Yesterday, the Wonk Room noted how little discussion of the economy occurred during the Republican National Convention. One facet of the poor economy in particular – the housing crisis – was almost completely absent from the RNC.
The Associated Press reported today that the housing crisis is now affecting 4 million Americans, who are “either behind on their payments or in foreclosure.” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has acknowledged the problem, saying that it is having a “devastating impact on our financial markets and the household budgets of millions of hardworking Americans,” and that “we have a responsibility to take action to help those among them who are deserving homeowners.”
Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) said during his address Wednesday that “If you’re a young couple losing your house…you want something to change,” and that McCain has “specific ideas to respond to a need for change.” However, Huckabee didn’t offer the specifics, instead going on to note, in the very next sentence, that “there are some things we never want to change – freedom, security, and the opportunity to prosper.” Watch it:
Perhaps Huckabee declined to put forth specifics because John McCain’s plan for solving the housing crisis consists of “policy platitudes instead of solutions.”
McCain, like President George Bush, advocates a laissez faire approach to housing, and has said that he would only “convene a meeting of the nation’s accounting professionals” and “top mortgage lenders,” who he hopes would voluntarily help Americans.
However, as the Wonk Room has pointed out before, “individual and voluntary negotiations between at-risk borrowers and mortgage servicers is clearly not working.” Instead, “effective solutions for foreclosed properties must be centered on state and local governments and their non-profit, private sector, and philanthropic partners.”