Friday, September 19, 2008

McCain: Spare Us The Lectures, Senator Obama

Senator McCain looked across the troubled financial landscape and the first thing I heard (not to be confused with the first thing he actually said) out of him was a call to fire Chris Cox. I've met Chris Cox. He's a brilliant fellow. I found Sen. McCain's attack idiotic and disheartening. Even worse, I saw no forgiveable political calculation in it. This kind of culture-of-victimhood populism is best left to the loons of the left, Senator.

To me, the right approach politically is to attack hard those links between Obama, Biden, and the incredibly unpopular Pelosi/Reid congress with these front-burner problems. I read through McCain's remarks on the economy this morning in Green Bay, WI and, amidst too much populist goo, too many big government solutions, there were some good lines:

Clear answers are hard to come by in Washington. As Senator Obama's leader in Congress memorably put it the other day — and I quote — "no one knows what to do." Perhaps given that reaction, it shouldn't surprise us that the Congressional leaders of this do-nothing Congress also said that they weren't going to take action until after the election, claiming that it wasn't their fault.


The financial crisis we're living through today started with the corruption and manipulation of our home mortgage system. At the center of the problem were the lobbyists, politicians, and bureaucrats who succeeded in persuading Congress and the administration to ignore the festering problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These quasi-public corporations lead our housing system down a path where quick profit was placed before sound finance. They institutionalized a system that rewarded forcing mortgages on people who couldn't afford them, while turning around and selling those bad mortgages to the banks that are now going bankrupt. Using money and influence, they prevented reforms that would have curbed their power and limited their ability to damage our economy. And now, as ever, the American taxpayers are left to pay the price for Washington's failure.

Two years ago, I called for reform of this corruption at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Congress did nothing. The Administration did nothing. Senator Obama did nothing, and actually profited from this system of abuse and scandal. While Fannie and Freddie were working to keep Congress away from their house of cards, Senator Obama was taking their money. He got more, in fact, than any other member of Congress, except for the Democratic chairmen of the committee that oversees them. And while Fannie Mae was betraying the public trust, somehow its former CEO had managed to gain my opponent's trust to the point that Senator Obama actually put him in charge of his vice presidential search.

This CEO, Mr. Johnson, walked off with tens of millions of dollars in salary and bonuses for services rendered to Fannie Mae, even after authorities discovered accounting improprieties that padded his compensation. Another CEO for Fannie Mae, Mr. Raines, has been advising Senator Obama on housing policy. This even after Fannie Mae was found to have committed quote "extensive financial fraud" under his leadership. Like Mr. Johnson, Mr. Raines walked away with tens of millions of dollars.


My friends, this is the problem with Washington. People like Senator Obama have been too busy gaming the system and haven't ever done a thing to actually challenge the system.
We've heard a lot of words from Senator Obama over the course of this campaign. But maybe just this once he could spare us the lectures, and admit to his own poor judgment in contributing to these problems. The crisis on Wall Street started in the Washington culture of lobbying and influence peddling, and he was square in the middle of it.


But to get through this tough time for America, and to come out stronger, we need a strategy of economic growth. And the massive new tax burden that my opponent plans for the American economy is exactly the wrong answer. His tax increase — along with the enormous new federal programs he proposes — are the surest way to turn a recession into a depression. In every respect, the Obama tax hikes would make things even worse for the working people of this country.


Business taxes will be cut from the second highest in the world at 35 percent to 25 percent. Tax incentives will spur investment in new plants and equipment. Research and development incentives will keep companies on the cutting edge of their industries. Healthcare costs will diminish. Companies will stop sending jobs overseas to low-cost, low-tax countries and start creating jobs here in America.
I will expand markets for our goods and services. And one in five of all jobs in this country are linked to world trade. In five states alone Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Colorado over 5 million jobs depend on trade. My economic recovery plan will create millions of jobs in America instead of driving them overseas.
I will adopt an "all of the above" energy policy which expands our use of oil, natural gas, clean coal and nuclear facilities. We will embark on a national mission to build an alternative energy base, creating millions of new jobs. We will create the most diversified energy economy in the world. And, I will return to the American economy the $700 billion dollars we send overseas every year to buy oil.
My opponent offers a very different economic future. He has continuously shifted his position on taxes. At the beginning of this campaign he promised to raise taxes on your savings and investments. He said he won't raise taxes for most people but he has voted 94 times in his short Senate career for tax increases and against tax cuts. He said he would only tax the rich, but he voted this year to raise taxes on those making just $42,000. Senator Obama has simply not given Americans good reason to trust him with your tax dollars.
My opponent is against lowering taxes on businesses which are the second highest in the world. He will impose mandated health insurance on businesses that would cost up to $12,000 per employee. He opposes free trade. He also wants to take away the fundamental right of workers to have a secret ballot when voting to be part of a union.


The entire text is available at The Corner.