Obama economic adviser outlines tax-cut plan

On the heels of Sen. Barack Obama’s speech on the economy in Golden, Colo., and under the shadow of the largest government bailout to date in the evolving credit crisis, Austan Goolsbee, a senior economic adviser to Obama, spoke about the Democratic presidential nominee’s plan for the country’s financial future Wednesday at Children’s Hospital in Aurora.

Goolsbee told lawmakers, business professionals and residents that Obama would invest in alternative energy, health care and the middle class, unlike his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, who would offer more of the same trickle-down economics of the last eight years.

“The most troubling factor that we have seen in the last eight years is that we apply this tax-cut, massive deregulating strategy, but it doesn’t get the economy going again,” Goolsbee said. “If you look at the evidence, the intention of tax cuts was to stimulate investment, stimulate savings; none of those things have happened.”

The University of Chicago economics professor also told the crowd of about 50 that under an Obama administration the government would have more oversight and regulation of large corporations seeking federally funded bailouts such as the recently announced $85 billion loan to American International Group.

Goolsbee also batted down rumors that Obama would tax everything including water, saying instead that the Illinois senator wants to cut taxes for middle-class Americans and small-business owners and incentivize health-care coverage while raising income tax rates to 1990 levels for those making more than a quarter of a million dollars a year.

“Overall, Obama’s budget is a net tax cut and a net spending cut,” Goolsbee said.

When pressed for specifics from the crowd, Goolsbee referred his audience to Obama’s six-point regulatory plan and talked about the campaign’s promise to infuse the economy with a $50 billion emergency stimulus plan that would focus on rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.

The event was hosted by the nonpartisan Aurora Economic Development Council, a public-private partnership that works to bring high-quality jobs to the Denver metro area.

AEDC officials said the organization’s members are mostly Republican but had not been approached by the McCain campaign to host a similar event, although they would enjoy doing just that.

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J.C. O'Connell

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