Would someone explain to me the difference between Herbert Hoover or Calvin Coolidge and John McCain. Hoover of course focused his attention, such as it was, on keeping business free of regulation. His “just wait and see” approach saw us into the Great Depression.
There are two very obvious fiscal problems facing us now: the cost of the war and the mortgage crisis. His answer to rapidly broadening deficit created by the war is to say that we will continue it for 100 years if we have to and he will lower taxes for the middle class. This so called straight talking maverick promises even greater deficit spending on war, as I understand it, and no end in sight. He has no answer for the burden this puts on our economy as more and more of our money is spent just servicing the debt created by five years (an counting) of war. (Remember that one of our stategies when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan was to foment radical Islam so that so the fight could continue long enough to bankrupt the Soviet Union. Why are we immune from this?)
While accepting a downward spiral of national debt, McCain said that irresponsible homeowners are getting their just desserts when 4 million of them are facing foreclosure. He further suggested that the ones in trouble are the people who refuse to get second jobs. He did suggest that we might consider giving consumers more Truth in Lending disclosures, a proposal that he voted against a few months ago and one that everyone (including McCain a few months ago) acknowledges would be of no meaningful assistance in the current crisis and unlikely to avoid similar problems in the future. He did come out though in favor of bailing out financial institutions which bought heavily into bad mortgages if their troubles presented a “systemic” threat.
This mortgage crisis is serious. It, according to the Economist, involves 1.1 trillion dollars. McCain seems to be saying “Wake me up if our system starts to collapse.” The Economist, which was taken seriously by Republicans before the party was hijacked by ideologues, suggests that regulation is appropriate, that a systemic fix is in order as unregulated investment banking presents a risk of serial bailouts. It also suggested the government might buy some of the subprime debt because it could be acquired at a fire sale discount. The government could then work with the home owners and might very well profit be the investment.
Isn’t McCain proposing that we do exactly what we did in the late 1920’s?