Now you see it. Now you don't.
That would be a single line that the McCain campaign removed from their self-described Homeowner Resurgence Plan (note the not-so-subtle implementation of the word 'surge').
But what changed and what does it all mean?
You may find the answer a bit mind-boggling, to say the least.
It was Politico who, according to Keith Olbermann, first noticed the excision. They reported:
The document posted and e-mailed by the McCain campaign on Tuesday night says at the end of its first full paragraph: “Lenders in these cases must recognize the loss that they’ve already suffered.”
So the government would buy the mortgages at a discounted rate, reflecting the declining value of the mortgage paper.
But when McCain reissued the document on Wednesday, that sentence was missing, to the dismay of many conservatives.
That would mean the U.S. would pay face value for the troubled documents, which was the main reason Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) gave for opposing the plan.
To access the original document, click here. For the later version, click here.
The essence of the altered plan is that rather than let the banks absorb the loss of value that had incurred, the burden now shifts to the taxpayers. The financial institutions would not be penalized for their bad business practices.
Keith Olbermann, on his Countdown program, put it this way:
Under the revised plan, taxpayers would have to pay face value for the troubled mortgages, even though they are no longer worth anywhere near that.Senator Obama, as reported by the Los Angeles Times,
That would be a windfall for the banking industry, despite their predatory lending practices, which helped bring about the crisis in the first place.
...criticized a change the Arizona senator made to the mortgage plan that would give a break to lenders who had made bad loans.
"So banks wouldn't take a loss, but taxpayers would take a loss," said Obama, characterizing the switch as "just the latest in a series of shifting positions. . . . This is the kind of erratic behavior we've been seeing out of Sen. McCain."
We really are reaching in to the surreal with the McCain campaign at this point. The 'Straight Talk Express' is beginning to look like 'The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.'