McCain says if you care about the economy, don’t vote for him

by twit

via the Washington Post blog The Trail by way of Ken Layne, back in January 2008, McCain made it clear that if voters are concerned about the economy, he can understand why they won’t vote for him:

When asked how he would respond to the fact that voters are now increasingly focused on the nation’s economy, McCain said he had no interest in changing his own policy priorities.

“Even if the economy is the, quote, number one issue, the real issue will remain America’s security,” he said. “If it’s not the most important issue in the minds of many voters, America’s security will remain the number one issue with me.  And if they choose to say, ‘Look, I do not need this guy because he’s not as good on home loan mortgages,’ or whatever it is, I understand that. I will accept that verdict. I am running because of the transcendent challenge of the twenty-first century, which is radical Islamic extremism, as you know.”

From the Associated Press on September 16, 2008, McCain makes it clear that he will say anything he believes that voters want to hear, even if he is directly contradicting himself:

McCain declared Monday that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong,” a phrase he has used before. After Democrats pounced, he backtracked and declared the economy to be in a crisis and said “fundamentals are threatened.”

From the Washington Post on September 16, 2008, McCain’s campaign admits that they have NO PLAN AT ALL for responding to the current economic crisis, and they don’t see a need for developing one:

McCain offered his own TV ad promising to “reform Wall Street” and pass “new rules for fairness and honesty,” adding: “I won’t tolerate a system that puts you and your family at risk. Your savings, your jobs . . . I’ll keep them safe,” the ad says.

He did not describe how he would bring greater transparency to the process. His senior policy adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, told reporters earlier in the day that there was no need for McCain to be specific right now.

“There’s no magic solutions, and I don’t think it’s imperative at this moment to write down what the plan should be,” he said. “The real issue here is a leadership issue.”

It is true, it is a leadership issue.  And John McCain is offering no leadership at all.

via TPM, this video rounds up clips from John McCain’s recent appearances on various news shows:

In the interest of fairness, it seems important to note that Barack Obama has a detailed plan to address the economy that includes the following:

First, if you can borrow from the government, you should be subject to government oversight and supervision. Secretary Paulson admitted this in his remarks yesterday. The Federal Reserve should have basic supervisory authority over any institution to which it may make credit available as a lender of last resort. When the Fed steps in, it is providing lenders an insurance policy underwritten by the American taxpayer. In return, taxpayers have every right to expect that these institutions are not taking excessive risks. The nature of regulation should depend on the degree and extent of the Fed’s exposure. But at the very least, these new regulations should include liquidity and capital requirements.

Second, there needs to be general reform of the requirements to which all regulated financial institutions are subjected. Capital requirements should be strengthened, particularly for complex financial instruments like some of the mortgage securities that led to our current crisis. We must develop and rigorously manage liquidity risk. We must investigate rating agencies and potential conflicts of interest with the people they are rating. And transparency requirements must demand full disclosure by financial institutions to shareholders and counterparties.

As we reform our regulatory system at home, we must work with international arrangements like the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Accounting Standards Board, and the Financial Stability Forum to address the same problems abroad. The goal must be ensuring that financial institutions around the world are subject to similar rules of the road – both to make the system stable, and to keep our financial institutions competitive.

Third, we need to streamline a framework of overlapping and competing regulatory agencies. Reshuffling bureaucracies should not be an end in itself. But the large, complex institutions that dominate the financial landscape do not fit into categories created decades ago. Different institutions compete in multiple markets – our regulatory system should not pretend otherwise. A streamlined system will provide better oversight, and be less costly for regulated institutions.

Fourth, we need to regulate institutions for what they do, not what they are. Over the last few years, commercial banks and thrift institutions were subject to guidelines on subprime mortgages that did not apply to mortgage brokers and companies. It makes no sense for the Fed to tighten mortgage guidelines for banks when two-thirds of subprime mortgages don’t originate from banks. This regulatory framework has failed to protect homeowners, and it is now clear that it made no sense for our financial system. When it comes to protecting the American people, it should make no difference what kind of institution they are dealing with.

Fifth, we must remain vigilant and crack down on trading activity that crosses the line to market manipulation. Reports have circulated in recent days that some traders may have intentionally spread rumors that Bear Stearns was in financial distress while making market bets against the company. The SEC should investigate and punish this kind of market manipulation, and report its conclusions to Congress.

Sixth, we need a process that identifies systemic risks to the financial system. Too often, we deal with threats to the financial system that weren’t anticipated by regulators. That’s why we should create a financial market oversight commission, which would meet regularly and provide advice to the President, Congress, and regulators on the state of our financial markets and the risks that face them. These expert views could help anticipate risks before they erupt into a crisis.

This outline of his plan is from a speech Obama gave on March 27, 2008.

11 Responses to McCain says if you care about the economy, don’t vote for him

  1. john mccain makes me laugh…

  2. Angela says:

    $1.5 trillion mess forced upon American tax payers by the CEOs of Fannie May and Freddie Mac are economic advisers to Barack Obama. In addition, Obama is the “largest recipient of political funds from mortgage giants Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae.”

    Think about it, just look how Obama’s economic advisers, CEOs Franklin Raines and James Johnson, ran Fannie and Freddie into the ground. This whilst forcing more debt, in the trillions, upon tax payers meaning higher taxes for Americans.

    The Democrat controlled congress just helped in causing this financial meltdown. Before the Democrats controlled congress the US economy was strong, but ever since then the economy has been heading downwards.

    The Democrats control all branches of government except the executive branch. Do we really need more of the same Democrat agenda? Do Americans really want more socialism that creates bigger government, more government spending, and higher taxes that ultimately gives more control of government over the people??

    How often do you think a lawyer turn preacher politician lies?

  3. Angela,

    Let’s look at actual news reports and not simply make things up, okay? Putting something in quotes does not make it true…

    John McCain’s top economic advisor, former Sen. Phil Gramm, is the guy who authored the deregulation law that most agree is the ultimate cause of today’s financial meltdown. Tomorrow’s and probably next week’s too. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. John Thain, CEO of Merrill Lynch, which swirled into brokerage oblivion today, is one of McCain’s top economic advisors too. And now McCain says he’s going to clean up the mess by putting in tighter regulations and oversight even though he’s always supported lax oversight and his top economics guy is the one who loosened the rules in the first place.

    and there is this:

    The presumptive GOP nominee has received $208,200 from the chief executive officers of the 100 biggest Fortune 500 corporations, according to a review of campaign finance reports. Obama has taken in $20,400 from the same group of people.

    and this:

    Individuals associated with Merrill Lynch, which sold itself to Bank of America in the market upheaval of the past weekend, have given his presidential campaign nearly $300,000, making them McCain’s largest contributor, collectively.

    …McCain’s closest adviser on matters of Wall Street is John Thain, the chief executive of Merrill Lynch, who has raised about $500,000 for McCain.

    and as to what you say here:

    The Democrats control all branches of government except the executive branch.

    do I really need to point out that the Bush Administration is responsible for appointing all of the people in charge of every agency? And have you looked at the Supreme Court lately? And maybe noticed how slim the Democratic majority in the Senate is, and how often Bush has vetoed bills since they achieved that narrow majority?

    Your ignorance is frightening.

    update: this article from McClatchy helps explain how the illusion that the economy was strong a few years ago was created:

    in recent years, mortgages began to be sold to firms that cobbled the loans together to create mortgage-backed securities, or mortgage bonds. Loans to the least creditworthy borrowers carried the highest risk but gave the highest returns, so banks and other institutional investors bought loads of them. Except no one was policing the creditworthiness of the borrowers.

    The process helped more people buy homes, and a booming mortgage-bond market, led by investment banks, was in full swing by 2005.

    When borrowers who had secured loans with adjustable interest rates, however, found their rates going up, many were unable to pay. That meant that holders of bonds backed by these mortgages were stuck with securities worth much less than their face value — or nothing at all. That created a solvency crisis for the banks that loaded up on them — and virtually all of them had.

    Some regulatory agencies issued warnings, but credit-rating agencies still said that the bonds — and the banks that issued and bought them — were safe. It turns out, of course, that many were not.

  4. Angela,

    I think I may have found the source of what appears to be the unfounded rumor about Obama’s connection to Fannie and Freddie folks:

    When asked about McCain’s charge that that Fannie and its lobbyists represent “crony capitalism” at its worst, Obama aides like to point out that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis once served as president of the Homeownership Alliance, an advocacy group backed by Fannie and Freddie.

    Of course, they failed to mention that Obama tapped former Fannie chief and big-time Democrat James Johnson to run his vice presidential search – though Johnson was dumped after news reports surfaced that he had received favorable loan deals from mortgage lender Countrywide Financial


    Republican McCain released a new spot Thursday that quotes The Washington Post as saying Democrat Obama gets advice on mortgage and housing policy from a former Fannie Mae chief executive, Franklin Raines.

    …Obama’s campaign says Raines is not an Obama adviser and that McCain’s campaign knows it because Raines said so in an e-mail earlier this week to Carly Fiorina, a top McCain adviser. Obama’s campaign provided The Associated Press with a copy of the e-mail.

  5. cultural capitol,

    thank you for the links. the one from MarketWatch is not working particularly well as a link, but this quote:

    Because this crisis — the death knell for the idea that markets and Wall Street can police themselves — is more closely connected to the current administration and John McCain’s party than Obama’s Democrats.

    By David Callaway, MarketWatch
    Last update: 7:54 p.m. EDT Sept. 17, 2008

    does seem to sum up this current financial crisis.

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  9. Tina says:

    I don’t know what band wagon you have jumped on but you guys are blinded just like a lot of people are. The two people that were in charge of the economic downfall were Democrats who pushed to get home loans larger than what buyers could afford, causing foreclosures and bankruptsy for thousands and thousands of people. Our economy after the attacks of 9/11 survived though many thought it would suffer greatly. However, we have been protected, and the government now is trying to clean up the ramifications of the two dorks that messed up the lending flaws. Put Barack in there……and I guess he will force you to split your peanut butter sandwich with the lady in the other town who doesn’t want to work so that she can live in her own home paid for by YOU!

  10. There were a lot more than two people involved in the financial crisis.

    For example, on June 19, 2008, MSNBC reports that recent arrests bring the tally to around 300 for mortgage fraud since March, 2008:

    Two former Bear Stearns managers were arrested Thursday on charges linked to the collapse of a hedge fund that bet heavily on subprime mortgages before the market collapsed, federal authorities said.

    … The FBI says it has arrested about 300 real estate brokers since March — including dozens over the last two days — in its crackdown on incidents of mortgage fraud that have contributed to the country’s housing crisis.

    From the BBC on June 19, 2008, make that over 400 apprehended:

    The property market investigation, known as Operation Malicious Mortgage, relates to a number of types of alleged mortgage fraud.

    “Operation Malicious Mortgage and the Bear Stearns case demonstrate that the Department of Justice is determined to detect and to punish mortgage fraud and to help restore stability and confidence in our housing and credit markets,” said deputy US attorney general Mark Filip.

    The Justice Department said it was pursuing 144 cases against the 406 defendants.

    Sixty of them were arrested on Wednesday alone.


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