The most fascinating aspect of watching last night’s debate was watching various alleged journalists fawn over John McCain’s proposal, in which he suggested that the federal government should perhaps take over mortgages, and help banks write new mortgages, at the new, lower value of their home. Katie Couric and her compatriots over at CBS actually gave McCain credit for this idea, and suggested that he flesh this out on the campaign trail. Even the simps over at Fox Noise were bitching, because he came up with this idea, and they didn’t like it a bit.
It really makes one wonder; do journalists even follow the news?
This isn’t anything radical or different. Hell; I’ve mentioned this several times on this blog, over the weeks since the economy finally blew up. The idea has been floated for weeks; it would make more sense to subsidize banks to a degree, as they rewrite mortgages based on the current value of the home, rather than foreclose on people who could afford their home, if the mortgage was based on the actual value.
In fact, it’s such a great idea, and has been propagated for so long, by so many people, it was part of the bailout bill passed by Congress last week.
Not only that, but Obama was discussing this idea two weeks before the debate. From a September 23 Obama press conference:
[T]he final plan must provide help to families who are struggling to
stay in their homes. We can’t simply bail out Wall Street without
helping the millions of innocent homeowners who are facing foreclosure
— or, for that matter, are seeing their home values decline.
Now, there are a number of ways we can accomplish this. For example,
we should consider giving the government the authority to purchase
mortgages directly instead of simply purchasing mortgage- backed
securities. In the past, such an approach has allowed taxpayers to
profit as the housing market recovered. This is not simply a question
of looking out for homeowners; it’s doubtful that the economy as a
whole can recover without the restoration of our housing sector,
including a rebound in the home values that have suffered dramatically
in recent months.
Wow, that was some radical plan that John McCain came up with, huh? Wonder where he heard about it? And to the journalists covering this crap; could you please at least TRY to study before the big test?
And while we’re clearing things up, let’s talk about health care.
Let me begin by saying that I’m not a big fan of Obama’s health care plan, mainly because it doesn’t go far enough. It moves us in the right direction, and it’s a proper correction of what we have currently, but we have to move in the direction of single-payer; it’s that simple.
That said, Obama’s plan is far more progressive, and covers far more people than does McCain’s half-assed approach. And lying about both plans, Sen. McCain, doesn’t make your plan better.
First, McCain claimed he would give "every American" a $5000 fully refundable tax credit to pay for health insurance. This is a lie, as his own plan, which he would know if he ever actually read it, calls for a credit of $2500 per person, or $5000 per married couple. The problem with that plan is, the majority of people with a health insurance plan don’t pay the bulk of it; most of the burden is currently on employers. Obama’s plan addresses this, by offering a tax credit up to 50% of the cost of health insurance, and by exempting small business altogether.
And what McCain didn’t tell you was how he planned on paying for his plan. He plans on paying for it by taxing health insurance premiums paid by employers as income.
Can you understand why the McCain plan is stupid? Employers pay most of the health insurance premiums for most people who have it. Yet, they will pay more, because they’ll also have to pay tax on that, while employees get a tax credit for the amount they pay in health insurance. That means a lot of employers, who are already strapped trying to provide health insurance, will just drop their plan altogether, which means you will have to come up with your own plan, which will cost far more than the $2500 for single and $5000 for married couple the tax break will give you.
On taxes, McCain softened his accusation against Obama somewhat, but he’s still way the hell off.
In the first debate, McCain made the claim that Obama had voted to increase taxes 94 times. This time, he changed it a little.
Sen. Obama has voted 94 times to either increase your taxes or against tax cuts. That’s his record.
This is, of course, also a complete lie. Apparently, McCain has decided that is you lessen the intensity of the lie, it is less dishonest, which sounds more like someone who just passed third grade, than someone who has spent 26 years in the United States Senate.
The reality is, the vast majority of those votes were procedural votes, which technically authorized the possibility that taxes could be raised, but didn’t actually raise them. Eighteen times, he voted in a way that would LOWER taxes on most people, but raise them only on the very rich. Eleven of those tax increases only affected those making more than $1 million per year, while lowering taxes on those making less than $1 million. I think even those, like Sen. McCain, who fall into that "over $1 million" category can agree that most of the people watching the debate were in that other category.
Oh, and one more thing. When McCain used the example of "having to withdraw in humiliation" from Somalia to make his case for "winning" in Iraq, the Senator failed to mention that HE led a group that tried to force the Clinton Administration to withdraw faster. When Clinton proposed a six-month phased troop withdrawal, McCain led the charge in Congress to — hold onto your hats — immediately cut off funds and withdraw troops from Somalia.
No kidding. McCain did that.