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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

McCainomics: You’re On Your Own

Yesterday’s Washington Post included a feature wherein economic advisors to the three surviving major-party presidential candidates did brief presentations on what their champions would do to deal with the current housing-driven economic crisis.
Former White House economic advisor Gene Sperling dutifully laid out Hillary Clinton’s latest housing plan, formally rolled out in Philadelphia yesterday, which features a foreclosure moratorium and a housing-focused “second stimulus package.”
Obama economic advisor Austan Goolsbee (apparently out of his “NAFTA-gate” doghouse) followed with an elaboration of Obama’s plan, which ranges from a bad mortgage conversion program and subsidies for low-income borrowers to incentives for middle-class savings.
And then you’ve got former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, speaking for McCain, who basically says the GOP candidate thinks those suffering from the housing crisis had it coming. Yeah, that’s right: after laying out McCain’s commitment to corporate tax cuts and a tax-credit based initiative to encourage individual health insurance, he goes on at some length excoriating those who would take action on the housing crisis, and setting forth strict conditions for participation in existing housing relief programs. Market forces will apparently take care of the problem one way or another.
It may take a while, but Americans troubled by the economy and the housing crisis will eventually get the message that John McCain’s idea of economic leadership is pretty much limited to high-end and corporate tax cuts, free trade agreements, an attack on appropriations earmarks, and whatever he means (beyond his support for Bush’s Social Security privatization scheme) by “entitlement reform.” I guess he could tout the stimulative effect of a Hundred Years War in Iraq, but that’s about it. And along with free market fundamentalism, the GOP candidate will also serve up a heaping hot bowl of moralism aimed at scorching those who fail to succeed.

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