John McCain on Jobs

Republican nominee for President; Senior Senator (AZ)


2007 candor in Michigan: Those jobs aren't coming back

In the Michigan primary on January 15, in a state with the nation's highest unemployment rate and a manufacturing base hollowed out to the point of collapse, McCain had chosen candor over pander--"Those jobs aren't coming back," he declared--and paid the price at the polls, losing to Romney by nine points.
Source: Game Change, by Heilemann & Halpern, p.310-311 , Jan 11, 2010

Cut business taxes so companies will keep jobs in US

Right now the US business pays the second highest business taxes in the world, 35%. Ireland pays 11%. If you’re a businessperson and you can locate anyplace in the world, then obviously if you go to the country where it’s 11% tax versus 35%, you’re going to be able to create jobs, increase your business, make more investment, et cetera. I want to cut that business tax. I want to cut it so that businesses will remain in the US and create jobs. I want to return, it’s a lot more than $18 billion in pork-barrel spending. I can tell you it’s rife. It’s throughout. Obama is a recent convert, after requesting $932 million worth of pork-barrel spending projects. I want people to have tax cuts. I want every family to have a $5,000 refundable tax credit so they can go out and purchase their own health care. I want to double the dividend, from $3,500 to $7,000, for every dependent child in America. I know that the worst thing we could possibly do is to raise taxes on anybody.
Source: 2008 first presidential debate, Obama vs. McCain , Sep 26, 2008

Help workers find new jobs that won’t go away

Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity. I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy and it often seems that your government hasn’t even noticed. Government assistance for the unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s. That’s going to change on my watch. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We’re going to help workers who’ve lost a job that won’t come back find a new one that won’t go away. We will prepare them for the jobs of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities. For workers in industries that have been hard hit, we’ll help make up part of the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower-paid one while they receive retraining that will help them find secure new employment at a decent wage.
Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention , Sep 4, 2008

Voted against minimum wage 19 times, when in pork bills

Q: The Democrats pointed out that you have voted 19 times against raising the minimum wage. They say the only reason you voted for it in 2007 was because it was linked to war funding.

A: Well, the point is that I have voted to keep taxes low and to cu taxes. And Senator Obama has voted to raise them consistently. Even on people as low as $42,000.

Q: But why have you been against the minimum wage?

A: I’m for the minimum wage increases when they are not attached to other big-spending pork barrel.

Q: So, you would have been for the increases in the minimum wage, even though you voted against it 19 times?

A: The fact is that I am for a living wage for all Americans. And I’d like to see them get it. But the key is to get them jobs, and get them the kind of good educational opportunity and affordable health care. So, I am committed, and my record clearly shows that I’ve done everything I can to keep their taxes low.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview: “Choosing the President” series , Aug 31, 2008

Raising taxes eliminates jobs

I believe that in a troubled economy, when folks are struggling to afford the necessities of life, higher taxes are the last thing we need. The economy isn’t hurting because workers and businesses are under-taxed. Raising taxes eliminates jobs, hurts small businesses, and delays economic recovery.
Source: McCain-Obama speeches at 99th NAACP Convention , Jul 12, 2008

Produce jobs by producing America’s own energy

We will build at least 45 nuclear plants that will create over 700,000 good jobs to construct and operate them. We will develop clean coal technology--which alone will create tens of thousands of jobs in some of America’s most hard-pressed areas. We will accelerate the development of wind and solar power and other renewable technologies. Production of hybrid, flex-fuel, and electric cars will bring jobs to auto plants, parts manufacturers, and the communities that support them.
Source: McCain-Obama speeches at 99th NAACP Convention , Jul 12, 2008

Overhaul unemployment insurance as a retraining program

John McCain will overhaul unemployment insurance and make it a program for retraining, relocating and assisting workers who have lost a job. The unemployment insurance system needs to be modernized to meet the goals of helping displaced workers make ends meet between jobs and moving people quickly on to the next opportunity. John McCain will reform the half-dozen training programs to approaches that can be used to meet the bills, pay for training, and get back to work.
Source: Campaign plan: “Bold Solutions for Economic Prosperity” , Feb 3, 2008

Straight talk: some jobs aren’t coming back

Q: [to Romney]: How can we avoid a recession?

ROMNEY: We’re going to have to do the hard work of rebuilding our economy, strengthening it. And I know that there are some people, such as Sen. McCain, who think that some jobs have left that are never coming back. I disagree. I’m going to fight for every single job, in every state in this country.

McCAIN: Sometimes you have to tell people things they don’t want to hear. There are jobs--let’s have a little straight talk--there are some jobs that aren’t coming back to Michigan. There are some jobs that won’t come back here to South Carolina. But we’re going to take care of them. That’s our goal; that’s our obligation. We need to go to the community colleges and design education and training programs so that these workers get a second chance. That’s our obligation as a nation. And by the way, I don’t believe we’re headed into a recession. I believe the fundamentals of this economy are strong, and I believe they will remain strong.

Source: 2008 GOP debate in S.C. sponsored by Fox News , Jan 10, 2008

Unions are monopolies; don’t compel people to join

Q: Are unions good for America?

A: I think the unions have played a very important role in the history of this country to improve the plight and conditions of laboring Americans. I think that like many other monopolies, in some cases they have then serious excesses. I come from a right-to-work state. If someone wants to join a union in my state, they’re free to do so, but they are not compelled to do so. I think the key to unions is that any American has the right and privilege to join a union but should never be forced to do so. And this latest ploy of the Democrats of signing people up in the most willy-nilly fashion is something that needs to be rejected, because it will not protect the rights of workers who do not wish to join a union.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan , Oct 9, 2007

Family farms: Crop insurance; reduce inheritance tax

Q: Since the family farmer is self-employed, would you cap government agriculture benefits to a modest one-family level?
A: Obviously we need crop insurance. Why is it that the government takes almost everything that a family farmer earns all his life and can’t pass it on to their children. The inheritance tax [should] kick in only at a level of about $5 million. Also, I will lower barriers to product goods and products from other countries, if they will lower their barriers to ours.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa , Jan 16, 2000

Ethanol is not worth it, even in Iowa

I’m here to tell you that I want to tell you the things that you don’t want to hear as well as the things you want to hear. And one of those is ethanol. Ethanol is not worth it. It does not help the consumer. And those ethanol subsidies should be phased out and everybody here on this stage, if it wasn’t for the fact that Iowa is the first caucus state, would share my view that we don’t need ethanol subsidies. It doesn’t help anybody.
Source: Des Moines Iowa GOP Debate , Dec 13, 1999

Ethanol bad for environment & bad for consumers

Ethanol subsidies “are an example of the influence of special interest in Washington.... I had the position I take on [ethanol] 17 years ago,” said McCain. “I’m convinced many people in Iowa believe as I do that ethanol is good for neither the environment nor the consumer.”
Source: Sustainable Energy Coalition, media backgrounder #2 , Nov 18, 1999

End sugar subsidy; it hurts consumers & helps only tycoons

The sugar program has resulted in US consumers paying three times the current world price for sugar. Defenders of the sugar program claim that it is critical to the viability of our domestic sugar industry. A close examination of this program reveals that its true benefits are only realized by big sugar tycoons. Only by political clout has this corporate welfare program survived. I believe we should end the subsidies to the sugar industry and eliminate the sugar program that is unfair to consumers.
Source: Press Release: “Halt Sugar Subsidies” , Aug 4, 1999

Ethanol subsidy is outdated; use funds for education

McCain proposed a school voucher program to offer education opportunities for disadvantaged children. He suggested paying for it by eliminating $5.4 billion worth of subsidies for ethanol, sugar, gas and oil. “We shouldn’t have special interest giveaways at the expense of our neediest children,” McCain said, adding that the ethanol program was “simply an outdated subsidy for corn producers.”
Source: Mike Glover, Associated Press , Jul 29, 1999

Voted YES on extending unemployment benefits from 39 weeks to 59 weeks.

Congressional Summary:Revises the formula for Tier-1 amounts a state credits to an applicant's emergency unemployment compensation account. Increases the figures in the formula from 50% to 80% of the total amount of regular compensation ; and from 13 to 20 times the individual's average weekly benefit amount.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:

Rep. CHARLES RANGEL (D, NY-15): The House, for weeks, has attempted to save the free world from a fiscal disaster. We have bailed out the banks and those who held mortgages. At the same time, we provided for energy extensions, we provided tax breaks for those people that tax provisions have expired. We provided for hurricane relief, for mental health. So over $1 trillion is out there for this House to ease the pain of millions of Americans.

While we were dealing with these gigantic powers, we overlooked the fact that over the last 12 months the number of unemployed workers has jumped by over 2 million, leaving 10 million Americans struggling for work. These are hardworking people that have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Rep. JERRY WELLER (R, IL-11): This important legislation provides additional needed assistance to the long-term unemployed. It's important that we pass this legislation today as our last act before we leave for the election campaign.

This legislation focuses the most additional benefits on workers and States where the unemployment rate is highest and where jobs are hardest to find. This program continues the requirement that those benefiting from extended unemployment benefits had to have worked at least 20 weeks. Americans were rightly concerned about proposals to eliminate that work requirement and allow 39 weeks or, under the legislation before us today, as many as 59 weeks of total unemployment benefits to be paid to those who have previously only worked for a few weeks.

Opponent's argument to vote No:None voiced.

Reference: Unemployment Compensation Extension Act; Bill HR.6867 ; vote number 2008-S214 on Nov 20, 2008

Voted NO on restricting employer interference in union organizing.

    To enable employees to form & join labor organizations, and to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts. Requires investigation that an employer:
    1. discharged or discriminated against an employee to discourage membership in a labor organization;
    2. threatened to discharge employees in the exercise of guaranteed collective bargaining rights; and
    3. adds to remedies for such violations: back pay plus liquidated damages; and additional civil penalties.

    Proponents support voting YES because:

    The principle at stake here is the freedom that all workers should have to organize for better working conditions & fair wages. There are many employers around the country who honor this freedom. Unfortunately, there are also many employers who do not. These employers attempt to prevent workers from unionizing by using tactics that amount to harassment, if not outright firing. In fact, one in five people who try to organize unions are fired. These tactics are already illegal, but the penalties are so minor, they are not effective deterrents.

    Opponents support voting NO because:

    Democracy itself is placed at risk by this bill. The sanctity of the secret ballot is the backbone of our democratic process. Not one voter signed a card to send us here to Congress. None of us sent our campaign workers out to voters' houses armed with candidate information & a stack of authorization cards. No. We trusted democracy. We trusted the voters to cast their ballots like adults, freely, openly, without intimidation, and we live with the results. But here we are, poised to advance legislation to kill a secret ballot process.

    Let's be clear. Every American has the right to organize. No one is debating that. This is a right we believe in so strongly we have codified it and made it possible for workers to do so through a secret ballot.
    Status: Cloture rejected Cloture vote rejected, 51-48 (3/5ths required)

    Reference: Employee Free Choice Act; Bill H R 800 ; vote number 2007-227 on Jun 26, 2007

    Voted YES on increasing minimum wage to $7.25.

    Increase the federal minimum wage to:
    1. $5.85 an hour, beginning on the 60th day after enactment;
    2. $6.55 an hour, beginning 12 months after that 60th day; and
    3. $7.25 an hour, beginning 24 months after that 60th day.

    Proponents support voting YES because:

    We have waited for over 10 years to have a clean vote on the minimum wage for the poorest workers in this country Low-wage workers had their wages frozen in time, from 10 years ago, but when they go to the supermarket, the food prices are higher; when they put gasoline in the car, the gasoline prices are higher; when they pay the utility bills, the utility bills are higher; when their kids get sick, the medical bills are higher. All of those things are higher. They are living in 2007, but in their wages they are living in 1997.

    Opponents support voting NO because:

    This bill is marked more by what is not in the bill than what is in it. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They create two-thirds of our Nation's new jobs, and they represent 98% of the new businesses in the US. What protection does this bill provide them? None whatsoever.

    We can do better. In the interest of sending the President a final measure that provides consideration for small businesses and their workers, the very men and women who are responsible for our economy's recent growth and strength, we must do better.

    Reference: Fair Minimum Wage Act; Bill H.R.2 ; vote number 2007-042 on Feb 1, 2007

    Voted NO on raising the minimum wage to $7.25 rather than $6.25.

    Vote to increase the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour, over a two-year time period, in three incremental stages. Without the amendment, the minimum wage would increase to $6.25 per hour.
    Reference: Amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938; Bill S AMDT 44 to S 256 ; vote number 2005-26 on Mar 7, 2005

    Voted YES on repealing Clinton's ergonomic rules on repetitive stress.

    Vote to pass a resolution to give no enforcement authority to ergonomics rules submitted by the Labor Department during the Clinton Administration. These rules would force businesses to take steps to prevent work-related repetitive stress disorders
    Reference: Bill S J Res 6 ; vote number 2001-15 on Mar 6, 2001

    Voted YES on allowing workers to choose between overtime & comp-time.

    This bill would have allowed workers to choose between overtime and compensatory time.
    Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)53; N)47
    Reference: Motion to invoke cloture on a Committee amdt to S. 4; Bill S. 4 ; vote number 1997-68 on May 15, 1997

    Voted YES on replacing farm price supports.

    Replaces farm price supports with seven years of annual fixed payments.
    Status: Bill Passed Y)64; N)32; NV)4
    Reference: Agriculture Market Transition Act of 1996; Bill S. 1541 ; vote number 1996-19 on Feb 7, 1996

    Rated 15% by the AFL-CIO, indicating an anti-union voting record.

    McCain scores 15% by the AFL-CIO on union issues

    As the federation of America’s unions, the AFL-CIO includes more than 13 million of America’s workers in 60 member unions working in virtually every part of the economy. The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our nation. To accomplish this mission we will build and change the American labor movement.

    The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

    Source: AFL-CIO website 03n-AFLCIO on Dec 31, 2003

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