October 2008: Government Affairs

Words: Dan KamysOctober 2008

mccainMcCain on Issues That Affect Masons

Taxes and, specifically, the estate tax

We must get government's fiscal house in order. Americans work, and families pay their bills and balance their budgets. Senator McCain will demand the same of the government. A government that spends wisely and balances its budget is a catalyst for economic growth and the creation of good and secure jobs. We must have a simpler, fairer, pro-growth and competitive tax structure.

Entrepreneurs are at the heart of American innovation, growth and prosperity. And should not be taxed into submission. McCain will keep the top tax rate at 35 percent, maintain the 15 percent rates on dividends and capital gains, and phase-out the Alternative Minimum Tax. Small businesses are the heart of job growth; raising taxes on them hurts every worker. McCain proposes reducing the Estate Tax rate to 15 percent and permitting a generous $10 million exemption.

Influencing economic recovery in our country

McCain believes a comprehensive economic plan will create millions of good American jobs, ensure our nation's energy security, get the government's budget and spending practices in order, and bring relief to American consumers.

McCain will help Americans who are hurting from high gasoline and food costs. He will act immediately to reduce the pain of high gas prices. He believes there is nothing more important than keeping alive the American dream of owning a home. Priority No. 1 is to keep well-meaning, deserving home owners who are facing foreclosure in their homes.

McCain's approach to helping sub-prime or other financially strapped mortgage borrowers is built on sound principles. No taxpayer money should bail out real estate speculators or financial market participants who failed to perform due diligence in assessing credit risks. Any assistance for borrowers should be focused solely on home owners, and any government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk. Any policy of financial assistance should be accompanied by reforms that promote greater transparency and accountability to ensure we never face this problem again.

McCain has proposed a new HOME Plan to provide robust, timely and targeted help to those hurt by the housing crisis. Under his HOME Plan, every deserving American family or homeowner will be afforded the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan that reflects their home's market value.

Focus of McCain administration's energy plan

McCain will commit our country to expanding domestic oil exploration. The current federal moratorium on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf stands in the way of energy exploration and production. McCain believes it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use. There is no easier or more direct way to prove to the world that we will no longer be subject to the whims of others than to expand our production capabilities. We have trillions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves in the United States during a time we are exporting hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas to buy energy. This is the largest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind.

McCain believes in promoting and expanding the use of our domestic supplies of natural gas. When people are hurting and struggling to afford gasoline, food and other necessities, common sense requires that we draw upon America's own vast reserves of oil and natural gas. Within the United States, we have tremendous reserves of natural gas. The Outer Continental Shelf alone contains 77 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. It is time that we capitalize on these significant resources and build the infrastructure needed to transport this important component of electricity generation and transportation fuel around the country.

For further details on Senator McCain's positions on these and other issues, visit www.johnmccain/informing/issues.

obamaEditor's Note:

The Obama for President's campaign was asked to submit answers to the same questions and did not submit answers. For more information on positions Senator Barack Obama may take, please visit his Web site at www.barackobama.com/issues.

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