Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Candidates On The Economy: McCain In Denial, Obama Faces Reality

Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac. Rising unemployment and health care costs. When these financial institutions and topics are mentioned, most of us think that things are tough out there.

Apparently John McCain doesn't see it that way. No matter how much the economy tanks, he continues with his mantra, "The fundamentals of the economy are strong," as seen in the video (9/15/08) above.

I guess the fundamentals appear that way when you own seven or eight homes. 

I'm reminded of George H.W. Bush, who kept insisting, "We're not in a recession," despite all evidence to the contrary.

Today McCain called for a commission to investigate what's happening on Wall Street. That's a bold plan of action sure to stop the hemorrhaging, right?

McCain is also trying to strike a populist note, stating that he'll "clean up Wall Street" and blaming "the greed by some based in Wall Street" for the current financial upheaval.

Of course, McCain wants to extend the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations, including those that ship jobs overseas. I guess his war against greed has its limits.

And regardless of his call for a commission, McCain has always labelled himself a deregulator who has never wanted to tighten standards on investment firms. He hews to the Republican dogma: the market will regulate itself. We see how well that's working.

The fact is that McCain has stated that he doesn't understand economics too well, despite trying to backtrack on such admissions as seen in the following video:

Barack Obama, on the other hand, seems to have a greater understanding of economic issues. As outlined in The New York Times (9/16/08), he predicted a housing crisis in March 2007 and a year later outlined plans to revamp financial regulation. Obama called for "...regulating investment banks, mortgage brokers and hedge funds much as commercial banks are. And he would streamline the overlapping regulatory agencies and create a commission to monitor threats to the financial system and report to the White House and Congress."

We can debate the fine points of Obama's plan, but the fact is that he has a plan–not just false populist rhetoric and plans for commissions. In the video below (9/16/08), Obama pointedly criticizes the failed Bush-McCain philosophy of tax cuts for the rich, "trickle down" economics, the denial of sensible regulations and the shredding of consumer protections. In calling our current situation "the most serious financial crisis in generations," Obama demonstrates that he, unlike his opponent, is not in denial:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its hard to understan how some people ignore this problems. the invisible hand has proven ti be inexistible, yet still it is argued that the market will be fine without intervention. In my opinion it was the floating intest rate whic were the problem, but I think no one is to blame, not if they dea with it and don't ignore it.