and simple information during the application process regarding fees, payments and penalties.
  • Encourage responsible lending institutions to provide affordable short-term and small dollar-amount loans to consumers to drive predatory lenders out of business.
  • Reform bankruptcy laws to protect and help consumers who can prove they filed bankrupcty due to unmanageable medical expenses.

There's no doubt that Barack Obama and Joe Biden have high hopes for the future of America. And the American people, or at least just over half of them, have confidence that the Obama Administration will be able to deliver. Let's hope that it all works out as good as it sounds - the strength of our economy depends on it.


Source:
barackobama.com

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Wednesday, 11 December 2019

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