April 2008: McCain On Helping Homeowners

Not as new as you think - from April 2008:

McCain’s aides said his home mortgage plan could help 200,000 to 400,000 people and cost $3 billion to $10 billion. That would be far less than the proposals offered by Clinton and Obama, but McCain aides said it would be bigger than the efforts envisioned by the Bush administration. The plan would retire old loans that homeowners no longer can pay and replace them with less expensive, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages that are federally guaranteed. McCain said families would gain “the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan that reflects the market value of their home.”

Last night, McCain just added $290 billion to his April 2008 plan. Strangely enough, in april 2008, Barack Obama said it was too little and too late then. Today, he seems to think it might be too much, based on the reactions of his surrogates :

Obama criticized McCain’s plan while campaigning in Gary, Ind. Although he called the proposal “better late than never,” Obama added: “Sen. McCain’s solution to the housing crisis seems a lot like the George Bush solution of sitting by and hoping it passes while families face foreclosure and watch the value of their homes erode.”

Hillary Clinton, having already proposed a modern day HOLC, was more cutting in her April 2008 critique:

[Hillary Clinton] chided McCain on Thursday for pivoting from the more laissez-faire approach to the housing crisis he outlined during an appearance in Santa Ana two weeks ago. “Now he’s changed positions and is finally responding to a housing crisis that has been going on for months, but unfortunately his actions are only half-measures,” she said.

Well, now McCain has come around. Will Barack Obama?

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< The Polls McCain Likes And The Ones He Does Not Like | The Progressive Pledge: Help Main Street, Not Just Wall Street >
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  • Display: Sort:
    I don't understand the downside (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:03:14 AM EST
    for Obama if he comes out for Clinton's plan.  I guess he does not want to commit himself before in office.

    I'm sorry ... (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:06:38 AM EST
    but it just makes him look like a pawn of Wall Street.

    Why he hasn't come out in favor of it is less important than THE FACT that he hasn't.


    When you put it that way (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:09:25 AM EST
    My concern becomes fright.

    I don't either (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:08:10 AM EST
    Is this a symptom of his New Deal dislike that he has written about?  With everything that is happening around all of us and to all of us does he still not believe that the New Deal concept has a time and place to be used?

    Isn't "New Deal Dislike" ... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:12:33 AM EST
    just code for "conservative"?

    Obama has had a lot ... (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:03:48 AM EST
    of chances to come out in favor of this:

    After the first time Hillary proposed it.

    After the second time Hillary proposed it.

    Prior to the first debate.

    In the first debate.

    After the first debate, including in his statements before the Senate on bailout bill.

    Via Biden in the VP debate.

    During the second debate.

    If McCain were half the politician he thinks he is (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:17:08 AM EST
    he would have said in the debate that he listened to Clinton's speech and looked forward to working with her along those lines when he is president.

    But then he couldn't call it (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by ruffian on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:19:03 AM EST
    HIS plan.  Both McCain and Obama are pretty leery of sharing credit for two guys priding themselves on working with people.

    This is what Obama (none / 0) (#18)
    by sallywally on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:39:31 AM EST
    should have done, days/weeks ago.

    Ewwww a taste of liberal stump (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 09:52:36 AM EST
    baloney.  Tastes a lot like conservative stump baloney. I'm counting on CNN Fact Check to grab onto this and air it so we can get some stuff done!

    Authority ... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:28:25 AM EST
    isn't the same as action.

    This has been dealt with in previous threads.  Check them out.


    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:36:35 AM EST
    Obama said nothing.

    All too sadly true (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 04:45:00 PM EST
    It has been pointed out that many good laws that protect the littel guy are on the books that the Bush administration simply chose to not enforce too.  The wording of the bill never gave us anything resembling HOLC if those in charge don't enforce it.  The bill created nothing but it opened the door for it to happen.

    Factcheck is wrong (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:36:13 AM EST
    they seem unable to understand the difference between granting authority and requiring action.

    And it's a ridiculous thing ... (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:38:36 AM EST
    not to understand.

    Officials in our government have all kinds of authority.  It doesn't mean they use it.


    Obama (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by sallywally on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:42:36 AM EST
    is not acting rationally about this.

    He has some sort of psychological problem about HRC and/or the New Deal.

    If he's so pragmatic and nonpartisan and looking to what works, what's his problem here?


    Or his mommy problem with HRC.? (none / 0) (#16)
    by sallywally on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:37:14 AM EST
    This plan worked for FDR, didn't it? It will do at least as much to help as the $700B CEO/corporate bailout. Get a lot of people back on their feet and able to SHOP!

    I am glad it's out there, even though it came from McCain. He certainly can't maintain this idea, the Repubs hate it. It's a venerable Dem-owned plan.

    Do you think he is canny enough to do this just because it's a Clinton idea and Obama almost surely hates that? He has never acknowledged it until now. Probably galls him (snark0

    I hope that now it's out there, it will get a hearing and maybe force Obama to some level of support.

    snark (none / 0) (#23)
    by sallywally on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:45:52 AM EST
    not snark).

    I mean, not snark0. Jeez! (none / 0) (#24)
    by sallywally on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:46:40 AM EST
    Good thing I'm retired (at least until my investments have completely collapsed).

    I would like to hear specifics (none / 0) (#19)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:41:34 AM EST
    regarding Hillary's critique of McCain's proposal.  While the post wasn't 100% clear, I clicked the link and confirmed that Hillary's quote dated back to when McCain originally rolled this out in April, as opposed to something she said in reaction to last night's debate.

    I thought McCain's proposal sounded, in concept, an awful lot like HOLC.  If Hillary still considers it a "half-measure," I'd like to know why and that can certainly serve as a basis for Obama to criticize it.

    The Obama campaign seems to have judged that the risk of appearing to agree with John McCain on something is greater than the risk of giving the impression that McCain cares about homeowners and Obama is just standing by and saying "well, it's up to Hank Paulson whether to exercise the authority, I'm fine either way."  It's a prevent defense kind of play.

    Because at the time ... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:44:47 AM EST
    Hillary was proposing a 90-day freeze on foreclosures, and work-out measures.

    Hence, she saw McCain's plan in April as half-measures.

    Because it was.

    To my knowledge she hasn't commented on McCain's current plan.


    Or the risk of appearing (none / 0) (#21)
    by sallywally on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:44:33 AM EST
    to open to a Clinton plan....

    Well (none / 0) (#25)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 10:51:44 AM EST
    it seems to me that one of the persistent critiques of Obama after the first debate was that he "agreed with John" too much, and they probably got stung by it.

    So they tried to avoid it last night (I only remember hearing it once), and now they're gunshy about agreeing with him even when he's basically making a Democratic proposal.  I would have preferred something like:

    We're glad Sen. McCain has signed onto the progressive proposal outlined by Hillary Clinton in the Wall Street Journal last month.  Sen. Obama fully supports Hillary's proposal and believes it should be implemented by the Bush Administration right now, pursuant to the authority Congress granted to them in the rescue bill.  But if Sen. Clinton's plan hasn't been implemented by the time Sen. Obama is sworn in as President, he will ensure it happens immediately.

    I suggest this not out of some psychological desire to have Hillary recognized as the smartest person ever, but simply because I think rebranding it as "Hillary's proposal" is a lot more effective for Obama than simply saying "I agree with Sen. McCain."


    I completely disagree... (none / 0) (#29)
    by oneangryslav on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:09:55 PM EST
    What evidence do you have that it hurt him?  Just because the McCain crew immediately created a commercial trying to make political hay of it, doesn't mean that the rest of America saw this as problematic.  On the contrary, it made Obama seem less petty than McCain, and more presidential.  I'd suggest that it played a role in Obama's surge in the polls.  What could be more "bi-partisan" (I hate the traditional media, Broderized version of the concept, btw) than giving your opponent's response respect by agreeing with them.

    My evidence (none / 0) (#30)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:18:44 PM EST
    is that Obama completely avoided the practice in last night's debate, and only let "I agree with John" slip out once towards the end.

    If the Obama campaign thought it was a boon for him they would keep on doing it.


    He didn't say it hurt him (none / 0) (#31)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:21:06 PM EST
    He said it was a "persistent critique," and it was.  Pols are not immune to "persistent critiques" from media and supporters.

    I agree with you entirely on the rest of your comment.


    A new HOLC is . . . (none / 0) (#27)
    by Doc Rock on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 11:32:15 AM EST
    . . . what Congress should have been bustin' its buns to get on the table quicktime--months and months ago.  Instead we had a big rush so AIG could get $500,000.00 bucks worth or senior officer pampering in with taxpayer's help. Did McCain's mortgage bill stall in committee? I don't think so.

    What about those of us who were smart... (none / 0) (#28)
    by oneangryslav on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 12:06:01 PM EST
    Just let me step in here with a personal anecdote, with (I contend) implications for this bailout and future bailouts.  I am well above the 50 percentile in personal income and have been renting since 2003, believing that prices (even back then) of homes in my area were well beyond fundamentals. Month after month, as home prices skyrocketed and the fraud and games on Wall Street (and Main street) grew and grew, I became not only more concerned about what would happen when the bubble burst, but also more convinced that there would be a reckoning.  

    So, because I was prudent and responsible, I have been renting all these years.  If those foolish enough to buy at or near the top of a  once-in-a-lifetime global housing boom, how fair is that to those like me?  Moreover, the principle of moral hazard doesn't apply only to Wall Street bankers, but also to Main Street "homedebtors".

    If the principal of homedebtors homes is lowered/forgiven, I know what I'll do the next time there is a housing bubble in progress--not be financially prudent (with all that entails), but take advantage of the system.  It'll be no fun getting screwed once, but I won't let it happen again.

    Well (none / 0) (#32)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 01:24:01 PM EST
    I wish you would realize that most human beings are not smart enough to know when the market is at its peak.

    You're going to just have to sublimate your urge to punish everyone who was not as knowledgeable as you about the housing bubble to the common good.  Because if people are getting thrown out of their homes right and left and the economy goes to hell as a result, don't be so sure that it won't affect you.


    Although I have heard many who (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 08, 2008 at 02:42:33 PM EST
    are long-time homeowners, and who didn't trade "up" say the same thing, i.e., why should those who were frugal and cautious pay for people who bit off more than they could chew?