The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
McCain gets one right...
If he keeps saying things like this, I might actually start to get excited about the guy...
Let’s start with some straight talk:
I will not play election year politics with the housing crisis. I will evaluate everything in terms of whether it might be harmful or helpful to our effort to deal with the crisis we face now.
I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers. Government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk that would endanger the entire financial system and the economy.
In our effort to help deserving homeowners, no assistance should be given to speculators. Any assistance for borrowers should be focused solely on homeowners, not people who bought houses for speculative purposes, to rent or as second homes. Any assistance must be temporary and must not reward people who were irresponsible at the expense of those who weren’t. I will consider any and all proposals based on their cost and benefits. In this crisis, as in all I may face in the future, I will not allow dogma to override common sense.
When we commit taxpayer dollars as assistance, it should be accompanied by reforms that ensure that we never face this problem again. Central to those reforms should be transparency and accountability.
Peter Viles adds:
Earlier I wrote that it was hard to pick a headline out of Sen. John McCain's housing speech today, and tonight I stand corrected, by The New York Times: "Drawing a sharp distinction between himself and the two Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. John McCain of Arizona warned Tuesday against vigorous government action to solve the deepening mortgage crisis and the market turmoil it has caused, saying that 'it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.' "
A long headline, but a good summary of an important speech.
More: "... in a departure from Democrats, who have focused on the lending industry’s role in the crisis, Mr. McCain suggested that some homeowners had also engaged in dangerous practices, including borrowing too much in hopes that a rising market would cover their mortgages."
A candidate who talks about taking personal responsibility instead of relying on government bailouts? Works for me.