The Campaign Spot

Contrasting Palin and Biden on How to Handle Wall Street

I went back and checked Sarah Palin’s remarks on the Wall Street mess from yesterday. It’s pretty far from a financial markets lecture, but there’s a bit more detail than I expected. And credit where it’s due, she hits some of the points I think are most important — no to bailouts, your accounts are covered, etc.

You know, before I really get into it, though, let me tell you something that’s going on today in our world, particularly here in our nation, that needs some shaking up and some fixing. First I want to talk real quickly about the turmoil in our financial markets. This crisis is an issue of real concern, not only for those in our financial markets but for the people across this great country. It’s taking a toll on our economy, and that means people’s life savings, and I’m glad to see that in this case the Federal Reserve and the Treasury have said no to using taxpayer money to bail out another one, this time Lehman Brothers. (Cheers, applause.) Every effort has to be made now, of course, to ensure the accounts and deposits of hardworking Americans, that those investments are protected.
This crisis happened for several reasons, which have to be addressed right now. Guys and gals, our regulatory system is outdated and it needs a complete overhaul. (Cheers, applause.) Washington has ignored this. Washington has been asleep at the switch and ineffective, and management on Wall Street has not run these institutions responsibly and has put companies and markets at risk. They place their own interests first instead of their employees and the shareholders who actually own these companies. So John McCain and I, we’re going to put an end to the mismanagement and abuses in Washington and on Wall Street that have resulted in this financial crisis. (Cheers, applause.)
We’re going to reform the way Wall Street does business and stop multimillion-dollar payouts and golden parachutes to CEOs who break the public trust. (Cheers, applause.) It’s so important that the United States — we’ve got to remain the strongest financial market in the world. It must be the market that the American people and investors everywhere can trust. So restoring the integrity and the confidence and the leadership in our markets and in our government is essential. This is going to be one of the highest priorities of our administration. (Cheers, applause.) This is all going to be about reform and putting the government back on the side of the people, putting it back on the side of the good people here in Colorado, and that’s why I’m here today. (Cheers, applause.)

In a perfect world, she would have not just hit management on Wall Street for being irresponsible, but for being in denial about the risks they were taking. But it beats bragging about how letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those making more than $250,000 will enable everyone else to buy toasters.
Joe Biden says that he and Obama would take the $130 billion from letting the tax cut expire and give it to the middle class to buy said toasters. I thought that money was already set to be used to cover the costs of the $343 billion in new spending they were proposing.