Would You Pick a Presidential Candidate Solely for Your Bank Account?

by AJ Pettersen · 11 comments

It’s that time again. The 2012 Presidential election is fast approaching and who America chooses will affect your personal finances. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney differ on a number of different issues that will affect your financial future, so your finances may be vastly different a few years from now depending on who gets elected. Will you vote based on which candidate will give your finances the biggest direct boost, even if you don’t feel that their economic policies are good for the country long term?

Yes, I’m Talking About Taxes

Taxes are a hot topic for the election this year. The debate is fierce on the United States’ need to increase income taxes, decrease spending or use a combination of both to reduce our national debt. Obama sides more with increasing taxes on higher income individuals coupled with more spending to spur growth, while Romney wants to decrease taxes and spending to accomplish the same goals.

Romney promises to cut marginal tax rates by 20% across the board if he is elected. He also plans to eliminate dividends and capital gains taxes for most American taxpayers. Obviously, the wealthier part of the population will benefit the most, but everyone will directly benefit if tax cuts are made. Some say this plan sounds too good to be true and given its vagueness, it may be. Only time will tell, assuming he is even given the chance to carry out his promises.

Obama, on the other hand, has a very different tax plan. Those making over $200,000 as an individual and joint filers making more than $250,000 will see their marginal income tax rate raised from 35% to 39.4%. In other words, he would like to expire the Bush tax cuts for these high income households. Under his vision, capital gains and dividend tax rates will also go back to pre Bush-era rates, but with the additional health care reform investment tax added on top. Essentially he wants to raise the burden on those earning the most. He promised that the middle class will not see any tax increases, but many analyses show this to be highly improbable.

Jobs Matter These Days

Unemployment has become an issue in the United States. Currently standing at 8.3%, the next President will need to make efforts to create more jobs for the American people. If you or someone you know is part of the 8.3% frantically trying to find a job, this has a significant impact on you.

Romney promises to add 12 million jobs in his first term as president. He says this will be accomplished by helping small businesses with lower taxes, improved schools and making the nation more energy independent.

Obama is highlighting his track record to show he is capable of creating jobs and lowering unemployment. His administration reports that 4.5 million jobs were created in the past 29 months. His main plan is to increase the importance of exporting over importing, doubling exports by 2015.

How are You Affected?

These are just two of many economic topics that could affect you when you head to the polls in November. Other issues, such as social security and medicare, may be affected as well. Though both candidates have yet to make specific claims on how they plan to tackle the major entitlement programs, the clock is ticking on the need for serious reform. What happens to the new health care plan is also important. Romney indicated that he would repel the health care act as soon as he steps into the Oval Office, while there would obviously be no changes under Obama.

David’s Note: The stakes are high to pick the right candidate on both the national and personal level. Which candidate would seem to benefit your own finances more? Which candidate do you believe is better for the country? If the answer to both questions are different, which would you choose?

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  • Chris says:

    My vote is based on the candidate’s overall platform and vision for the country. My personal finances only factor in to the extent that I am included in a socioeconomic class that is affected by a campaign issue.

  • Jim says:

    We could start by not giving billions of dollars every year to illegal aliens, getting 1/3 of America off of welfare, and stop giving billions of dollars every year to countries that hate us.

  • Bev says:

    I am also looking at the character of the person and his values to determine if they match up with mine. It can’t be just about money.

  • Donna says:

    As past chamber of commerce executive director who is now retired and an ex- small business owner I guess it depends on what you call a small business. Those businesses with less than 50 employees, which is where most small business average, will gain or not be affected by the new laws since S-corps, partnerships, LLC, etc are not usually more than 49 people. The large business end or large small businesses of 50 + who have been getting a huge benefit in tax breaks, will see their profits go down but not the flood that is being predicted. Most small business owners DO NOT make $200,000 a year. Just because you own a small business does not mean you are rich. Profit goes to run the business. And some small business owners cannot take a salary until the business is able to profit enough to run itself and have a salary given to them.

  • Krystyna says:

    Obama is working hard to destroy small business — and that’s how I earn my living. He has created a nation of entitlement. Romney is a good business man and I believe he will turn the nation around.

  • Donald says:

    Both the candidates’ offers are music to my ears. Looking into each of their backgrounds, they both are known to be hard workers as well as men with determination. Right now, I am just pleased that we have two highly capable individuals to choose from.

  • bryan says:

    I like Romney and the fiscal responsibly that he projects. My only fear is that he becomes like Bush and lowers taxes too much while running up the deficit, as lowering taxes just so they can be repaid by the next generation is just dumb. Obama did his job though which was to get us back on track, but penalizing people who cant afford health care with fines is crazy. What happened to universal healthcare?

  • Lance@MoneyLife&More says:

    I don’t really get into politics in public but I probably would vote for the candidate who will benefit me most financially as long as I don’t have another disagreement with some other major part of their platform.

  • Patty says:

    I think the real rub is that neither candidate can do what they are proposing. There is congress that has to work with the president (whomever) and there is so much rancor that there will be no positive outcome for anyone.

    While we worry about Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain we have serious issues just as bad here. That no one wants to discuss it, or work together means that everyone, every country is going to crash down.

    I am the middle class. No children, small house, we both have jobs, but we are just hanging in there. No vacations, no spending sprees, trying to think about multiple income streams, and just working harder and harder to stay in place. I wonder how many people will vote. Can you imagine another tight race like Bush and Gore? I am not looking forward to this election but rather gripping my chair for the wild ride that this election will be. No one wins this time around.

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