Global Investing

Wait on stimulus package, says former White House budget chief

The economy is a key issue in the presidential election, but Congress should hold off on a second economic stimulus package for now, a top supporter of Senator John McCain said Thursday.

“In states like Ohio, I think that jobs and the economy is the first issue and will be right through the election,” said Rob Portman, formerly a Republican congressman from Ohio, White House Budget Director and U.S. Trade Representative.

“One of the concerns I’ve had is that we continue to deepen our deficit for this year and therefore our debt over time by having another stimulus package before we even have the final checks going out under this stimulus package and see what some of the economic feedback is. I think it’s better to take our time, do the right thing and be sure we are addressing the key problems that we might see pop up this fall,” Portman said in an interview with Reuters.

Gingrich says economy issue to pick up steam

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says economic issues will play an increasing role in the campaign for president between John McCain and Barack Obama.

“I think that Senator Obama is going to argue for bigger government, higher taxes and more regulation. I suspect that Senator McCain is going to argue for lower taxes, less regulation,” Gingrich said in an interview with Reuters.

“Senator Obama will argue that government bureaucracies can accomplish a lot of good things for the economy. Senator McCain will argue that entrepreneurs and small business are the key to the economy. And the country is going to have to choose which of those two solutions it thinks will work,” Gingrich said.

Commerce Secretary Gutierrez at the RNC

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez tells Corbett B. Daly, Washington Bureau Chief of Thomson Reuters Markets, that the U.S. economy is “going through a difficult time, there is no question.”