The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Democrats can save the economy

With the already competitive presidential race becoming even tighter as the election approaches, candidates are attempting to stand out above their opponents by tackling the most prominent issues facing the nation today, such as the economy. Each candidate has developed their own blueprint to revive the ailing economy and voters are faced with a difficult decision. Who really has the best strategy?

Senator Barack Obama spoke at Cooper Union in Manhattan on Thursday and said that a $30 billion stimulus is needed to rescue homeowners and the unemployed. He criticized Democrats as well as Republicans for the current state of the economy.

“Under Republican and Democratic administrations, we failed to guard against practices that all too often rewarded financial manipulation instead of productivity and sound business practices,” he said.

Obama also concluded that outdated government regulations have fallen behind the realities of modern finance and that the middle class is facing the worst hardships from the latest economic setbacks.

“If we can extend a hand to banks on Wall Street, we can extend a hand to Americans who are struggling,” he said.

That same day, Senator Hillary Clinton, who was campaigning in Raleigh, North Carolina, announced a $2.5-billion-a-year proposal to retrain laid-off workers.

She said the government needed to take more responsibility for helping displaced workers. She also promoted a preemptive training initiative to allow workers concerned about potential threats to their jobs to receive grants to help transition into other industries.

It appears that both of the Democratic candidates are looking out for the American people and offering helpful ideas and opportunities.

Although they have opposing views on certain policies they both seem to agree that government intervention is needed to rescue the housing and financial markets.

With this idea, the government would be taking over mortgages heading toward foreclosure, according to a recent New York Times article. The mortgage lenders would have to bear the burden of a drastic loss, but the government would offer them a chance to recoup some of their losses if the houses were eventually resold at a higher price.

However, Senator John McCain and President Bush oppose government intervention arguing that it is not the government’s duty to bail out and reward those banks and small borrowers who act irresponsibly.

McCain does agree that something needs to be done about the rising housing prices for homeowners and lenders in recent years as well as frauds in mortgages, pointing a finger at those homeowners who fail to provide truthful financial information.

“Some Americans bought homes they couldn’t afford, betting that rising prices would make it easier to refinance later,” said McCain in his speech earlier this week in Orange County, California. “Our system of market checks and balances did not correct until the bubble burst.”

Both Clinton and Obama have little faith in McCain, believing that he isn’t making much of an effort to solve the economic crisis. It is difficult to disagree with them.

It appears Clinton and Obama are taking a more active approach in attempting to restore the economy while McCain apparently places much of the blame on homeowners and lenders; somewhat like a parent scolding a bad child.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are taking new initiatives to solve the nation’s economic woes, like increasing government intervention, and they continue to be sympathetic to the American people.

McCain fails to take major risks with a more effective approach. With this behavior it is difficult to distance him from President Bush and it shows he is resistant to promoting change.

Americans want to hear new ideas, especially with the current state of the economy. A rational and well-considered approach would be better than what we are dealing with now.

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