On the same day one leading indicator showed home values dropping 11 percent in January compared to a year before, Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain gave a speech yesterday addressing the housing crisis. But failing to offer any new proposals to help families and communities struggling in the wake of the crisis, McCain’s speech fell far short of what Wisconsinites need. [New York
While McCain clearly thought the speech demonstrated that he understands the housing crisis, it instead showed that just as he can’t tell the difference between Sunni and Shiite, McCain just doesn’t understand the complexities of the issue. In his remarks, McCain also failed to address the larger issues communities are facing in the wake of the crisis, showing just how out of touch he is with the challenges facing Wisconsin families.
McCain even tried to minimize the impact of the crisis and blame it on speculators and Americans who “bought homes they couldn’t afford,” and asked “how could 4 million mortgages cause this much trouble for us all?” In fact, 4 million mortgages accounts for more that the entire 3,002,048 population of Orange County, where McCain gave the speech, and roughly two-thirds the entire population of his home state of Arizona. And the housing crisis hits close to home—in the fourth quarter of 2007 alone, 32,887 families in Wisconsin were delinquent on their mortgages. [Joint Economic Committee Data, http://jec.senate.gov/Documents/Reports/030608 – MBA Q4 Release.pdf]
“John McCain has proven time and again he just doesn’t understand the challenges facing Wisconsin’s families,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Joe Wineke said. “While Wisconsinites are worried about paying their mortgages and the declining value of their homes, McCain is offering no plans to help them or fix the problem. The fact is, John McCain offers more of the same failed Bush economic policies of tax cuts for the wealthy, reckless spending, and a 100 year war in Iraq. But, he has yet to explain how he will pay for any of it. Voters in Wisconsin will reject John McCain in November because the last thing our country wants is another president we can’t trust on the economy.”