Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Boring Debate

Were you able to stay awake through debate number 2 last night?

It was a snoozer, especially compared to the VP debate. Obama, predictably, played it safe since he's sitting on a decent lead. Call it the four corners offense--just run down the clock.

McCain tried to attack, but was largely ineffective.

One thing we did notice is that McCain, right at the outset, announced something new: he's in favor (at least as of last night--he's probably already abandoned it) of having the GOVERNMENT take over some unspecified number of mortgages and re-set them so home"owners" can make their payments. (We put "owners" in quotes because many of these were no-down-payment loans; having put nothing of their own into such homes, we shouldn't feel too sorry if the occupants now revert to being renters.)

Then, the rest of the debate, McCain attacked Obama for making the government the solution to our problems.


It would have been nice to see Obama just flat out call McCain to the mat on that one, but that, of course, would've required going off the script for the night. "John, if I heard you right, a few minutes ago you said the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT should buy up a whole bunch of bad mortgages and manage them, at god knows what cost. Even I am not in favor of having the government own mortgages. Then you have the nerve to accuse me of making the government the solution to problems. Take a look in the mirror, bud."

McCain also said fixing social security was "easy." Sure it is. It's so easy that we've been putting it off for 30 years because, we guess, it's easy. Last we heard, McCain wanted to fix it by investing social security funds in the stock market. Now wouldn't that have been a brilliant idea!

In the end, neither candidate is being honest. They're talking about large tax cuts, universal health care and vast expenditures on "energy independence" without saying a word about the massive federal deficit. Frankly, it would be nice to have someone like Ross Perot in this race as a significant third party candidate who could say, "hold on boys, let's get realistic here."

Maybe Bloomberg should have run after all!


Anonymous said...

McCain looked like an old man that is mad that his life didn't turn out the way he had planned.

No one wants to discuss strategies to balance the budget. That, MY FRIENDS, is sad.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, a deep recession is not the time to balance the budget. Growth times are when the budget should run at surplus. But, apparently, none of Bush's people have read Keynes. Too busy reading Laffer, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Notice that I didn't say that we had to "balance the budget". I stated it was sad that no one wants to discuss "strategies" to balance the budget. There is a difference. Bill Clinton couldn't snap his fingers in 1993 and balance the budget. Instead, he created a "strategy" that allowed us to balance the budget several years later.

X Curmudgeon said...

Same here--we don't advocate balancing the budget during a recession (depression?). But we can't just ignore it, either. Another example of the Bush administration really tieing our hands here.

By early next year, when the cost of the bailout, combined with the existing deficit spending and reduced tax flows from a slow economy all become apparent, it will be clear that the new President's options are quite limited.

Anonymous said...

I was amused that McCain, a small government republican, was advocating a government buyout of home mortgages.

Anonymous said...

GOP is small government but big business. Buying distressed mortgages from the banks is good for big business that made greedy decisions.