Perdue vs. Ossoff on the economy: Where they stand

Economy was one of the top issues on voters' minds on Nov. 3.

Georgia voters are choosing Tuesday whether to send Republican Sen. David Perdue back to Congress or replace him with his Democrat challenger Jon Ossoff.

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When they do, the economy is likely to be one of the top issues on their minds.

According to the Fox News voter analysis, the economy was the second-most important issue to Americans in the Nov. 3 election, behind only the coronavirus pandemic. The issue was a major emphasis for Republicans before the pandemic as unemployment numbers reached their lowest in years and has become even more salient as the Americans hope the U.S.' recovery from the doldrums of the pandemic earlier this spring and summer can continue.

The candidates take very different approaches to the issue. Perdue vows to try to protect the 2017 tax cuts and preserve some of the deregulation created by President Trump, warning that if President-elect Joe Biden and Democrats have their way, Americans are set to take a major financial hit. Ossoff, on the other hand, emphasizes that the pandemic has laid "bare structural inequity and corruption in U.S. economic policy" and aims to level the playing field.

Here's where Ossoff and Perdue stand on the economy.

Vice President Mike Pence, center, Senator Kelly Loeffler, left, and Sen. David Perdue, right, wave at individuals at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Ga., Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Pence arrived on Friday to support Loeffler and Perdue, who are bo (Associated Press)

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Ossoff

The Democrat promises "lower taxes for all but the wealthiest Americans" and has repeated the line that he believes the Senate can cut taxes for "working families and small businesses if Democrats take the Senate." He's accused Perdue and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., of rigging "our tax laws to pay back their political donors," likely a reference to the 2017 tax cuts that Biden has said he would repeal.

Ossoff also advocates for "debt-free public college," one of many variations of higher-education proposals supported by Democrats that range from free community college to full cancelation of all student debt and no tuition at public colleges no matter a person's income. Ossoff says he would also make vocational training free for those who might not be interested in college.

Ossoff also supports reinstating Glass-Stegall, a banking law that was instituted in the 1930s and partially repealed in the '90s. It forced banks to separate their commercial and investment banking functions. Many Democrats, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, have advocated bringing back Glass-Steagall.

Georgia Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Jon Ossoff rallies supporters for a run-off against Republican candidate Sen. David Perdue, as they meet in Grant Park, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

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Ossoff also backs "simpler and more efficient" taxes and regulations, reduced "dependence on Chinese supply chains," and says he would vote for "fast and generous direct emergency relief during economic crises."

The candidate has also slammed the president's "botched" response to the pandemic-related economic crisis and framed Republicans' response as backing "trickle-down" economics.

"The government’s financial safety net for Wall Street is vast and instantaneous, while help for ordinary people and smaller firms has been meager and slow," Ossoff said on his website. "Rather than relying on subsidies for Wall Street as economic stimulus and hoping the benefits trickle down, I’ll support policies that help Georgia’s families make and save more money."

Perdue

While Ossoff calls for bringing back one banking regulation in Glass-Steagall, Perdue touts his support for the partial repeal of another one: The Dodd-Frank law that was passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Perdue says on his website that its "regulations ... had crippled community and regional banks."

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Sen. David Perdue speaks during a campaign rally on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Cumming, Ga. Perdue and Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff are in a runoff election for the Senate seat in Georgia. (AP Photo/Brynn Anders

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The campaign for Perdue, a former business executive, says Ossoff -- who is the CEO of his own company, Insight TWI, which produces documentaries -- is comparatively inexperienced in the private sector.

"As an outsider from the business world, Senator Perdue has used his experience running some of America's largest companies to help spur the greatest economic turnaround in our nation's history," Perdue spokesman John Burke said in a statement. "He's proud of his record of rolling back burdensome regulations, cutting taxes, and building a better climate for small businesses. Unlike Jon Ossoff, Senator Perdue has first-hand experience creating thousands of jobs and has gotten results for the people of Georgia."

The senator himself also touts the pre-pandemic economic numbers, which were a major talking point for Trump and nearly all other Republicans running for office this year.

"Six years ago, our economy was a mess. I thought my background turning around Reebok and Dollar General might help," Perdue says in an ad. "We built the greatest economic turnaround in U.S. history, record jobs. Then came COVID. We'll beat this virus, get our lives back to normal, and come back even stronger. America always does."

In a tweet, Perdue, however, says that if Democrats are given full control of the U.S. government, then they will stunt the economic recovery the country has so far seen from the coronavirus pandemic.

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"The America I know and believe in will beat this virus, reignite our economy, and create even more American jobs," he said. "The Democrats’ radical socialist agenda can’t do that."

Specifically regarding the coronavirus recovery, Perdue touts his support for the Paycheck Protection Program, which is popular on both sides of the aisle.

"Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve secured billions in relief for Georgia small businesses and workers through the Paycheck Protection Program, saving more than 1.5 million jobs," Perdue says on his website.