DNC - McCain Watch: Campaign Flags as Income Inequality Rises

Washington, DC -- Yesterday the McCain campaign hit a rough patch as they tried to escape the fallout over McCain's continued gaffes on foreign policy and ongoing coverage of his promise of four more years of failed Bush-McCain policies on Iraq, energy and the economy.

In Ohio today, McCain won't be getting any reprieve from the consequences of his same-as-Bush positions on key issues - especially on the economy. Ohio has lost over 160,000 jobs under Bush, and incomes have decreased by over $3,000. McCain will have to work particularly hard to justify his strong support for free trade. NAFTA alone has cost Ohio almost 50,000 jobs.

Yesterday also brought new numbers on income inequality, confirming what the American people already know - Bush-McCain economic policies help the wealthy and big corporations, not working Americans. The richest 1 percent of Americans now accounts for more than a fifth of total American income - a height of disparity that hasn't been seen in 80 years.

As the McCain campaign struggles to right itself after a particularly rough week, they'll be weighted down by the legacy of failed Bush-McCain economic policies - in Ohio and elsewhere.


…But McCain Claimed Americans Were "Better Off Because We Have Had A Pretty Good Prosperous Time."
In the January 2008 Republican debate, McCain commented, "I think you could argue that Americans overall are better off, because we have had a pretty good prosperous time, with low unemployment and low inflation and a lot of good things have happened. A lot of jobs have been created." [CNN GOP Debate, 1/30/08, video ]   

McCain Said A Lot of Americans' Economic Problems Are "Psychological."
When discussing the gas tax holiday, McCain said, "I think, psychologically - and a lot of our problems today, as you know, are psychological - confidence, trust, uncertainty about our economic future, ability to keep our own home."  McCain said that his gas holiday will give people a psychological boost and that solving the mortgage crisis would be a major psychological step forward.  [FOX News, "Your World With Neil Cavuto," 4/16/08, video ]

NAFTA:  "Great Thing for America." 
At a business roundtable in California, McCain was asked about NAFTA and said "I believe that NAFTA has been a great thing for America."  [CNN Live Feed (Santa Ana, CA), 3/25/08]

  • NAFTA Creates Jobs.  "So I believe when you look at the overall benefits, as far as jobs are concerned, as far as quality of jobs are concerned, as far as a broad range of measurements, I believe that NAFTA has been a benefit in creating jobs throughout our country."  [CNN Live Feed (Santa Ana, CA), 3/25/08]

McCain's "Economic Plans Really Are An Extension of the Bush Administration Policies." "McCain doesn't like to hear it, but his economic plans really are an extension of Bush administration policies…When all the economic mumbo-jumbo is removed, that fact remains." [Boston Globe, Editorial, 7/9/08, boston.com ]


Income Down $3,255. Median household income in Ohio has decreased from $49,031 in 2000 to $45,776 in 2006, a decrease of $3,255 per household. [Joint Economic Committee Fact Sheet, 8/29/07, (Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce), jec.senate.gov ]

Unemployment Up 65%. Unemployment is up in Ohio. It was 4.0% in January of 2001, and preliminary figures for June 2008 are 6.6%. The number of unemployed workers has gone up from 230,242 to 393,306, an increase of 163,064 workers. [Local Area Unemployment Statistics, (Seasonally Adjusted), Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed 7/21/08, bls.gov ]

Ohio Has Over 1.2 Million People Uninsured.
1,213,049 people in Ohio have no health insurance. That's 11 percent of Ohioans living without any insurance.  [statehealthfacts.org, accessed 7/13/08, available here: http://www.statehealthfacts.org/profileind.jsp?ind=125&cat=3&rgn=37 ]

Ohio Is Being Hit By the Mortgage Crisis. Ohio families are facing foreclosure at troubling rates. In June, Ohio had the THIRD highest foreclosure total in the nation and the SIXTH highest foreclosure rate:

  • 13,194 homes in Ohio received a foreclosure filing.  [Realty Trac Press Release, 7/10/08]
  • 1 in every 382 Ohio households received a foreclosure filing.  [Realty Trac Press Release, 7/10/08]
  • Overall, Ohio is 9th in the nation in foreclosure filings.  [Realty Trac Press Release, 6/13/08]

NAFTA Caused Net Job Loss of Nearly 50,000 in Ohio
. A 2006 Economic Policy Institute study found that NAFTA had displaced just over 1 million jobs in this country, and net job loss of nearly 50,000 in Ohio.   [Scott, Salas & Campbell, Revisiting NAFTA, 9/28/2006; http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/bp173 ]