Experts say either presidential candidate will have tough time stopping Wisconsin job lossesWisconsin has lost more than 97,000 factory jobs since 2000.
Wisconsin has lost more than 97,000 factory jobs since 2000.
And the presidential candidates have vastly different ideas to turn that trend around.
It won’t be easy. Madison economist David Ward says he doubts the candidates’ proposals will do very much to slow Wisconsin’s industrial job losses.
Ward, now the interim chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, says the biggest key to turning things around is to encourage more innovations in the manufacturing field.
Republican John McCain wants to make the corporate tax rate more competitive with other nations by cutting it from 35 to 25 percent.
And McCain supports free trade agreements, including a controversial one with Colombia. Democrat Barack Obama opposes that deal, saying Colombia must first deal with its human rights abuses.
Obama has campaigned heavily against sending U.S. jobs and money overseas. He wants American companies with foreign plants to have all their overseas income taxed here, even if it stays there.
And Obama wants to make the federal government buy products made by U.S. employees.
As for innovation, both McCain and Obama favor expanding the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which provides efficiency ideas.
And both favor $25 billion in loans to help automakers re-tool their plants to make fuel-efficient cars.