WAYNE, Pa. (AP) _ Democrat Barack Obama told voters he would push an aggressive economic agenda as president: cutting taxes for the middle class, raising taxes on the wealthy, pouring money into “green energy'' and requiring employers to set up retirement saving plans for their workers.
Campaigning in Pennsylvania, a key battleground in the fall campaign, Obama said he would take a much more hands-on approach than would Republican John McCain. He again criticized McCain's proposal for a temporary halt in the federal gasoline tax. It would “actually do real harm,'' Obama said, by reducing money for road and bridge construction even as oil companies make record profits.
Obama visited the flooded Midwest later Saturday, stopping in Quincy, Ill., to help fill sandbags.
Speaking to about 200 people in Wayne, a Philadelphia suburb, Obama made no new proposals but emphasized earlier ones in light of rising gas prices, inflation and job losses. They include a $1,000 tax cut for most working families; a new Social Security tax on incomes above $250,000; a “windfall profits'' tax on oil companies; a $4,000 annual college tuition credit for those who commit to national or community service programs; and an end to income taxes for elderly people making less than $50,000 a year.
Obama said he could pay for his programs by eliminating the Bush administration's tax cuts for the wealthy, winding down the Iraq war and spending more on alternative energy programs that eventually will save money.