WASHINGTON -- Accusing Barack Obama of wanting to institute the biggest tax increase since World War II, John McCain told the National Small Business Summit that his Democratic rival's tax plans would have dire consequences for both business owners and consumers. "Under Senator Obama's tax plan, Americans of every background would see their taxes rise - seniors, parents, small business owners, and just about everyone who has even a modest investment in the market," McCain said. "You work hard in small businesses to grow and to create new jobs and opportunities for others - and the federal government shouldn't make your work any harder."
Yesterday, Obama spent the majority of his speech criticizing McCain's economic plan and trying to link him to President Bush. "He calls himself a fiscal conservative and on the campaign trail he's passionate critic of government spending, and yet he has no problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for big corporations and a permanent occupation of Iraq," Obama said. "Policies that have left our children with a mountain of debt."
McCain countered that Obama's opposition to free trade was hurting businesses who wanted to expand into the international marketplace. "Unfortunately, Senator Obama has a habit of talking down the value of our exports and trade agreements," he said. "He even proposed a unilateral re-negotiation of NAFTA -- our agreement with Canada and Mexico that accounts for 33 percent of American exports."
He also repeated his call for joint town hall meetings with Obama and stressed his vision for these events doesn't involve overhyped media productions, as many of the debates during the primaries turned out to be.
"No need to turn it into a big media-run production with process questions from reporters, a spin room, and all the rest of it," said McCain.
McCain then joked that he had one idea "to keep things friendly."
"I also suggested that my opponent and I travel to these town hall meetings together in the same plane. I promised not to try to fly it," quipped McCain.