John McCain uses his weekly radio address to continue promoting his mortgage rescue plan -- and bash Democratic rival Barack Obama's response to the economic crisis.
"We've had two debates now, with a third coming this Wednesday night. And I can't shake the impression that Barack Obama is trying so hard to exploit America's financial crisis that he hasn't really focused on how to solve it. He keeps talking about the past, too -- although in a very selective way. He leaves out certain details, like the part about how he was taking campaign money from the same executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who were causing America's financial crisis.
McCain says that to resolve the crisis, the government must deal with the wave of foreclosures and plummeting home prices. Under his plan, the government would spend about $300 billion to buy distressed mortgages from financial institutions at their face values, then refinance them at lower interest rates and at the lower market value. Critics say that would force taxpayers to make up the difference.
"It's a simple idea," McCain said. "Take some of the money that Congress has already committed to fixing our financial system and use it to give millions of homeowners a new mortgage and a fresh start. No default. No bankruptcy. No foreclosure. No deteriorating neighborhoods. The United States government will support the refinancing of distressed mortgages for homeowners and replace them with manageable mortgages.
"It's critical that we stabilize mortgages, or else the housing market won't stabilize and homeowners across our country face troubles even greater than they face now," he added. "The housing market faces distortion by a glut of low-priced, foreclosed homes. And this would lead to a crash in the value of the number one asset of a majority of Americans. With so much on the line, the moment requires that government act -- and as president I intend to act, quickly and decisively."
McCain said Obama's response to the plan "was typical of his response to the entire crisis. First, Senator Obama tried to claim that it was really his idea. But if anyone believed that claim, they didn't believe it for long because the very next day Senator Obama and his campaign attacked my plan to stabilize mortgages. He claimed that the cost of the plan would place a burden to taxpayers -- this from the same guy who plans to increase federal spending by $860 billion."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.