John McCain - "flip-flopper" Posted by: McQ
on Sunday, April 13, 2008
Apparently this is an inherent trait of all Senators. April 7th, Wall Street Journal, a quote from a March 25th speech:
In a speech March 25, he said: "It is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers." He also said that any assistance shouldn't "reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren't."
Wall Street Journal, April 11th, after the populist, big-government bug has bitten McCain:
John McCain called for an aggressive federal government role aimed at stabilizing the housing market, rejecting a largely hands-off approach he outlined two weeks ago.
The likely Republican presidential nominee's prescription included a heavy dose of policy more typically associated with Democrats, as he sought to show voters he understands their economic pain. Most significantly, he urged the federal government to guarantee new mortgages for homeowners at risk of foreclosure.
The plan "offers every deserving American family or homeowner the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan," he told New York-area small-business owners Thursday.
The plan's price tag is estimated at anywhere between $3 billion and $10 billion.
Tell me again how I'm supposed to take seriously or believe one thing this man says?
The plan is more aggressive than one offered by President Bush and less aggressive than Democratic legislation taking shape in Congress, steered by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.). Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential front-runner, supports the Dodd-Frank approach. His opponent, Sen. Hillary Clinton, has indicated a willingness to go further.
This is why, for the most part, I have no use for the Republicans either. Instead of rejecting the premise, as he did in his March 25th speech, he's now, instead, accepted the premise, but watered it down.
But, that's what you get this election year. Regular liberal Democratic policy or, with McCain, "Democrat-lite".
I am hesitant to call that a full-on flip flop because the financial system’s situation is so much in flux. I read somewhere that the bad mortgages have all been factored in, and then another that we could face systemic failure. So, it may be the case that he changed his mind after receiving more information. (Maybe a lobbyist? That’s his MO, no?) Maybe I am being charitable, but the crisis seems to have entered into more and more dangerous territory lately.
Also, I thought the banks themselves had a plan to change some ARM mortgages to become fixed rate mortgages which would probably cover the more reasonable cases. Now we have to bail out the unreasonable ones???? I can only hope that by the time they get around to doing the legislation, those will have been foreclosed. Perhaps Bush could Veto it? LOL!
Tell me again how I’m supposed to take seriously or believe one thing this man says?
Candidates bring a mixture of expertise to the table. McCain is not, as he mentioned, so hot on economics. There’s no reason you should cease to take McCain seriously on, say, foreign policy. I think you’re overrating your personal area of expertise in judging McCain’s overall credibility. And I’m saying that while acknowledging just how important economics is, but keep in mind that just about everything a presidential candidate deals with is highly important.
The plan "offers every deserving American family or homeowner the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan,"
I’m pretty sure they covered this in "John Adams" last night. I’m not 100% certain, but I think I remember Adams and Jefferson discussing this very thing. >end snark<
My question, whenever this type of thing is raised, is ’define burdensome’. If I made a poor choice to take out a zero interest 7 year ARM on a 500K house, I’m an idiot. But according to McCain, I’m an idiot who deserves a ’manageable loan’.
The new McCain housing plan would allow certain homeowners whose houses are worth less than their mortgages to apply for assistance. Their lenders would agree to write off part of the loan. In return, the Federal Housing Administration would guarantee the new loan.
"We will combine the power of government and the private sector to find immediate solutions for deserving American homeowners," he said. Aides estimated it would help 200,000 to 400,000 homeowners.
The assistance would be available only to "deserving homeowners" with mortgages on their primary homes who would be able to afford the new terms, including those whose mortgages had adjustable rates that are resetting at unaffordable levels. Speculators and investors wouldn’t be eligible.
In very broad terms, he isn’t being contradictory. He’s just defining his terms to include those he would help, and those he wouldn’t. That is being a typical politician.
What McCain seems to be saying is that, on the one hand, we shouldn’t help those who couldn’t afford the mortgage they got into, but, we could help those who could afford the original mortgage, but can’t afford it now. Rising interest rates, and lowering home values put many people into a situation where they can not refinance their mortgage (which they were probably counting on.)
After all, his original statement didn’t say we shouldn’t help anyone. He just stated who he wouldn’t help.
I think most banks would be interested in working with homeowners to stave off foreclosures. Of course, they aren’t going to do that without some sharing of risk. With a glut of homes already in the market, carrying more inventory would be a looser.
However, I think the private sector has the responsibility for seeking the solutions. Government intervention should be minimal.
Of course, that’s now how it’s going to play out at all.
I will not play election year politics with the housing crisis. I will evaluate everything in terms of whether it might be harmful or helpful to our effort to deal with the crisis we face now.
I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers. Government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk that would endanger the entire financial system and the economy.
In our effort to help deserving homeowners, no assistance should be given to speculators. Any assistance for borrowers should be focused solely on homeowners, not people who bought houses for speculative purposes, to rent or as second homes. Any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren’t. I will consider any and all proposals based on their cost and benefits. In this crisis, as in all I may face in the future, I will not allow dogma to override common sense.
When we commit taxpayer dollars as assistance, it should be accompanied by reforms that ensure that we never face this problem again. Central to those reforms should be transparency and accountability.
We may not like what he’s proposing now, but it is entirely consistent with his views in March.
That his views weren’t properly conveyed by either the media, or his political opponents shouldn’t be surprising.