Earlier this evening, I watched a short clip of John McCain speaking about the economic crisis of the past few days, and I felt afterward that perhaps someone ought to ask him four questions. First, the video:
Here are the four questions I’d like to ask John McCain regarding the economy:
1. What specific actions can the government take to ensure that these kinds of abuses do not go uncorrected or unpunished in the future?
2. If the executive branch of the government is in a position to ensure that these kinds of abuses do not go uncorrected or unpunished in the future, did the government not also have the power to prevent these abuses from happening in the first place?
3. You have clearly switched your position on whether the government should regulate Wall Street*. Was it this sudden economic crisis that caused you to change your fundamental philosophy toward our national economy? Since the issue of government regulation and oversight is at the heart of the philosophical differences between Democrats and Republicans, do you now agree with Senator Obama’s philosophy that stronger regulation should have been in place long ago?
4. During your twelve years on the Senate Commerce Committee (nine of which you served as the chairman), you opted not to use the regulation and oversight strategies you now support. Do you think that if you had done then what you desire to do now, we’d be in this current crisis?
* You told the Wall Street Journal on March 3, 2008 that you are “always for less regulation” and that you are “fundamentally a deregulator.” You told CNN on Feb. 4th, 2008 that “I have — I have specific proposals to address our economic challenges. We will be coming out with more specific proposals, and they will be based not on big government intervention and not on raising your taxes, not on increasing government regulation but unleashing the forces of the free market and the capitalism and we will restore this economy, because the fundamentals are strong of our economy.” Yet AP News on Sept. 16th quotes you as saying that “the McCain-Palin administration will replace an outdated, patchwork quilt of regulatory oversight and bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street. We will have transparency and accountability and we will reform the regulatory bodies of government . . .I think it’s a failure of government and I think it’s a failure of regulatory agencies,” McCain told reporters.“