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McCain Adviser: Mortgage Proposal is New to the Public Discussion

Just a quick follow-up to Mary’s post:

During a conference call with reporters organized by the McCain campaign this morning, senior policy adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin attempted to shed some more light on Sen. John McCain’s mortgage proposal. Not surprisingly, he was asked point-blank what exactly is new in the proposal. This was his response:

We know that there’s been a lot of talk about stabilizing financial markets and using direct purchase authority out of the administration, but it does not seem like that’s been targeted effectively, at least in the public discussion, on the real problem, which is the housing market.

It’s also true that there were initiatives the senators - the Dodd-Frank proposals — to help some homeowners, but they weren’t very broad in scope, and they were typically estimated to help 400,000-500,000 homeowners, in an economy where we have many, many, many times that in real trouble, and where refinancing would really help stabilize the housing market.

[McCain] is interested in timely responses. Existing authorities are better for a timely response, and this is using the package of authorities in a way that we think will be both more effective from an economics point of view, and also hopefully less of a drain on the taxpayers in the years going forward.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but to me it sounded like Holtz-Eakin is agreeing that everything McCain is talking about was already proposed — but the problem is people weren’t talking about it enough.

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