The only real “big news” from the second debate between John McCain and Barack Obama, said Michael Maiello in Forbes online, is that the “small-government Republican” wants the U.S. Treasury to buy up and renegotiate homeowners’ “bad home-loan mortgages,” to prevent more costly foreclosures. McCain’s idea is “provocative,” but it has several inherent contradictions and sounds unfair to renters.
We can’t evaluate the plan—assuming it wasn’t “simply fodder for the debate”—without more detail, said Jane Sasseen in BusinessWeek online. Fixing “the underlying foreclosure crisis” is crucial, but is McCain suggesting that we buy the mortgages at their inflated face values, bailing out shifty lenders, or that we force lenders to take a haircut?
McCain needs to explain his surprise proposal better, said Michael Gerson in The Washington Post online, but it sure worked politically. The “hopeful, forward-looking” plan could help keep millions of Americans in their homes. Sure, it’s a “pretty bold use of government,” but that could have “serious political appeal” in this crisis.
Actually, McCain’s “bold new idea” doesn’t look so new, said Rex Nutting in MarketWatch. “It’s part of the $700 billion bailout package” signed into law last week. Section 110 of the law says that the Treasury will buy up “troubled assets,” including home mortgages, and modify them to “minimize foreclosures.” Did McCain even read the bill?
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Why China thinks it could defeat the U.S. in battle
- Why your employer should clean your house and do your laundry
- The real lesson of Rick Perry's mug shot
- The big policy question libertarians can't answer
- Welcome to the age of ambivalent feminism
- What you need to know before you support the police in Ferguson
- How the West produces jihadi tourists
Subscribe to the Week