WASHINGTON - If you're like most Americans, these days it may feel like you're paying more for everything: from the food you buy at the grocery store to the gas you pump to fuel your car.
And in these tough times, the economy has taken center stage in presidential politics as the candidates pitch their proposals on how to fix some of the nation's economic woes.
Click play to hear Gordon Robertson's analysis following CBN News Correspondent John Jessup's report.
On the campaign trail, energy has become synonymous with the economy. And both John McCain and Barack Obama can't stop talking about either.
"We will develop more clean energy," McCain vowed.
Obama said the solution is to "get energy costs under control by making America energy independent."
Both agree that America's dependence on foreign oil is a threat to the economy and both are calling for technological advances in alternative energy - but the similarities end there.
McCain's energy proposal endorses offshore drilling, a gas-tax holiday, and new nuclear energy to spur the economy.
"We will build at least 45 new nuclear plants that will create over 700,000 good jobs to construct and operate them," McCain said.
Obama, on the other hand, is against off-shore drilling, calls the gas-tax holiday nothing more than a gimmick and supports renewable fuels.
"When I'm President, I'll set a goal to produce the first two billion gallons of advanced biofuels by 2013," Obama said.
The fever-pitched frenzy over energy is now highlighted in competing television ads.
"Barack Obama for conservation? But he just says no to lower gas taxes, no to nuclear, no to more production. No new solutions," said one Anti-Obama ad.
Obama released an attack ad of his own.
"McCain will give more tax breaks to big oil. He's voted with Bush 95% of the time. Barack Obama will make energy independence an urgent priority," the ad said.
Regarding tax breaks, McCain - who now supports making President Bush's tax cuts permanent - wants to double the child tax deduction for each dependent to $7,000.
Obama advocates tax cuts for the middle class and an increase for Americans earning $250,000 or more. This week, he also renewed his call for a $50-billion stimulus package to help families hit by hard times.
Expect More Pain at the Pump
And as if economic times aren't tough enough, energy officials say Americans should expect to keep paying more for gasoline.
They're predicting pump prices to stay above $4.00 a gallon and peak to $4.25 a gallon in November, giving both candidates more fuel to keep selling their economic plans.