Yesterday, in the face of a disastrous day on Wall Street, McCain was busy flip flopping on his view of the “fundamentals” of the economy. The “fundamentals” were first “strong.” Once McCain was chastised for being out-of-touch, suddenly McCain saw the light and the fundamentals were “at risk … risk … risk.” He hollowly claimed a need for “reform” though he offered nothing concrete or specific.
“Reform” on economics from McCain was going to be a tough sale once McCain honestly, for a change, noted: “I was chairman of the commerce committee. Every part of America’s economy, I oversighted.” I mean, hell, typically reform starts with booting out the guy who “oversighted” this mess in the first place; not promoting him to the presidency.
Given a complete lack of credibility as a leader on the economy. McCain, today, is not making any proposals to lead us out of our economic morass, but suggests we simply turn the whole thing over to a commission to fiddle study the issue while we continue our national economic slide. Here’s McCain’s latest howler:
“We need a 9/11 commission, and we need a commission to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it,’’ he said. “And I know we can do it and how to do it.”
Uhm … excuse me, Senator McCain … if you know how to do it, then why do we need a commission to tell us what went wrong and how to fix it. If you know how to do it, why won’t you let us in on your secret during this time of need. Or are you simply saying you should be President because you know how to set up a commission.
As I was writing this, I saw a this NYT report that Barack Obama has already beat me to the punch:
Senator Barack Obama scoffed at a proposal offered Tuesday by Senator John McCain to create a commission to study the calamity in the nation’s financial markets, declaring: “We know how we got into this mess. Instead of offering up concrete plans to solve these issues, Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book –- you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem,” Mr. Obama told an audience here.
* * * * *
Mr. Obama essentially hit the rewind button on Tuesday, stepping back to remind voters of a series of economic proposals that he has offered over the last 19 months. His campaign’s movement was built on an opposition to the Iraq war, not a message of economic populism, so many of his proposals have received only moderate attention.
He called on increasing government oversight and supervision on all regulated financial institutions and strengthening capital requirements –- particularly for mortgage securities and other derivatives -– at the center of the financial crisis. He also proposed streamlining regulatory agencies as well as cracking down on trading activity that manipulates markets.
Obama is not proposing passing the presidential buck to a commission but, instead, puts forth numerous concrete proposals for reigning in the reckless and greedy. Those who no longer throw themselves out of office windows suffused with guilt over the economic devastation their selfish decisions have wrought but, instead, float off on golden parachutes to a beach in Aruba or some such place. The only concrete proposal McCain has for these people is to give them more tax cuts.