The Washington Post solicited plans from each of the remaining presidential campaigns on what each candidate will do, if elected, “to solve the current crisis.” Gene Sperling wrote for Hillary Clinton, Dougla Holtz-Eakin wrote for John McCain, and Austan ‘I did not make reassurances to that Canadian” Goolsbee wrote for Barack Obama.
We will have a more detailed look at the main thrusts of both Obama’s and Clinton’s plans (both of which center around a Rep. Barney Frank/Sen. Chris Dodd like mortgage bailout plan) later in the week, but more importantly none of these candidates’ plans for dealing with the current situation will be in the least relevant once one of them is elected. The soonest legislation could be enacted would be June of 2009. And they wouldn’t take effect until sometime thereafter. Does anyone expect the current troubles to last until then? No.
Just think how important the $162 billion in “stimulus” checks was supposed to be for our economy a scant six weeks ago. Now, nobody is arguing that a small shot in the arm of consumer spending will help the current situation at all. Yet those original checks still are not even due for another 8 or so weeks. We have a temporary situation that is resolving itself through the healing power of time and private markets. So hopefully the candidates will abstain from making promises to address today’s problems and focus instead on the future.