Well, I already talked about the Federal takeover of Fannie and Freddie, and since then, I was able to find statements from the Presidential candidates. We’ll start with Barack Obama:
Originally, this was all we had from Obama:
I have been and will continue to monitor this situation closely, and I’ll evaluate whatever plan is put forth by this administration with the following three benchmarks:
First, any action we take must be focused not on the whims of lobbyists and special interests worried about their bonuses and hourly fees, but on whether it will strengthen our economy and help struggling homeowners who are also being hit by lost jobs, stagnant wages and spiralling costs for everything from gas to groceries.
Second, we must protect taxpayers, not bail out the shareholders and management of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This is a challenging situation, and there are some community and regional banks, including those serving low-income communities, that we need to carefully address. But we must not allow government intervention to protect investors and speculators who relied on the government to reap massive profits.
Finally, we must ensure that any plan clarifies the true public and private status of our housing policies. We need to make clear that in our market system, investors must not be allowed to believe that, unlike working families, they can simply invest in a “heads they win, tails they don’t lose” context.
Then Obama’s blog somebody posted a slightly different press release, which basically said the same thing with a few differences:
Today Senator Obama released the following statement on the U.S. Treasury Plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
Given the substantial role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play in our housing system, I believe that some form of intervention is necessary to prevent a larger and deeper crisis throughout our entire economy. I will be reviewing the details of the Treasury plan and monitoring its impact to determine whether it achieves the key benchmarks I believe are necessary to address this crisis.
First, this plan must not focus on the whims of lobbyists and special interests worried about their bonuses and hourly fees, but instead on strengthening our economy and helping struggling homeowners who are also being hit by lost jobs, stagnant wages and spiraling costs of everything from gas to groceries. Second, the plan must protect taxpayers, not bail out the shareholders and management of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Third, once we ride out the current crisis, the plan must move toward clarifying the true public and private status of our housing policies. In our market system, investors must not be allowed to believe that they can invest in a “heads they win, tails they don’t lose” situation.
And then we have John McCain, who made this statement on CBS’s “Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer:
SCHIEFFER: And thank you for saying that.
Let’s talk a little bit about the big news of the day.
Sen. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.
SCHIEFFER: Both the Post and The New York Times report that the administration is preparing to put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two guarantors of mortgages, in some sort of a conservorship***(as spoken). Basically what they’re going to do is dismiss the officers, the government will take over. There’s no way you can say this is not going to cost the taxpayers billions of dollars. Do you think this is a good idea, Senator McCain?
Sen. McCAIN: I think it has to be done, Bob. I think that we’ve got to keep people in their homes. There’s got to be restructuring, there’s got to be reorganization and there’s got to be some confidence that we’ve stopped this downward spiral. It’s hard, it’s tough, but it’s also the classic example of why we need change in Washington. It’s an example of cronyism, special interest, lobbyists, a quasi-governmental organization where the executives were making hundreds of–hundred and some million dollars a year while things were going downhill, going to hell in a handbasket. This is–this is the kind of cronyism and corruption that has made people so justifiably angered. I did have a long conversation with Secretary Paulson, a man I admire and respect, and he did say that when the housing market starts back up–and it will, it will in America–then the taxpayers are going to be the first to be paid off. They’re the ones that are going to be reimbursed when the values of the homes start–hit bottom and start back up and they start getting more money back in. And that has to be a vital part of it. And again, this is a system that cries out for reform.
SCHIEFFER: You’re talking about–they’re going to have some more regulation. Is that what you’re saying? More control?
Sen. McCAIN: More regulation, more oversight, more transparency, more of everything. And frankly, a dramatic reduction in what they do. You know, they are originally designed to provide a chance for middle income people to have an affordable home loan mortgage, and it grew into this sprawling, massive bureaucracy rife with corruption, cronyism, special interests, lobbyists and a relationship with Congress. Congress passed these laws that allowed these massive loopholes to be there. And so obviously, it’s got not only to be fixed, but it’s a system. It’s an example and a symptom of a system where we’re so close to the special interests that somehow–in Washington, we’re so close that somehow the average American is totally disregarded.
SCHIEFFER: All right. Let’s take a break here.
Sen. McCAIN: Sure.
OK, so who do I agree with more? Neither really. Obama seems to have formed less of an opinion than McCain, and McCain seems to have pretty much taken this from the takeover. McCain talks about “a dramatic reduction in what [Fannie and Freddie] do,” which is pretty much what the takeover plan states.
Like I said before, I don’t think that the takeover was a good idea. I don’t think that “reduc[ing] what they do” is a good idea either. As of now, I want the government to do their plan with the company, and get out of the companies (since they obviously won’t take my idea of doing nothing with the companies). I see no need for the government to start dictating how much these (now formerly) PRIVATE companies do.
So, I’m kinda disappointed in McCain, but I’m not really surprised. This follows his stance on the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, in that he wants bailouts to help the people (at least he’s not doing it to help the company), but that government involvement is only going to hurt more people more in the long run.
Tags: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Bob Schieffer, CBS, Democrat, Department of the Treasury, Economic Crisis, Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, Economic Stimulus Package, Economics, economy, Election, Face the Nation, Fannie MAe, Finances, Financial Institution, Freddie Mac, Government, Government Sponsored Enterprises, GSEs, Housing, Housing Crisis, John McCain, Money, Mortgage, Mortgage Crisis, Politics, Republican, Senator