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8 Days & Counting: Candidates & Economy

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We’re in the homestretch. One week and one day, we go to the polls to decide whether President Obama can cancel the moving trucks or if Governor Romney begins splitting wood for a winter in Massachussetts.

Of course, Hurricane Sandy is complicating things something fierce for both candidates and with the northeast coming to a complete halt, it appears the entire political engine has halted, as well.

Both candidates are still campaigning, though those efforts have been significantly reined it. And really – let’s be honest – New York City is the hub of all things financial.

With the candidates pushing forward with economic concerns, this could be especially challenging. If nothing else, you have to admit this certainly is a very rare dynamic we’re witnessing. How often do so many huge things come together in this way?

A crucial presidential election, a massive tropical system, the shut down of Wall Street, the subways in New York are like ghost towns and, of course, massive losses in electricity mean expensive last minute ads won’t be landing in as many living rooms and early voting has all but been cut in the northeast.

There’s a chance, too, that many voting sites won’t be able to accommodate voters next Tuesday since long term power outages are entirely likely.

So, while the storm has certainly tossed a wrench into the mix, you can be sure no one is resting on his political laurels. Here’s what we can expect this week from the two candidates:

Mitt Romney will be turning his attention to fixing the economy. It’s expected he’ll return to his “Day One, Job One” plan.

He says Americans need “big picture” changes right away, and those include balancing the national budget, trashing Obama Care in its entirety and undoing the spending cuts for the military that Obama has been putting into place. But there’s something else Romney is looking forward to: repealing Dodd Frank.

If this law is overturned, it will essentially – unless Romney bypasses it – eliminate the incredibly successful Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has made more progress in its two year lifespan than many politicians do their entire careers.

It would eliminate the one watchdog agency that not only welcomes, but encourages consumers to come forward with their complaints and concerns. It’s already secured massive fines from three of the biggest credit card companies in the world, including American Express, Discover and Capital One.

It would also remove the handcuffs off of big financial entities, basically leaving them free to begin playing by their own rules once again.

If voters went to the poll today, what’s the one thing that would prevent a Romney White House? It would be these comments he made when asked about FEMA and federal disaster funds and whether they should be discontinued:

Absolutely. Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction.

The interviewer then asked, “Including disaster relief, though?” to which Romney replied,

We cannot – we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids.

For President Obama’s part, he too has canceled a few of his campaign stops, though he will be campaigning heavily ahead of the storm. He continues to tout the economic common sense in his health care plan and in his weekly address, he reiterated the importance of the independent consumer watchdog group, CFPB.

Indeed, he did fight to put it into place – and it was certainly one of his shining achievements. Not only that, his efforts to put those reforms in place that would keep big banks from crossing the line were quite successful, too. This, despite heavy pressure from folks like Jamie Dimon, resulted in a more level playing field for consumers.

For small business owners, they’ve enjoyed tax cuts and made it easier to some degree for these business owners to get access to funding. He will also tout his efforts of eliminating “red tape” for these business owners.

If voters went to the poll today, what’s the one thing that would prevent an Obama White House? Without a doubt, the crisis in Libya and the emails that have since surfaced suggesting the Obama Administration did nothing to help the four Americans who lost their lives.

Finally, to add yet one more dynamic to this crazy and historical time, new employment numbers will be released on Friday. This will tell the tale in terms of how September shaped up. This could also affect the elections that come just four days later.

So what are your thoughts? Have any predictions on what next week will bring? Think unemployment has improved or was last month’s numbers a fluke? And what kind of impact do you think Hurricane Sandy will ultimately have? Share your thoughts with us and other readers.

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