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Obama and McCain side by side

Nah, the two major presidential candidates haven't suddenly become BFFs. The nastiness on the campaign trail continues.

But there is a new feature at CQ Politics that is much more civil and informative than robocalls and carefully edited sound bites.

The publication has posted Notes, Votes and Quotes, a look at what Obama and McCain have said and done on key issues.

You can check out the Democrat and Republican candidates' economic stances, as well as their policies and votes on employment and labor and several other issues.

Here's a sample from the economic comparison:

Democrat donkey icon_small Obama's economic plan calls for reducing taxes for middle and lower-income taxpayers and raising taxes on higher-income taxpayers. Obama has proposed a "Making Work Pay Credit" to provide workers with a rebate of some of their payroll tax dollars. His other proposals include a 10 percent tax credit to help homeowners offset mortgage interest payments and eliminating capital gains taxes on investments in small businesses and start-up companies.

Republican elephant icon_small McCain supports a variety of tax cuts to boost the economy, including a permanent repeal of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, reducing capital gains taxes and increasing the exemption for dependents.

The editors at CQ Politics promise they will be adding to the side-by-side before the Nov. 4 election day.

Even more comparison options: As I mentioned previously, you also should look directly at the candidates' tax plans -- Obama's here, McCain's here.

You also can use the Tax Foundation's online comparison tool to see how specific provisions of all the presidential candidates stack up against each other.

The Tax Foundation includes data on the tax proposals of not only McCain and Obama, but also Bob Barr (Libertarian Party), Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party), Cynthia McKinney (Green Party) and Ralph Nader (independent).


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