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Candidates Voice Concerns for Taxpayers Amid Bailouts

As the government seeks to shore up the stability of U.S. financial markets, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama expressed concern over the consequences of the massive bailouts for average taxpayers. Political reporters recap the latest news from the campaign trail.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    With only a little over six weeks to go before Election Day, the economic crisis is also making itself felt on the campaign trail. Both major presidential candidates focused on it today.

    SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), Illinois: True economic recovery requires addressing not just the crisis on Wall Street, but the crisis on Main Street.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The administration's evolving bailout plan was Topic A for both candidates today. Campaigning in Wisconsin, Democrat Barack Obama emphasized the consequences of any potential solution.

  • SEN. BARACK OBAMA:

    We need a plan that helps families stay in their homes and workers keep their jobs, a plan that gives hardworking Americans relief instead of using taxpayer dollars to reward CEOs on Wall Street.

    And we cannot give a blank check to Washington with no oversight and no accountability when no oversight and accountability is exactly what got us into this mess in the first place.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    But McCain, Obama said, is part of the problem.

  • SEN. BARACK OBAMA:

    Let's be clear. When it comes to regulatory reform, Sen. McCain has fought time and time again against the commonsense rules of the road that could've prevented this crisis.

    John McCain voted for those laws and those policies again and again and again. And he now claims that he's the one who can clean it all up.

    SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), Arizona: My plan is about keeping people in their homes and safeguarding the life savings of all Americans by protecting our financial system and capital markets. Those are our priorities.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    In Pennsylvania, Republican John McCain said government oversight should be expanded beyond the Treasury secretary.

  • SEN. JOHN MCCAIN:

    I'm greatly concerned about the plan that gives a single individual the unprecedented power to spend $1 trillion — $1 trillion — without any meaningful accountability.

    Never before in the history of our nation has so much power and money been concentrated in the hands of one person, a person I admire and respect a great deal, Secretary Paulson. This arrangement makes me deeply uncomfortable.

    We won't solve a problem caused by poor oversight with a plan that has no oversight. And part of the reason we're facing this crisis is an antiquated regulatory system of uncoordinated agencies that just haven't been doing their job. We must help keep people in their home, we must protect American savings, and we must keep students with loans in school.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Obama also promised to cut $40 billion in government spending. The McCain campaign dismissed his plan as "all talk and taxes."

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