Monday, March 31, 2008



Art by tw3k: McCain's real economic agenda

Today's NY Daily News revealed that some of the 66 lobbyists driving the Double Talk Express have made close to a million dollars lobbying for a notorious predatory lender, Ameriquest, which lured people into unsustainable mortgages. McCain doesn't blame Ameriquest or his lobbyist pals-- one his chief liaison to Congress (John Green) and the other is his national finance co-chairman (Wayne Berman). Instead he blames the victims, calling them irresponsible and trying to paint them as somehow morally deficient and undeserving of society's help as they lose their homes. Of course, McCain himself has voted for every single piece of legislation that has wrecked a regulatory system that could have and should have prevented the business practices that led to this-- and those votes are paying off big time as scores of lobbyists he has helped flock to his campaign.
When Sen. John McCain addressed the nation's burgeoning mortgage mess last week, he insisted it was time for a little "straight talk."

"I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis," the GOP presidential hopeful insisted while unveiling his plan, which many have since described as friendlier to the mortgage industry than the Democrats' proposals.

What McCain did not say-- which some believe smacks of politics-- is that two of his top advisers were recently lobbyists for a notorious lender in the mortgage meltdown.

McCain's lobbyist brigade were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars before Ameriquest went belly-up-- but not before thousands and thousands of their victims lost their homes. The company was forced to settle suits in 49 states and pay $325 million in liabilities. "They would be defined as the most blatant and aggressive predatory lenders out of everybody," said Bruce Marks, head of the nonprofit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.

McCain claims he kept Green and Berman out of the process when he decided to come down on the side of the predatory lenders and against the consumers and, in truth, that's the way his voting record shows he's always been. One of his p.r hacks, Tucker Bonds, blatantly lied to a press ever eager to believe every word: "Sen. McCain has never done anything that would violate the public trust and he has never done favors for special interests or lobbyists." I guess no one remembers McCain's close relationship with crooked Arizona banker Charles Keating, who admits he got what he expected from McCain for showering him with tens of thousands of dollars in expensive gifts and services-- while ripping off millions of dollars for Savings and Loans depositors.
[T]he migration of Green and Berman to McCain's campaign comes as the Arizona senator faces criticism on other fronts for aligning himself with lobbyists, whom McCain often derides-- but relies upon to staff his campaign.

They include McCain campaign manager Rick Davis, a former telecommunications lobbyist, as well as Thomas Loeffler, McCain's national finance co-chairman, who recently helped Europe's Airbus consortium land a deal for Air Force tankers [with McCain's help against U.S.-based Boeing].

McCain has been on the wrong side of every single economic issue since first getting to Congress. He represents corporate interests and the wealthiest Americans and ignores the needs of working people and the middle class. Well, that isn't fair of me to say. He doesn't ignore them; actually his speeches and p.r. hype cater to them. He just always votes against them. In today's Newsweek Daniel Gross examines McCain's economic agenda in a powerful column, Staying On Bush's Course-- McCain's Fiscal Program Is Either A Joke Or A Fantasy.
There's an emerging theme surrounding his campaign: The problem with the last eight years isn't that the Bush administration had the wrong policies or was incompetent. No, the problem is that it lacked intensity... Reading McCain's economic agenda, and listening to his speech, it appears that the problem with the last eight years is that we haven't seen enough tax breaks for the wealthy, that economic royalism hasn't been pursued with sufficient vigor, and that the middle and working classes haven't been stiffed sufficiently.

McCain wants to extend the Bush tax cuts, which he once opposed as a needless sop to the rich in a time of war. (I await David Brooks' inevitable explanation of how opposing taxes in a time of war in 2001 and 2003, when deficits were low, but supporting them in 2011, in a time of war and high deficits, is deeply moral and admirable.) But McCain wants to see Bush's tax relief and raise it some. McCain would slash the corporate-income-tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent (because corporate profits as a percentage of GDP didn't spike enough this decade?), and he'd abolish the Alternative Minimum Tax, which would be a welcome move for many upper-middle-class taxpayers. "In all, his tax-cutting proposals could cost about $400 billion a year, according to estimates of the impact of different tax cuts by CBO and the McCain campaign," the Wall Street Journal reported. And how to make up for the lost revenues? Hmmm. McCain promises to cut earmarks; to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse; and to reduce the projected growth of Medicare; but he won't provide many numbers. As the WSJ deadpanned: "The cost will make it difficult for him to achieve his goal of balancing the budget by the end of his first term." That's perhaps the understatement of the year. The 2009 budget calls for a deficit of $407 billion on projected receipts of $2.7 billion, as this table shows. Essentially, McCain wants to cut revenues by about 15 percent from current levels, with nothing close to that in spending reductions, in a time when, even after spending excess Social Security payroll taxes, the deficit is running at more than $400 billion. Here's some straight talk: McCain's fiscal program is either a joke or a fantasy.

...The Federal Reserve and the Bush administration have justified the extraordinary help offered to investment banks and investors by saying that it matters less how we got here and more how we deal with the situation as it is. For McCain, however, it's all about the journey. Poor decisions should not be rewarded-- unless those poor decisions are made by really rich people who run investment banks and hedge funds. While "those who act irresponsibly" shouldn't be bailed out as a matter of principle, it's OK to take extraordinary measures to help banks prevent "systemic risk that would endanger the entire financial system and the economy." Obama and Clinton-- and the Bush administration, through its various efforts to ease the mortgage crisis-- have argued that it might be possible to spare further systemic risk if something was done to buck up the fortunes of homeowners. Bollocks, says McCain. People should just put up more money for down payments and work harder to keep current with their mortgage payments.

And get those fucking kids off my lawn!

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At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Bil said...

I'm going to apologize in advance for this one, because it is SO "looks/appearance focused".

SEE thumbs up McCrazy and "I don't steal drugs anymore Perfect Cindy"?

Even with the WORST plastic surgeons, can you possibly IMAGINE what "Night of the Living DEAD"
THAT perfect couple will look like in 4 years?


At 8:56 PM, Anonymous bil said...


"And get those fucking kids off my lawn!"

I saw a GREAT hispanic comedian do a routine something like that (as gringo's age) "STOP parking in MY DRIVEWAY"!
anybody know his name?

muchas gracias, in advance...

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a great picture of McCain!


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