McCain Stopping In Wisconsin Today

This story was written by Nick Penzenstadler, Badger Herald
Republican presidential hopeful John McCain will speak in Milwaukee this morning at a closed session with CEOs and business leaders from across the state to discuss economic markets in the U.S. and international arena.

The event at Bucyrus International, a world leader in mining equipment production, comes one day after the Arizona senior senator's tax day economy address at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

In his speech, McCain offered both short and long-term solutions and called for a summer-long suspension of the federal gasoline tax and several cuts aimed at the troubled economy.

"In so many ways, we need to make a clean break from the worst excesses of both political parties," McCain told the audience at Carnegie Mellon University. "Somewhere along the way, too many Republicans in Congress became indistinguishable from the big-spending Democrats they used to oppose."

McCain urged Congress to institute a "gas-tax holiday" by suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The federal government would lose about $10 billion in revenue with the plan by some estimates. He also renewed his call for the nation to stop adding to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and thus lessening to some extent the worldwide demand for oil.

In the long term, McCain offered plans aimed at helping the middle class and eliminating wasteful spending by raising the tax exemption for each dependent child from $3,500 to $7,000, among other tax adjustments.

According to McCain spokesperson Crystal Benton, the event in Milwaukee will address many of the senator's remarks about long-term initiatives with the leaders to help grow the economy and their businesses.

"It's an interactive follow-up to his economic policy [Tuesday]," Benton told The Badger Herald. "It's a bit different than a regular speech with two roundtables where he will be addressing the challenges and opportunity of doing business in the economic market."

Included in the 12-person panels will be notable CEOs from across the state including Kendall Powell, CEO of General Mills and Jim Haney, President of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Mike Knetter, dean of the University of Wisconsin School of Business and previously an economic advisor for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, will join two other UW graduates in the small group of business leaders.

Knetter's inclusion, along with the other CEOs who started at UW, represents an acknowledgment of the university's contribution to the state's business success, according to business school spokesperson Melissa Anderson.

"The university has been a beacon of the state for job training and getting folks into quality high-paying jobs," Anderson said. "We're really driving the innovation necessary for new job creation and business creation."

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
© 2008 Badger Herald via U-WIRE