Weeks ago, after Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, expressed his belief that the markets would work out the housing crisis and "it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers," he was applauded by conservatives (such as George F. Will) while liberals likened him to Old Man Potter from "It’s a Wonderful Life" and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, likened him to Herbert Hoover.
Yesterday, McCain tried to morph from Potter to George Bailey, giving a speech in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, in which he said he was "committed to using all the resources of this government and great nation to create opportunity and make sure that every deserving American has a good job and can achieve their American dream.”
The McCain campaign says the new plan would cost up to $10 billion, and would help up to 400,000 homeowners. The plan would not help real estate speculators or those who failed to "perform due diligence in assessing credit risks," McCain’s website says. "Any assistance for borrowers should be focused solely on homeowners and any government assistance to the banking system should be based solely on preventing systemic risk."
Those eligible for government aid under McCain’s new plan would have taken a sub-prime mortgage after 2005 for their primary residence, had creditworthiness at the time, and though they are delinquent in payments or arrears would be able to meet terms of a new 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
Said Clinton, "Just two weeks ago, Senator McCain said he’d rather do nothing than something about the housing crisis… Today, it looks like he’s proposing a warmed-over, half-hearted version of the very plan he criticized."
And conservatives said amen. Agreed the National Review’s Stephen Spruiell, "What can I say? When she’s right, she’s right."