Comparing Barack Obama and John McCain on the Financial Crisis

Sep 19 2008 Published by under Featured News

Today both Barack Obama and John McCain reacted to the announced federal plan to bail out the capital markets. Barack Obama announced a plan to help the middle class, while John McCain attacked Barack Obama.

Obama called for everyone to come together, “In the same bipartisan spirit that is being shown with regard to the crisis on Wall Street, I ask Senator McCain, President Bush, Republicans and Democrats to join me in supporting an emergency economic plan for working families – a plan that would help folks cope with rising gas and food prices, spark job creation through repair of our schools and roads, help states and cities avoid painful budget cuts and tax increases, help homeowners stay in their homes, and provide retooling assistance for America’s auto industry. John McCain and I can continue to argue about our different economic agendas for next year, but we should come together now to work on what this country urgently needs this year.”

While Obama echoed a tone of bipartisanship, McCain continued to attack, “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.”

McCain got off of the economy and reverted back to his tax argument, “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.”Except for his idea of creating a new trust, the rest of McCain’s plan consisted of much of the same language that Republicans used after Enron collapsed.

Obama’s plan was very comprehensive. It entails everything from Wall Street to Main Street, and also attacked the Republican philosophy of deregulation, “What led us to this point was years and years of a philosophy in Washington and on Wall Street that viewed even common-sense regulation and oversight as unwise and unnecessary; that shredded consumer protections and loosened the rules of the road. CEOs and executives got reckless. Lobbyists got what they wanted. Politicians in both parties looked the other way until it was too late. And it is the American people who have paid the price. The events of this week have rendered a final verdict on that failed philosophy, and it will end if I am President of the United States.”

Barack Obama looked presidential. He exerted leadership and confidence, while John McCain played the part of the desperate candidate who is uncomfortable the issue, but who is trying to turn to his advantage to win an election. When a crisis, such as the current economic one comes along, the McCain strategy of attack, attack, attack reveals its flaws. People don’t want a president whose answer is to blame the other guy. They want a leader who will solve problems. I think this was a strategic miscalculation by the McCain campaign, and another bad day for them on the economy.

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