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2-For-1 Deal — Obama, Clinton Double-Header on the Economy

It's a cavalcade of speechifying this morning! Obama! Clinton! Bush on the war! Here's the update:

Hillary just started her economic speech in North Carolina with a laugh saying, "If you want to go forward you put it in D, if you want to backward you put it in R."

She then went on to make her speech local, by drawing in the challenges and innovation of the Wright brothers (different Wright this time!) at Kitty Hawk.

Hillary focused on the workforce end of the economy, proposing a $12.5 billion, five-year initiative to rebuild the middle class by helping laid-off workers and boosting job training. The program includes about $2 billion a year for worker retraining and $500 million a year in grants for on-the-job training. To see good excerpts of both, as well as full coverage of Obama's speech from earlier this morning,


Hillary said,

We are competing in a new global economy, but our policies to equip American worker for the twenty-first century are stuck back in the twentieth. When it comes to retraining assistance, our government is more focused on how you lost your job than how you can find a new one. And while we have been rightly focused on trying to help people who are out of work, there’s been too little thought and effort to help people gain new skills while they still have their existing jobs – so they can move up or move on to higher-wage positions.

She also took aim at McCain's plan:

Sometimes the phone rings at 3 a.m. in the White House and it’s an economic crisis. And we need a president who is ready and willing to answer that call. But I read Senator McCain's plan which does virtually nothing to ease the credit crisis or the housing crisis. The phone is ringing and he would just let it ring and ring.

Her speech was markedly different than Obama's even though they were on the same subject. She spoke quietly and aimed her populist-seeming remarks from the ground up, while it seems Obama took the opposite strategy.

Here's Obama's take. His speech started with a gulp of realization, "now, as most experts agree, our economy is in a recession. "

Obama then laid out economic policy mostly geared toward the upper reaches of the financial world, including six steps to reform the regulatory system.

You can find the full text of Obama's speech here. Here are a couple of passages that struck me.

Today, those consequences are clear. I see them in every corner of our great country, as families face foreclosure and rising costs. I seem them in towns across America, where a credit crisis threatens the ability of students to get loans, and states can't finance infrastructure projects. I see them here in Manhattan, where one of our biggest investment banks had to be bailed out, and the Fed opened its discount window to a host of new institutions with unprecedented implications we have yet to appreciate. When all is said and done, losses will be in the many hundreds of billions. What was bad for Main Street was bad for Wall Street. Pain trickled up.


Senator McCain argues that government should do nothing to protect borrowers and lenders who've made bad decisions, or taken on excessive risk. On this point, I agree. But the Dodd-Frank package is not a bailout for lenders or investors who gambled recklessly, as they will take losses. It is not a windfall for borrowers, as they will have to share any capital gain. Instead, it offers a responsible and fair way to help bring an end to the foreclosure crisis. It asks both sides to sacrifice, while preventing a long-term collapse that could have enormous ramifications for the most responsible lenders and borrowers, as well as the American people as a whole. That is what Senator McCain ignores.

Do you think he effectively answered McCain's statement against the "irresponsible" from two days ago? Are you confident Obama's call for sacrifices on all sides of the crisis will help heal the economy? Which speech spoke more to you? Hillary's job training, or Obama's regulations? Are either of these the answer?


Join The Conversation
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Oh that's amazing beachykeen! I wish I could've been there.
beachykeen beachykeen 9 years
I was their today it was so exciting!!! The only bad thing was she was running behind and got their a hour after it was supposed to start. But it was super exciting I might not agree with her but id do respect her.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
M3 I bow to your knowledge of the economy! I think its far superior to mine!
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
My dad is a commercial lender and he concurs liliblu...and furthermore he says that nothing is getting financed right now. Everyone is terrified to lend anyone money. The only people spending money on real estate and commercial deals right now are from other countries. Most of the loans he deals with are being financed from overseas. This is leading the way for hedge funds and "creative" financing that doesn't involve simply loaning money.
liliblu liliblu 9 years
Cine, the foreclosure may help them with the mortgage debt, but it hurts them in many other ways. Try renting after a foreclosure. I see and speak with people often who try to explain they are not a bad risk as renters. They usually have to pay more of a security deposit or are just denied the rental home/apartment because of the foreclosure on their record. Also if they put money down on their home or in improvements they lose all that in the foreclosure. Some people refinanced to make home repairs and were talked into either an ARM or interest only loan. They have lost the home they were in for 10-20 years and have nothing to show for it.
liliblu liliblu 9 years
Sorry the post is so long. There are a lot of problems to be worked out.
liliblu liliblu 9 years
I do a little bit of everything but I am not a realtor. The agent I work with has been in the business over 20 years. I deal with agents, lenders, title companies, appraisers, and home inspectors daily. I don't think people really know how bad this housing crisis is shaping up to be. There will have to be some form of relief to stem the tide of foreclosures. Last year we had just begun to see short sales appearing on MLS. Now they are everywhere. Adjustable rate mortages and interest only loans are killing people. A lot of Lenders lied to borrowers and insisted that they would be able to refinance long before that ARM kicked in. Most were unable to do so and are now paying two and three times what they were paying before. The only thing that I think will help right now is if Lenders work with borrowers. You would be amazed at how hard it is for some home owners to get in touch with someone to discuss their loan. -The terms of the loan may need to be modified. Banks can do this. This can make a mortgage more affordable. -Keep the borrower at the current interest rate if they have not defaulted/ Stay at the introductory rate -Allow the owner to sell for less than the house is worth "short sales" -Modify the interest rate or the length of the loan to reduce the montly payment
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Cabaker, I actually mentioned about a year ago to someone that I could see us heading towards a depression. This was before the housing market was quite where it is today. "There are not enough qualified buyers compared to the number of homes on the market in many areas." - Completely agreed, and to make matters worse, the prices of homes are still over inflated and beyond the reach of many who could realistically (and I mean realistically in the form of can actually afford not can put pen to paper and afford for a year or two) could purchase. I believe things will take a further turn for the worse and I don't believe there is too much the Fed can do that will realistically help. I mainly say this because there is only so much the Fed can truly effect the market. I specifically think putting tax dollars towards the problem is only going to buy time for people who can not afford their house and will eventually hurt those who did not make the unwise decision as their money is being put towards the problem. When it comes to the banks, the fed has been helping them in manners which I don't 100% agree with, but could be far worse. One particular example is that the Fed originally offered to take on almost 30 Billion in Bear Stearns most volatile assets if JPMorgan were to buy them out to keep them from going under. While this sounds good (as it keeps Bear from completely folding under) the dark side is the Fed is taking on this financing risk for JPMorgan. Additionally, there are key investors of Bear Stearns who feel they could do better by taking the buy-out to the open market and possibly splitting up the company than rushing into a JPMorgan buy-out. Again, an area that I can see the Fed thinking it is doing something good, but that it realistically could be much better for the problem to be solved in the market as opposed to the Fed "coming to the rescue." All in all, there will be tougher times ahead and I really hope to see the Fed be somewhat minimalistic in their approach. I think we would see a much greater benefit from the Government reaching out to the Banks and Big Business and asking for support than pushing federal mandates that work in the opposite direction.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
"This is a very interesting idea. I know that since the dollar is half of the Euro, many Europeans can buy vacation homes here for a bargin. We should start sending them vacation package postcards!" JIll this is actually happening in Manhattan. The market here is doing well, because foreigners are coming in and purchasing the real estate. What bothers me more about my friend is that she still tries to get everyone to purchase homes, and would tell them that purchasing a home is the only way to live. Yes it is great if you can AFFORD a home, but it is not always the best option, and people do not seem to understand that.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
lili, what do you do in real estate if you don't mind me asking? Do you have any ideas on how to address the housing crisis as it pertains to your profession? And if a bank forecloses, although it would suck that person is out of the house, in the long run wouldn't it help them financially?
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"Maybe another piece would be speeding up citizenship for illegal immigrants with jobs or immigrants wanting to come here legally who can afford a house and offer them some kind of incentive to buy." This is a very interesting idea. I know that since the dollar is half of the Euro, many Europeans can buy vacation homes here for a bargin. We should start sending them vacation package postcards! ;) Cine, that must have been so frustrating with your friend! There are only so many ways you can prevent someone from shooting themselves in the foot! Ugh!
liliblu liliblu 9 years
Cine many of the banks will not accept a sales contract that falls under a certain amount. Also,if the bank thinks there is more profit to be made by foreclosing on the house they will not grant a short sale. The housing crisis is starting to effect state and county budgets and local schools. The loss of revenue is really going to hurt schools and services. It is also harder for people to obtain home loans. There are not enough qualified buyers compared to the number of homes on the market in many areas.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I totally agree, the prices were inflated to begin with, they are just now returning to where they should be.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I think the prices for the homes need to come down substantially in order for any plan to work. The homes really are not losing value, they are being adjusted to what they should be worth, instead of being so inflated. But God forbid people lose a profit.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
It will be interesting to see the turn of events, that is for sure. This whole topic angers me, because forever people were saying this was going to happen. Yet my best friend bought a house with 0 down and all the variable rates, even after I told her and printed out articles for her to read, she STILL did it!!! And then tried to convince me to buy a house the same way! Now she can barely afford to eat because her payments are too high. It just makes my blood boil.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I dunno, I don't think we're headed for a Great Depression sized recession. The economy is cyclical and always has been, so we're probably at a low point made worse by credit and housing issues. The party is definately over! The first step in solving the housing crisis would be to raise qualifications for a mortgage, I think thats been happening though. Maybe another piece of the solution could be to dramatically lower rates for the very wealthy who can afford second homes and investment properties, in the hopes they would buy up some of the market. Maybe another piece would be speeding up citizenship for illegal immigrants with jobs or immigrants wanting to come here legally who can afford a house and offer them some kind of incentive to buy. Who knows!
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"I don't think that these people should be rewarded with profit." I agree and I am very mad at these reckless institutions, but if they suffer too great a loss, they will take us all down with them. This crisis effects sooooo many companies, and the companies that depend on those companies, and the people they employ, and the everyday people that invest in them. I don't think our economy could sustain a collapse of all of them with in a short period of time. The whole situation stinks to high heaven, but we are really left with limited options.
liliblu liliblu 9 years
I work in real estate and many people are selling their homes for less. The big terms right now are Short Sale, Third Party Approval, and Bank Owned. When you have a short sale the owners still own the home but are close to being foreclosed on by their bank. If an offer is made on a house the seller can accept it, but the bank has to approve it before the contract can be ratified. This process can be as short as a week or as long as two months. What a lot of us have noticed is that many banks will only allow the sale price to be lowered to a certain amount. There are good deals out there but not as many as people think.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Obama has a job training plan as well, but it is more geared towards training engineers and the like to work on infrastructure and green businesses. I think both Hillary's and Obama's plans could work. I will have to fully read the text of both, though, which I haven't been able to do yet.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
ha! syako!
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Jillness, it may not be a cure all, but it could help alleviate some of the pressure. I don't think that these people should be rewarded with profit. syako, are you saying prayer is the only viable option? Because remember to separate church and state!
syako syako 9 years
to be honest, this is the only viable option :pray: ;)
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"What are thoughts on people selling their homes at a much lower price...Then the homeowner gives the money to the bank, and although they do not retain any profit, they are do not owe the balance." Just my humble opinion, I wish this could work, but I think it would happen on such a large scale that the banks would still fold. I was reading the Wall Street Journal this morning, and one man's perspective was "Regardless of how we got here, the clear and present danger is that the virus in the housing, mortgage, and credit markets is infecting the overall economy and is too great to ignore. The Great Depression was worsened becaus the intial government reaction was wrong headed." "Efforts so far, are they enough? Probably not...the next step is almost sure to require the explicit use of taxpayer money." Ugh!!
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I tend to agree with all of their points although I would suggest to Sen. McCain to exchange the word bad with reckless. Everyone makes bad investments now and then but its not necessarily because of taking irresponsible risks a lot of time it's just the nature of the beast.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Jill, if we keep pumping money into the problem, then we are going to cause ourselves a depression as well. What are thoughts on people selling their homes at a much lower price, so that others can afford it, since the prices are so inflated the prices need to come down to something that people can actually afford. Then the homeowner gives the money to the bank, and although they do not retain any profit, they are do not owe the balance. Would that work?
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