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Old October 2nd, 2008, 01:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2008
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Road Blog: Barack in Grand Rapids, MI

The economy is in trouble. Folks in Michigan know it, they don't need to hear about job loss or rising gas prices. That's not why 15,900 folks crowded into Calder Plaza this cold fall morning (crowd count per Patrick Dean, Special Events Coordinator for the Grand Raids Police Department).
They came to hear solutions, they came to hear answers. They came to hear Barack Obama offer guidance and leadership in these unstable times. Barack explained the ramifications of the latest bailout bill and how the government can be a partner in job creation and prosperity under an Obama administration.
It is a message that is gaining traction here in Western Michigan. Take the Mapes for example:
Tony and Brenda Mapes are recent homeowners. Besides working full time at Grand Rapids Ink, Tony is currently taking classes at Montcalm Community College. Brenda is also studying to become a registered nurse. They are relying on financial aid to help achieve their dreams. But with four daughters, they find themselves stretched thin, especially in the face of rising costs.
How would Tony and Brenda fare under an Obama tax plan?
Under the Obama plan, Tony and Brenda would get:
• $500 Making Work Pay tax cut
• $4,000 refundable tax credit for when their kids go to college
• Lower healthcare costs by $2,500
• Matching $500 tax credit for the first $1,000 of retirement savings
They would also receive generous tax incentives to help make it easier for Tony to start up his small business:
• Zero capital gains on the investment in their business
• A 50% tax credit for health care that they provide to their employees
• Extension of the renewable energy production tax credit
This is why nearly 16,000 people came this morning, and this is what they heard:
Arun Chaudhary
October 2nd, 2008
Grand Rapids, Michigan

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