Economics

Don't Just Do Something; Stand There

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I don't know if he really means it (not long ago he was confessing that economics is not his strong suit), but John McCain is making the right noises about the mortgage mess, braving derision as a do-nothing, head-in-the-sand market worshiper from Democrats who are eager to intervene:

Drawing a sharp distinction between himself and the two Democratic presidential candidates, Senator John McCain of Arizona warned Tuesday against vigorous government action to solve the deepening mortgage crisis and the market turmoil it has caused, saying 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."…

"Rampant speculation" on both sides is the root cause of the crisis, Mr. McCain said. He placed part of the responsibility for the mortgage mess on lenders, who he said had grown "complacent" in a rising market and as a result acquired a "false sense of security" that caused them to "lower their lending standards."

But in a departure from Democrats, who have focused on the lending industry's role in the crisis, Mr. McCain suggested that some homeowners had also engaged in dangerous practices, including borrowing too much in hopes that a rising market would cover their mortgages….

"Some Americans bought homes they couldn't afford, betting that rising prices would make it easier to refinance later at more affordable rates," he said. Later he added that "any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren't."

That last part does leave the door open a bit to some sort of bailout. But on this issue McCain sounds more sensible than Barack Obama, who in turn sounds more cautious than Hillary Clinton.

NEXT: Demon Seed

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  1. McCain is hoping to get a subprime loan from the Chinese Communist Party to finance his invasion of Iran. We’re gonna spread Freedom on the installment plan.

  2. Thanks for that, I’m not at all excited about McCain but I am voting for him. And it’s been frustrating how many economically authoritarian ideas of Obama and Hillary get glossed over somehow as if they are more liberty-minded than McCain. Economics, taxes, gun control– those things affect both everyday life and the long-term viability of the republic, to the point that the rest becomes academic without them. And neither Hillary nor Obama is anywhere near acceptable in those areas.

  3. This calls for immediate discussion!

  4. The People’s Front of Judea | March 28, 2008, 1:11pm | #

    This calls for immediate discussion!

    HA! I just watched that movie last night. Brilliant!

  5. maybe Don Luskin is drilling a few libertarian-ish economic ideas through McCain’s thick skull…

    still not voting for him, though… (and Luskin promised he’d write in Ron Paul on national TV)…

  6. Flip-flopper, see also Keating Five.

  7. But will John McCain recognize that it’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them!

    Don’t you oppress me!

  8. I watched McCain’s speech on this.

    I think it was clear he had no idea what he was talking about.

    He also made it clear that he sees those with a profit motive as having a negative influence on our economy.

  9. Let’s not give McCain too much credit. He does support the Fed’s bailout of investment banks happening right now. So the people whose bonuses were exponentially larger than the average household based on incorrect judgements deserve a government bailout while the average joe doesn’t. Sorry I can’t get behind it. If you believe in government support for anyone on this issue (which I don’t), it seems the fairest approach would be the Obama one. McCain rewards the rich at the expense of everyone else and Clinton’s is 100% pandering.

  10. The residential housing market (including the subprime) is just the tip of the iceberg bearing down on the SS USA. The commercial market is next in line to fail. The Chinese are also trying to unload their fiat currency federal reserve notes, because they are losing value very quickly.

    Let’s see the “hands off” approach to the economy when the people start grabbing torches and pitchforks to storm the castle when their 401K’s are worthless, they’re paying over $4.00 / gal for gasoline, and their job has been outsourced or downsized.

    /$9.00/hr service sector jobs ain’t gonna fix the mess we’re in.

    //it only takes missing a few meals to make people really pissed off.

  11. Saying that John McCain did the right thing is like arguing over what kind of forced labor the Nazis’ prisoners should be made to do – the proper thing to advocate for is an end to federal involvement in matters of housing, specifically an end to managed interest rates (the Fed), mortgage write-offs, federally-backed lenders (Fannie Mae, etc.), and transportation subsidies (Interstate Highway System). Whether or not you bail out the homeowners, the fact remains that every one of these institutions is constantly screwing with price signals and causing distortions in the market like the one we’re seeing now.

  12. McCain stands for;

    privatized profits and socialized risk for the wealthy at the expense of those who are not.

    he also thinks medical cannibis users are faking so they can get high.

    go back to vietnam McCain

  13. McCain is calling for inaction? In this speech he is calling for mortgage companies to loan out money at 0 percent interest, in the hopes of stimulating the economy.

    Any GOP folk want to say that the R’s are for fiscal responsibility in government?

  14. McCain’s pro-business? Since when? He consistently pounded Romney for his business credentials.

    McCain sideswiped Romney’s credentials as a successful business leader while answering a question about who would best run the nation.

    “I think he managed companies and he bought and he sold and sometimes people lost their jobs,” McCain said. “That’s the nature of that business.”

    Consistently.

    McCain also took shots at Romney?s business career. ?As the head of the investment company, he presided over the acquisitions of companies that immediately laid off thousands of workers

    McCain is just saying what it takes to get elected. Fool me once, shame on you …

    If you want to buy if because you still live in a pre-9/11 mindset that Republicans are for lower spending, knock yourself out.

  15. Splitters!

  16. If you want to buy if because you still live in a pre-9/11 mindset that Republicans are for lower spending

    Well, lower than Dems anyway.

  17. If you want to buy if because you still live in a pre-9/11 mindset that Republicans are for lower spending

    Is there some way to cancel this election, and then just stick D.C. in deep freeze for about a decade? We’ll bring it back to life later, trust me I promise!

  18. Setting aside ideological preferences, the three candidates’ speeches on the issue demonstrate pretty forcefully who the empty suit is.

    The old man doesn’t know squat.

  19. Time for an empty suit stimulus package!

  20. I really don’t care if Obama states that the New Deal was a Great Deal and Clinton says that the Great Society wasn’t ambitious enough. There’s nothing, NOTHING, that will get me to vote for that uber-hawk free speech hatin’ McCain.

    Unless the night before the election he has a crippling stroke and Arnold is his VP (now THAT would make for an interesting Constitutional conundrum!).

  21. Don’t just stare at it; eat it!!

  22. I really don’t care if Obama states that the New Deal was a Great Deal and Clinton says that the Great Society wasn’t ambitious enough. There’s nothing, NOTHING, that will get me to vote for that uber-hawk free speech hatin’ McCain.

    QFT

  23. But on this issue McCain sounds more sensible than Barack Obama, who in turn sounds more cautious than Hillary Clinton

    This is more or less the exact opposite of how the Times editorial board read things

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/27/opinion/27thu1.html

    I am not necessarily standing on the side of the NYT editorial board, just saying thats their spin on the thing

  24. /$9.00/hr service sector jobs ain’t gonna fix the mess we’re in.

    If you’re wealthy enough to think that $9/hr is a low wage, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Or you live in an area with high cost of living. Either way, shut up until you’ve lived hand to mouth for a while. $9/hr is a pretty damn good wage for unskilled workers.

  25. Is there some way to cancel this election, and then just stick D.C. in deep freeze for about a decade? We’ll bring it back to life later, trust me I promise!

    Do we have to? Can’t we just leave it frozen and never think about it again?

  26. Given that Barack (who, in spite of the very high income he and his wife have enjoyed for quite some time now, doesn’t have any apparent investments or retirement plan) casually threatened to raise the capital gains tax by over 60%, McCain doesn’t have to be the second coming of von Mises to sound a lot better on economic policy.

  27. The old man doesn’t know squat.

    And the other two know just enough to be dangerous.

  28. You mean, where it was during the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in our nation’s history?

    We’re doomed!

  29. “Or you live in an area with high cost of living. Either way, shut up until you’ve lived hand to mouth for a while. $9/hr is a pretty damn good wage for unskilled workers.”

    Thanks for the snappy comeback. At least I’m doing something about my situation and not asking for government handouts.

    The company I worked for went out of business last year. I was with this company for 14 years and worked hard, because I liked my job and it lasted through 2 recessions. Well this last slowdown, economic downturn, whatever you want to call it has cost my job and now I am struggling to make ends meet on a salary which was 1/3 of what it was the year before.

    I have an MS in Environmental Studies and was the Environmental Professional and Surveying Technician for the company I was employed by. I am now self employed and working part time cleaning surgical suites and medical offices because no one is hiring in my field, except for service sector jobs.

  30. Wow, so the Hillary and Obama want to bail out the mortgage lenders and McCain’s suggesting caution.

    As usual the Democrat’s are shilling for corporate welfare but disguising it in “for the workers” clothes.

  31. I also know that $9/hr is good for unskilled labor. I’m extrapolating from my own experience and know that for someone with no skills it has to be worse because government money for the poor, old people, and mental health is the first to get cut when the economy tanks.

  32. in other news… McCain breaks McCain/Feingold law…

    Liberal bloggers file complaint over McCain’s spending
    The McCain campaign reported spending $58 million this election cycle, which is a few million more than what is permitted for candidates who commit to public financing in the primaries.

    Led by bloggers at Firedoglake and DailyKos, the group submitted a complaint to the FEC on Tuesday, and is asking for more signatures online to be added to another, larger complaint.

    McCain signed up for the guaranteed public money last year, but in February, his campaign wrote a letter to the FEC announcing he would turn down government matching funds for his primary campaign.

    FEC Chair David Mason replied that the four commissioners must first vote in favor of the withdrawal request – a development which is not possible right now, as vacancies leave only two commissioners in the FEC.

    A McCain campaign official says the complaint is “frivolous and without merit.”

  33. I also had enough of living “hand to mouth” as a college student working 40 hours a week and going 6-9 hours a semester. I have paid my modest ($11,000) student loans in full and thought that good times were ahead, because I bought the lie that college education = job security.

  34. Unless the night before the election he has a crippling stroke and Arnold is his VP (now THAT would make for an interesting Constitutional conundrum!).

    Actually, no. The VP spot has the same qualifications as the Preznit.

    Arnold can’t run for VP.

    Now the really interesting Constitutional conundrum would come if we had to dip further into the presidential succession pool. None of the other positions (Speaker, President Pro Tem of the Senate, Sec State,) have that native-born restriction.

    Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright anyone?

  35. BTW, I’m guessing that they would have to skip tha office myself.

    So if Bill, Al, Newt, the Pres Pro Tem (who the hell was that? anyway) had all kicked off I’m betting they would have skipped old Mad and gone to Bob Rubin.

    Anyone else got a guess.

  36. Isaac-
    Like it says in your Wiki link, the statute governing sucession makes it clear that the same rules apply (35 years, native-born, etc) So ineligible people are skipped over.

  37. And as a further humorous aside to the OT digression, a Hawaiian sovereignty group has declared that Obama is ineligible for the prez because he was born in the Kingdom of Hawaii, hence not in the US.

  38. Actually, no. The VP spot has the same qualifications as the Preznit.

    The infamous 12th Amendment. Man, I shoulda known that.

  39. Now the really interesting Constitutional conundrum would come if we had to dip further into the presidential succession pool.

    I may be wrong, but I remember reading somewhere that people in the line of succession who don’t meet the qualifications get passed over for the next person in line.

  40. I also should have read further down the thread where others said what I said, but earlier 🙂

  41. You are crazy if you people dont think Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibillity. Allahamba is even for a global tax so he can dole out billions of our moneys for his bretherren in Africa.

    One thing about McCain is he wont waste our taxpayers moneys on foriegner goverments, you can bet on that.

  42. Neil,

    Apparently, the record discretionary spending growth under a Republican Congress and President was a hallucination.

    One thing about McCain is he wont waste our taxpayers moneys on foriegner goverments, you can bet on that.

    Sure he will. Invading Iran or continuing the Iraq occupation longer is wasting money on foreign governments.

  43. Sen. McCain favors spending tens of billions to bail out Bear Sterns and other investment banks, and favors a war that will cost trillions of dollars (including interest & medical care for wounded vets) so a little free market rhetoric when it comes to helping middle class people is supposed to make me think he understands economics? Get a clue.

    I don’t intend to vote for Obama, but even if you add up all the nonsense he supports, it still costs less than the Bush/McCain Iraq War.

  44. “Sure he will. Invading Iran or continuing the Iraq occupation longer is wasting money on foreign governments.”

    Military spending is never wasteful. Do you not support our brave troops? Want to pull the plug on them right before our victory? The war is a good investment because it stops another 9/11.

  45. World War II was expensive too. That didn’t make us go broke. I’m sure in 1944 you would have been whining about “record spending”.

  46. I know Neil’s a troll, but is there a Godwin’s law collary for any inappropriate WW2 analogy?

    And FWIW, WW2 did make the British go broke for all practical purposes. The only reason we didn’t is
    1)people were willing to accept below market interest rates due to a sense of patriotic duty
    2) it ended just in time
    3) everyone else was rubble when it was time to pay it back

  47. “Troll” must be surrender monkey for “patriot”.

    Funny, the British are a wealthy developed country today. So WWII made them go broke did it? Looks like they recovered well enough.

  48. Ok, I’ll play.

    Yes, they’re wealthy and developed. Just like an individual can regain wealth after going through bankruptcy, but generally needs to shed assets during a time of painful transition. And it helps to have a good friend tide you over in difficult times.

    You know the late Queen mum was the *last* empress of India, donchya?

  49. Kolohe, how’d we do with the Cold War? We spent a lot of money, but it was a good investment so we wouldn’t have to live under the cold steel boot of Communist opresssion.

    The Long War Against Islamofascism is a good investment for the same reason. Stop being a defeatist and support the war.

  50. Neil, how did we do with Vietnam?

  51. Don’t be stupid, be a smarty, come and join…

  52. “Neil, how did we do with Vietnam?”

    We lost and there was a massive genocide thanks to us tucking our tail between our legs and running away. And today the Vietnamese people live under a viscious Commmunist Chi-Com style police state.

    How’d we do in Korea? Theres a prosperous, democratic and capitalist South Korea and a police state North. If we listened to the isolationists, liberals, and other surrendercrats in the Korean War the entire peninsula would be Kim Jung Il’s playground. Thank God for Harry Truman and Ike.

  53. And McCain’s state is one with some of worst drops in home values. So he’s not even pandering to his own state.

  54. If we listened to LeMay, McArthur, and people like you the entire pennisula (and other places) would be radioactive rubble.

    Yes thank god for Truman firing Mac, and Ike for ending the war – and today the DPRK people live under a viscious Communist Chi-Com style police state.

  55. I have an MS in Environmental Studies and was the Environmental Professional and Surveying Technician for the company I was employed by.

    What the hell is that? The degree and the job title I mean.

  56. If we listened to McArthur maybe the entire peninsula would be like South Korea?

  57. or like Elugelap Island. (fin)

  58. ‘Elugelab’. (now i’m done)

  59. One thing about McCain is he wont waste our taxpayers moneys on foriegner goverments, you can bet on that.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahha*

    Now my tummy hurts.

  60. Wow, Neil, when you talked about Barack Obama, it’s like I could hear the drums from deep in the jungle!

  61. House Speaker Pelosi, Harry Reid and their thrall are determined to undermine THE PEOPLE’S wishes.

    In the last few months Democrat Kay Bailey Hutchinson added an amendment to the our border fence, that would gut it indefinitely by December 2008.Never mind that Assemblywoman Mimi Walters, a Republican from Oceanside, said illegal immigrants cost California taxpayers an estimated $9 billion each year. Even Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich agrees with this statement. Unfortunately their are other traitors amongst us, such as the globalist open border, free traders whose major agenda is the free movement of people throughout the North American Continent.

    This by-partisan law is awaiting just 18 signers, to bring this enforcement only to a House vote. The SAVE ACT will supersede any state laws, in its magnitude. It will go after the real culprits who are the predator employers. It is enforcement by Attrition or Self-Deportation. Cannot get work, then they will leave of their own accord. If you are one of the citizens fed up with subsiding the poor, uneducated from around the world. Nobody should have a right to legalization without going home and being processed like all immigrants.

    YOU! And only YOU, can stop this travesty of our Immigration laws?

    Tell, NO! DEMAND your representatives to co-author THE FEDERAL SAVE ACT

  62. What worries me is none of the presidential candidates want to talk about the scourge of illegal immigration. They need to be asked where they stand, whoever comes to power? What do they have in store for us in 2009?

    STOP THE TRAVESTY OF OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS! SAVE YOUR JOBS, LANGUAGE, FLAG & CONSTITUTION FROM ALL THOSE ANTI-SOVEREIGN, PRO-ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT ADVOCATES WHO WOULD UNDERMINE THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE!

    When the new personage steps into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, then we will be seeing the 12 to 20 million getting a path to citizenship. Once a new amnesty is signed into law, then nobody will be able to stop the next tsunami of destitute, uneducated illegal humanity pouring across our borders. A new amnesty will be seen as an open door for yet another future welcome to the world.

    If MALDEF, LA RAZA or MECHA and other special interest groups, not excluding anti-sovereignty entities like the ACLU, Southern Poverty League that are apposed to the federal SAVE ACT (H.R. 4088), than it must have an excellent chance of working? Then citizens must contend with individual like Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, along with his retinue of pro-illegal immigrant city managers, who pander to special interest groups. In the limelight was ex-governor Spitzer, who was going to issue illegal foreign workers and families driving licenses. It seems like the illegal immigration battle is never over, because many of our politicians like House Speaker Pelosi, Harry Reid and their thrall are determined to undermine THE PEOPLE’S wishes.

    In the last few months Democrat Kay Bailey Hutchinson added an amendment to the our border fence, that would gut it indefinitely by December 2008.Never mind that Assemblywoman Mimi Walters, a Republican from Oceanside, said illegal immigrants cost California taxpayers an estimated $9 billion each year. Even Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich agrees with this statement. Unfortunately their are other traitors amongst us, such as the globalist open border, free traders whose major agenda is the free movement of people throughout the North American Continent.

    This by-partisan law is awaiting just 18 signers, to bring this enforcement only to a House vote. The SAVE ACT will supersede any state laws, in its magnitude. It will go after the real culprits who are the predator employers. It is enforcement by Attrition or Self-Deportation. Cannot get work, then they will leave of their own accord. If you are one of the citizens fed up with subsiding the poor, uneducated from around the world. Nobody should have a right to legalization without going home and being processed like all immigrants.

    YOU! And only YOU, can stop this travesty of our Immigration laws?

    Tell, NO! DEMAND your representatives to co-author THE FEDERAL SAVE ACT?

  63. If illegal aliens cost California $9 Billion per year, how much do protectionist rent-seekers cost?

  64. Oh, and Kay Bailey Hutchinson is a Republican, btw. Texas hasn’t had a D in a statewide elected office since the early 90s.

  65. KNEEL IS A TRUE SCHOLAR OF HISTORY. IT IS A SHAME THAT OUR MODERN-DAY KASSANDRA IS DISREGARDED AS A TISSUE THROWN AWAY BY THE WEIBSKOBOLD AT YET ANOTHER SAPPY NOVEL.

  66. I’ll give you two thousand dollars for that tissue.

    No, three.

  67. I just want BANG BANG BANG!!

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