Trouble in the subprime mortgage market has led to a wave of home foreclosures and a broader economic slowdown, heightening voter anxiety before the November election.
Following are some of the key economic positions of Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, and Sen. Barack Obama, who claimed the Democratic nomination for November's U.S. presidential election.
REPUBLICAN ARIZONA SEN. JOHN MCCAIN
* Proposed to spend up to $10 billion to allow some homeowners to trade high-interest, adjustable-rate mortgages for safer, fixed-rate loans.
* Proposed a suspension of the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax during the summer.
* Supports a middle-class tax cut to help those who are trying to raise a family by doubling the personal tax exemption for dependents to $7,000.
* Called for a simpler tax system with two tax rates and a generous standard deduction.
* Supports making permanent the 2001 and 2003 income tax cuts and has proposed cutting the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent and allowing businesses to immediately write off capital expenses.
* Believes government assistance to banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk that would endanger the entire financial system and economy.
DEMOCRATIC ILLINOIS SEN. BARACK OBAMA
* Called for greater government regulation of the U.S. financial system and proposed a new $30 billion economic stimulus plan to help homeowners.
* The $30 billion plan includes a $10 billion foreclosure prevention fund to help people keep their homes. It also includes $10 billion in relief for state and local governments hit hardest by housing crisis.
* Outlined six "core principles for reform" that would give the Federal Reserve supervisory authority over any financial institution to which it might make credit available and calls for reform and streamlining of financial regulatory agencies.
* Wants to repeal a provision in bankruptcy law so ordinary families can modify terms of home mortgages.
* Proposed a 10 percent mortgage tax credit for middle-class Americans.
(Reporting by Deborah Charles in Washington: Editing by David Wiessler)