Our guest blogger is Andrew Jakabovics, Associate Director for the Economic Mobility Program at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
McCain’s much-hyped speech today on the nation’s current economic woes turned out to be much ado about nothing. His largely superficial descriptions of the nature and origins of the housing and credit crises demonstrate that McCain is a straight talker only when he says he knows nothing about economics.
His only proposal to address the current problems homeowners are facing is to get mortgage lenders to pledge to help cash-strapped, but credit-worthy, customers. He must have been out on the campaign trail last August when President Bush announced the Hope Now Alliance, which is a coalition of mortgage lenders and servicers that agreed to do just that. Unfortunately, the Hope Now Alliance’s track record is poor. Participants have not demonstrated the ability (or, some would argue, the willingness) to make widespread, substantive changes to mortgages that would result in sustainable payments for borrowers. McCain is pushing an ineffective policy six months late.
McCain claims he is open to new proposals that provide no bailouts to investors or speculators, but he made no mention of either Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) or Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-MA) proposals to address the current crisis, which meet the universally accepted no bailout criterion. A true straight talker would acknowledge that there are serious legislative vehicles in Congress to address the current crisis and state his position on them either in his current role as Senator from the deeply impacted state of Arizona or in his aspiring role as president.