Although you wouldn’t know by his rhetoric recently, John McCain has always been a zealous promoter of deregulation and less government oversight. In 2003 he bluntly described himself saying, ‘I am a deregulator. I believe in deregulation.’ [CNN, ‘In the Money,’ 7/13/03] This has been McCain’s ideology for his entire time in the U.S. Senate and he has also made it a major plank in his current campaign for president. Unfortunately lack of oversight and efforts to deregulate have led us to our current economic disaster. It seems that even John McCain has finally realized the error of his ways and is now trying to run from his own record as fast as he can.
McCain’s economic ‘mentor,’ former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm, is known as the ‘father of deregulation.’ With the help of some of the very same financial institutions that are failing now, Phil Gramm passed massive financial deregulation legislation in 1999. John McCain supported his ‘mentor’and in many ways that piece and simiilar pieces of legislation helped create today’s financial meltdown. Fortune Magazine went as far as to actually call McCain’s economic views ‘vintage Gramm‘ which is hardly a compliment at the moment. At long last, even McCain understands this and has started talking tough and about oversight and the government’s necessary role in it.
Apparently McCain has also been recently converted regarding CEOs receiving golden parachutes and excessive executive pay. If McCain really had something tough to say on the issue, he would not have to go very far. He could actually start with the CEOs that have been his closest advisors and supporters. Carly Fiorina, was the former CEO of Hewlett Packard and was fired in 2005. She will get an over $40 million golden parachute while some 20,000 of her employees were laid off. Merrill Lynch Chairman and CEO, John A. Thain, has raised at least half a million dollars for McCain. It was recently reported that he received a package worth between $50 and $120 million. Henry R. Kravis, the founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has raised at least $500,000 for John McCain. The New York Times reported that in 2006, Kravis made a stunning $1.3 million per day. As with the list of lobbyists running the McCain campaign, this CEO list goes on and on and on.
Pick the issue and John McCain has repeatedly been on the wrong side of it. You don’t have to ask one of his critics, just ask the latest version of John McCain! No wonder he has decided to take a break from the campaign, reinventing yourself so often must be exhausting!