Obama vs. Mitt: The Debate Fallout and the Economy

Allison Kade
Posted

The biggest news this week has been around the first presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney Wednesday night, much of which centered on the economy, taxes and deficit reduction.

Both appealed to the middle class in their debate answers, with fewer ad hominem attacks than some commentators expected–focusing instead on the nitty gritty of policy detail.

Romney has been widely lauded for his debate performance, while Obama has been criticized for lacking his characteristic fire.

Romney tried to paint a picture of Obama as a proponent of big government, and himself as a champion of state empowerment and small business. Romney’s focus on small business and the middle class comes after the Obama campaign has cast him as a business bigwig with little regard for the struggling middle class.

Obama, meanwhile, tried to draw attention to the lack of specifics in some of Romney’s proposals, particularly his tax and deficit plan.

The two particularly clashed over tax policy, with Obama proposing to reduce the budget deficit with a mixture of spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy (to that, Romney replied that those taxes would also hurt small businesses).

By contrast, Romney proposed reducing the deficit solely through cuts to governmental programs (to that, Obama replied that cutting programs would result in hardship for many people, which, too, would stifle economic growth).

In addition to discussing taxes and the deficit, the two candidates also discussed a host of topics including healthcare, Medicare and student loans.

This week in the Market, we take a closer look at a bold initiative in one downtrodden city: Free college for all—as well as a growing trend that could change the way you pay for just about everything.

College for Free: The Key to Strengthening the Economy?

In light of the presidential focus on the student loan burden: The Kalamazoo Promise offers free college to high school graduates of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Will it return the economic payoff hoped for?

How Your Phone Will Become Your Wallet and Credit Card

Will the coming payment revolution make cash and paper receipts obsolete? And what does it mean that retailers will know more about our behavior than ever before?