DNC - McCain Watch: McCain Loses Track of His Homes As Americans Lose Theirs

McCain's Plan for Americans Facing the Housing Crisis Is as Out of Touch as He Is

Washington, DC
- Today John McCain continues his vacation in Sedona, Arizona, hunkering down in one of his seven (or eight) homes in the aftermath of his revealingly out-of-touch statements on Wednesday, when he admitted to losing track of how many houses he owns - and repeated that he still believes that "the fundamentals of the economy are strong." It's no surprise that McCain is offering more of the same disastrous Bush economic policies and a housing plan that will help only a fraction of Americans.

McCain's plan for Americans facing a housing crisis is as out of touch as Americans could expect from a man who has lost track of how many houses he has. In 2007, roughly 1.5 million American households faced foreclosure, and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has projected 2 million foreclosures for 2008. As many as 10 million Americans now owe more on their homes than their property is worth.

While millions of Americans are struggling as a result of the housing crisis, McCain is offering a housing plan would help only a fraction of those affected. McCain claimed that his housing plan would be as large "as it is needed to be." Yet McCain's offered no specifics on who would be eligible for assistance, and his plan would, at best, help only a fraction of Americans while more than 1.5 million are left behind.

In the wake of McCain's most recent remarks on his own wealth and his continued insistence on the strength of the Bush-McCain economy, it's no wonder he's offering more of the same failed Bush-McCain economic policies and a set of out-of-touch housing policies.


McCain Said "The Fundamentals Of Our Economy Are Strong." McCain said, "I think it matters a great deal, I don't think that they will. I still believe that the fundamentals of our economy are strong. We've got terribly big challenges now whether it be housing or employment or so many of the other, healthcare, it's very, very tough times." [Laura Ingraham Interview, 8/20/08]


McCain Fortune Estimated to be Worth over $100 Million.
"Cindy McCain and the McCain children are the beneficiaries of a beer distributing fortune amassed by her parents and estimated to be worth $100 million or more." [Politico, 7/2/08]

Seven Homes in Five Cities and Three States, Spread Coast to Coast and Worth More than 13 Million.
This includes: multiple vacation condos on oceanfront property in California, the exclusive five-parcel "ranch" near Sedona, a large top-floor condo in Phoenix, another luxury condo outside of DC and a second condo in Phoenix. [Property and tax records for San Diego County (CA), Yavapai County (AZ), Maricopa County (AZ) and Arlington County (VA); Politico, 7/2/08]

McCain's Credit Card Activity Showed Lavish Spending Patterns. John and Cindy McCain "reported more than $100,000 of credit card liabilities, according to financial disclosure documents… The presidential candidate and his wife Cindy reported piling up debt on a charge card between $10,000 and $15,000. His wife's solo charge card has between $100,000 and $250,000 in debt to American Express. Another charge card with American Express, this one for a 'dependent child,' is carrying debt in the range of $15,000 and $50,000." [The Hill, 6/13/08]


McCain Leaves Behind 1.5 Million "Presumably 'Undeserving'" American Homeowners.
The McCain campaign maintains that the HOME Plan will assist somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 "deserving" homeowners, "More than 1.5 million other homeowners -- presumably 'undeserving"'-- are expected to face foreclosure this year." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Editorial, 4/14/08]

McCain Adviser: HOME Plan Will Be As Large "As It Is Needed To Be." Top economic advisor for the McCain campaign said in an interview on CNBC that McCain's plan would be as large "as it needed to be." Douglas Holtz-Eakin was asked how "wide in scope" the McCain plan would be and said, "If you're in a home and you feel that you need some assistance to keep an underwater mortgage going, you apply." [Kudlow & Company, 4/11/08]

10 Million Americans Owe More on Home than Their Property is Worth. Senator McCain has said that his mortgage plan will help as few homeowners as 200,000, while the Wall Street Journal recently noted that "more than 10 million homeowners…owe more on their houses than the property is worth." [Wall Street Journal, 4/11/08]

McCain's Mortgage Plan To Assist Up To 400,000 Homeowners, Estimated By Campaign To Cost Up To $10 Billion. "McCain's proposals would help between 200,000 and 400,000 homeowners and would back mortgages worth an estimated $3 billion to $10 billion, according to Doug Holtz-Eakin, senior policy adviser to McCain. Just who would be eligible depends on who applies for help, Holtz-Eakin said. 'It has to be someone who at the time looked like they were a sensible borrower and now they can't handle it,' he said. He said the plan would help at least some people with adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, as opposed to 30-year fixed loans." [Associated Press, 4/10/08]

April: McCain's Plan Initially Lacked Specifics On Eligibility. "McCain sketched out a plan Thursday to help 200,000 to 400,000 homeowners trade burdensome mortgages for manageable loans in a speech in Brooklyn. Aides said the plan could cost from $3 billion to $10 billion. Still missing were details on exactly who would be eligible for help; McCain said he wants to aid those who borrowed sensibly but now can't handle their mortgages." [Associated Press, 4/10/08]

July: McCain Campaign Defined Eligibility For HOME Plan Only Borrowers Taking Out Sub-Prime Loans After 2005 Eligible for McCain's HOME Program. As part of his HOME Plan which to "provide robust, timely and targeted help to those hurt by the housing crisis" by affording "every deserving American family or homeowner will…the opportunity to trade a burdensome mortgage for a manageable loan that reflects their home's market value," McCain, however, specified that only subprime loans taken out after 2005 would be eligible for refinancing under his plan. His economic plan states that eligibility for refinancing applies to: "holders of a sub-prime mortgage taken after 2005 who live in their home (primary residence only); [who] can prove creditworthiness at the time of the original loan; are either delinquent, in arrears on payments, facing a reset or otherwise demonstrate that they will be unable to continue to meet their mortgage obligations; and can meet the terms of a new 30 year fixed-rate mortgage on the existing home." [John McCain Economic Plan, 7/7/08]

Secretary Paulson Predicted 2 Million Foreclosures in 2008. Secretary Paulson, appearing on CNN's Late Edition, said that in 2007 there were "roughly 1.5 million foreclosures," and that he expects "2 million foreclosures" in 2008. [CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, 3/16/08]

Washington Post: 3 to 4 Million Families Expected To Lost Homes to Foreclosure. "Today, 3 million to 4 million families are expected to lose their homes to foreclosure because they cannot afford their high-interest subprime loans." [Washington Post, 6/10/08, www.washingtonpost.com]