The Spectacle Blog

Woulda Been So Easy…

By on 9.18.08 | 6:24PM

Instead of the panicky, absolute meltdown on economics by John McCain this week, it would have been SO easy for McCain to use the current economic crisis to his advantage. To wit, a statement like this: "As the co-author of two bills, in 2002 and 2005, to rein in Fannie and Freddie, and as a proven longtime opponent of corporate corruption, I am the man to handle problems like this one. In these tough times, I join former officials from Democratic and Republican administrations alike in calling for a new, temporary entity modeled after the old Resolution Trust Corporation, to help us keep the problems from turning into a collapse. Right now the economy clearly is shaky and many Americans have reason to be worried -- but there is absolutely no need for panic. Strong action is necessary, but it must be sober action. It must not saddle taxpayers with too much potential debt. It must stabilize the markets, but not reward irresponsible behavior. It must stop panic, but not stop all losses. It should improve long-term economic prospects, not exacerbate them for short-term comfort. My opponent would tax innocent investors and pensioners a great deal more, specifically on their investments, just as their investments are taking a hit already.

"I would, instead, immediately move to make those investment tax cuts permanent, so that innocent 401K owners and retirees could count on the value of their life savings. And I would urge the Federal Reserve and Treasury and president all to make crystal clear that they will support a strong dollar going forward, so that investors domestic and foreign would know that this is a sound economy and that their investments will not lose value. I would also cut borrowing by the government by demanding that Congress eliminate all earmarks for the next fiscal year, AND to cut the total budget allocations accordingly. I will have other concrete proposals later in the week, but the most important thing to realize is that this is no Great Depression, that the underlying strengths of the economy are substantial enough to mean that these tough times are just that: tough times, but not so tough that the sky is falling. We are Americans. We can get through this. With my leadership, calm leadership, we will."

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