Sunday, October 26, 2008

Why Not McCain?

It seems so long ago when I thought to begin a series of posts explaining my opposition to John McCain's presidential bid, before his candidacy became a caricature of itself. That was a time when the Arizona senator seemed to understand what was going on in the country, even if the conversion was largely convenient. It was a time (September 16) when the Repub nominee, according to the Washington Post of the following day, stated "In my administration, we're going to hold people on Wall Street responsible. And we're going to enact and enforce reforms to make sure that these outrages never happen in the first place."

Alas, these days are over and replaced by the John McCain who, the Post reported:

- supported the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which overturned part of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, thereby removing the walls among banking, investment, and insurance companies (Glass-Steagall "established a regulatory firewall between bank and investment activities," thus opening competition among banks, insurance companies, and securities companies and prohibiting a bank from offering investment, commercial banking, and insurance services.);

-in 1996..... was one of only five senators to oppose a comprehensive telecommunications act, saying it did not go far enough in deregulating the industry ;

-in the 1990s....backed an unsuccessful effort to create a moratorium on all new government regulation;

- in 2007, told a group of bloggers on a conference call that he regretted his vote on the Sarbanes-Oxley bill .... which were put in place after the accounting scandals involving Enron and other major firms.

McCain's hard right turn on Sarbanes-Oxley may be a metaphor for his most recent reversals of perspective. After his comments of September 16 of this year, McCain was quoted in the September-October issue of Contingencies magazines as arguing "opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation" (my emphasis). And on October 24, Politico's Jonathan Martin reported

One more from Lisa Lerer:
“They feel that what they need is lower taxes and less government regulation of their business,” said McCain, in a statement about a meeting he held with group of small business owners in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

That may be a dangerous message in the midst of a market meltdown many have blamed on a lack of regulation on Wall Street, and on a day when the Dow fell more than 5 percent before "recovering" to end the day down 3.6 percent, or more than 300 points.

There are a few lessons we all can learn from the current economic crisis. Notwithstanding legitimate concerns of small business owners, a need for deregulation of the economy is not one of them, and John McCain should have figured that out by now.

No comments:

This "R" Stands for More than "Reprehensible"

He's not insane but if Jim Steinman was right that "two out of three ain't bad," three out of four is quite good. Th...