John McCain and Barack Obama have fundamental differences on how to do that. McCain emphasizes the role that low tax rates play in economic growth, while Obama thinks government investments in targeted areas, such as alternative energy and the creation of new businesses, are important.
Both, however, will be constrained by fiscal realities — the ballooning federal deficit and the still-uncertain cost of the nation's financial crisis. They may have to drop or defer large chunks of their agenda. For businesses, one thing seems clear: Companies will face more government regulation. Both candidates are "likely to be big regulators," said Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
This report looks at how the outcome of the election could affect small businesses in four key areas: taxes, health care, energy and the rules governing union organizing.