Back to the Issues: The Economy

Back to the Issues: The Economy

With the turmoil in the financial markets taking front stage in the presidential campaigns, Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain finally appear to be getting back to the issues and taking a break from the childish mudslinging that has plagued the campaigns in recent weeks.

Today, Obama will give a speech in Golden, Co., in response to the growing financial crisis. According to a press release, he plans to discuss his plans to revamp the government’s regulatory framework, fight special interests, and growing the American economy. Not to be missed, and sure to be a highlight, will be his treatise on the “fundamental differences between his economic philosophy and John McCain’s commitment to more of the same.”

So far, both candidates have issued statements on the crisis. But writing in today’s New York Times, Jackie Calmes, says, McCain’s “record on the issue, and the views of those he has always cited as his most influential advisers, suggest that he has never departed in any major way from his party’s embrace of deregulation and relying more on market forces than on the government to exert discipline.”

McCain’s campaign even unveiled a television advertisement Monday called “Crisis,” that began: “Our economy in crisis. Only proven reformers John McCain and Sarah Palin can fix it. Tougher rules on Wall Street to protect your life savings. No special interest giveaways.” Though, earlier in the day McCain did say that the “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

Not to be outdone, Obama immediately released an ad called “Fundamentals” poking fun at McCain’s comments in light of the current situation.

Obama sought to link the current situation to Bush administration and by association McCain: “I certainly don’t fault Senator McCain for these problems, but I do fault the economic philosophy he subscribes to,” Obama said in a statement issued by his campaign yesterday.

Despite laying out his approach to financial regulation in March, “calling for regulating investment banks, mortgage brokers and hedge funds much as commercial banks,” the Washington Post says Obama “has struggled through much of the year to develop a compelling economic message. Where he remains suspect is on the strength of his leadership and his ability to connect with working- and middle-class voters.”

Obama doesn’t think it is up to the government (aka taxpayers) to rescue the failed banks because “at some level what you had is a situation in which investors and management at these firms were taking extraordinary risks with enormous upside when the market was good, but you can’t have a situation where you expect the taxpayers to foot the bill when times are bad,” Obama said yesterday.

The question remains, who has the better plans