One of the questions I suggested for yesterday’s debate dealt with the Bush/Hillarycare for housing initiatives that have been in the works since last summer–and which I’ve been covering extensively. Unfortunately, the debate barely scratched the surface. When Mitt Romney asserted that we need to “Stop the housing crisis,” no one followed up. How exactly? Romney was never pressed. McCain prattled on about job retraining and education. Huckabee commended the president’s non-bailout bailout approach (despite having earlier made tougher, clearer comments unequivocally opposing bailout measures). Fred Thompson talked about the need for a Clintonesque “fiscal stimulus.”
Hillary Clinton has indeed found her voice. It’s inside all of the GOP candidates!
In Hillary’s New Hampshire victory speech, I noted that the subprime meltdown was prominently mentioned. Her pollsters and strategists know it is playing well. I reported back in August that her campaign was soliciting housing sob stories:
Well, now guess what? Hillary’s launching a full-scale Housing Czarina and Economic Stimulus campaign– and you can bet she’ll be armed with anecdotes:
Amid growing signs of trouble in the U.S. economy, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton will propose a $70-billion package today to stimulate the economy and will urge Congress to stand ready to offer a $40-billion rebate to taxpayers if the slump continues.
The New York senator’s economic package, to be announced in a speech in Los Angeles, includes temporary measures to quickly inject money into the economy and help middle-class families, including housing aid, to stem foreclosures; energy assistance; and liberalized unemployment insurance.
The initiative, larger than an economic stimulus proposed last month by former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, one of her rivals for the nomination, comes as Clinton is trying to build on her victory in the New Hampshire primary. The package dovetails with her efforts to appeal to middle- and lower-income workers, an important part of the coalition that has backed her in early voting…
She’s moving to the left of Edwards to steal his faux populist thunder:
…Among Democrats, Edwards has proposed a $25-billion jobs plan and urged Congress to be ready to pass $75 billion more upon evidence of a recession.
Like Edwards’ plan, Clinton’s approach differs from the last time Congress — then controlled by Republicans — enacted an economic stimulus plan. That 2003 law provided aid to states and tax breaks for businesses and individuals.
Clinton’s plan packages new proposals with ideas she has championed in the past. A memo describing the plan says it meets her three principles for economic stimulus: fast-starting, temporary and progressive. The plan is designed to be immediate and to last only through 2008.
Key elements include a $30-billion fund to help states and cities stem foreclosures in the subprime mortgage crisis, and a 90-day moratorium on subprime foreclosures.
She will also propose $25 billion in emergency home-heating assistance and $10 billion to expand unemployment insurance.
If economic conditions worsen, Clinton plans to say, Congress should provide $40 billion in direct tax rebates to middle-class families.
Is there anyone in the Republican Party who stands in clear and direct opposition to Hillarycare for the housing market? Where are fiscal conservatives? The White House is infected with the bailout virus. The Senate has only one member willing to say “Suck It Up.” And based on last night’s remarks, the leading GOP presidential candidates are all on board the Bush/Hillarycare for housing gravy train.
Which means maximum pandering to homebuyers who made bad decisions–at the expense of the majority of responsible taxpayers.
God save us from “bipartisanship.”