Tuesday, June 10, 2008

CNBC gives "job interviews" to Obama, McCain

Both Barack Obama and John McCain gave “job interviews” today (June 10) on CNBC’s “Fast Money” at 8 PM EDT, sponsored by Charles Schwab. They did not debate directly; instead they were each interviewed for fifteen minutes and then other experts commented on their interviews, rather like a meeting at a company reviewing candidates.

Obama said that we have to be pragmatic and look at facts in figuring out what to do about the faltering economy. Obama wants middle class tax cuts and wants to exclude those making over $250K from the cuts. He said he believes in the free market, but that the “profits” of innovation have to come back to the average person and not just to hedge funds. He says that the oil crisis is largely due to worldwide demand push and has come upon us with shocking suddenness.

After the interview, the “panel” consisted of Bill George from Harvard, Hank Greenberg from CW Starr, and Donabee Peebles.

McCain gave a “kind, gentle” interview. He talked about productivity, R&D tax credits, and said that every American should have a hybrid plug-in hybrid in some reasonable period of time. He said that Europe can develop a nuclear power plant in 5 years, but the United States takes 10, and hasn’t build one in 25 years. He wants to get rid of the sugar cane tariff and import more biofuel from Brazil. Despite all this, he thinks that a gas tax holiday is appropriate (Obama thinks it’s a gimmick) for those in rural areas who must drive long distances in older vehicles.

McCain accuses Obama of wanting to raise taxes, and promotes the idea of increasing child or dependent income tax exemptions considerably (although Republicans have proposed that for years).

The same panel reviewed his interview.

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