McCain says if you care about the economy, don’t vote for him
September 17, 2008 11 Comments
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.