Friday, August 22, 2008

McCain's People Will Get Back To You On The Number Of Homes He Owns

It must be nice having so many homes that you don't remember how many you own. That apparently is the position John McCain is in. 

Asked how many he owns by two reporters from, McCain replied, "I think–I'll have my staff get back to you. It's condominiums where–I'll have them get to you."

Politico later reported that John McCain's family owns eight properties, not seven as identified by Democrats or four as identified by McCain's staff.

Perhaps McCain's multiple home ownership wouldn't be such a big deal if his campaign didn't depict Barack Obama as an out-of-touch elitist and McCain as a regular guy. And if he didn't embrace the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and major corporations. And if he didn't lecture the many who are victims of predatory loans by a mortgage industry that took advantage of the deregulation that McCain favors. 

Gail Collins, in "McCain Forecloses Early" (3/29/08), noted McCain's lack of sympathy for those losing their homes (their one home, that is). And in the midst of the crisis, McCain's solution is to call for yet more deregulation:

"The theme for his mortgage speech this week was basically McCain to Homeowners: Drop Dead. It was, he said sternly, “not the duty of the government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly.” The good news, he noted, was that out of 80 million American homeowners, only 4 million are in the tank, while everybody else is “working a second job, skipping a vacation and managing their budgets” the way Countrywide Financial intended them to.

"He did, however, leave the door open for some vague, amorphous, undefined aid to good homeowners, as opposed to irresponsible ones who ... did something irresponsible. Like taking that vacation.

"McCain then suggested that the federal government ought to do something about getting regulations off the back of the financial markets and concluded with a call to reduce the corporate tax rate. It was not exactly a rallying cry for the masses."

The video above, "McCain's Mansions" from Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films, contains a comment from a woman who stated that a "second job" and "skipping a vacation" won't save her home due to her dire straits. Not that McCain would know anything about that.

It's no wonder that McCain, who admits that he doesn't know much about economics, retained Phil Gramm as an economic adviser. Gramm made the now famous comments that Americans concerned about the economy are part of a "nation of whiners" undergoing a "mental recession." They ought to shape up and stop acting irresponsibly, no doubt.

Given McCain's policies favoring the well-off, his lack of concern for Americans' economic difficulties and his hypocrisy in portraying Obama as an elitist, it's clear that we need to keep McCain from occupying a ninth home: The White House.

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