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Biden, Ryan offer competing visions for economy in vice presidential debate

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Last week’s debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan was mostly a repeat of their respective campaigns’ competing visions for rebuilding the economy and helping businesses create jobs.

Ryan reiterated Mitt Romney’s five-point plan that calls for creating 4 million new jobs by making North America energy independent and championing small businesses.

“Don’t raise taxes on small businesses because they’re our job creators,” Ryan said.

He later said President Obama “thinks that the government ought to be able to take as much as 44.8 percent of a small business’s income,” but that he and Romney would limit the small business tax rate to 28 percent.

Obama has called for letting an income tax cut on the wealthy (which would hit some small business owners) expire while reducing corporate tax rates from 35 to 28 percent, and to 25 percent for manufacturers.

When pressed by moderator Martha Raddatz to identify which loopholes and deductions would be closed to pay for the 20 percent across-the-board proposed tax cut, Ryan did not provide specifics.

Biden, in his response to Raddatz’s question about how long it would take to bring the unemployment rate — which is at 7.8 percent — below 6 percent, said he didn’t know but that the Obama administration “can and will get it under 6 percent.”

Biden added that private-sector jobs are growing, referring to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows 5.4 million new private sector jobs during the last 31 months.

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