The Fiscal Nightmare Of 2009

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I wrote an Atlantic Current today on the state of affairs facing the nation's next chief executive. Short answer: the Dem will face pressure to raise taxes in a recession (bad!) and the Republican will face pressure to raise spending (bad politics!).

Both Democratic candidates released long statements on today's market meltdown.

Clinton, saying the economy was "in the soup":

“This is a moment of great unique uncertainty in our financial markets. The crisis that began in the subprime mortgage market has spilled over and now poses a broader threat. I am following the developments in our markets closely. This morning I spoke with Secretary Paulson and New York Federal Reserve President Tim Geithner. They both outlined the actions that were taken yesterday to ensure liquidity and restore confidence in the market. I relayed to them my thoughts and concerns. I will continue to monitor the situation closely throughout the day and will seek advice and counsel from a broad range of economic advisors.

Obama:

"Many other steps will be required to reverse this downturn in the weeks to come. It will require the efforts of those in the financial community; of the Federal Reserve; of Congress, and the White House. And it will also require a renewed confidence that we can meet this challenge. We are the United States of America, and each time we have faced moments of adversity in the past – some much greater than this – we have summoned a spirit of cooperation and innovation to emerge stronger and more prosperous than we were before. But it will take work, it will take time, and it will take leadership that recognizes that we are all part of the same economy, and that economy must work for every American in order for America to prosper in the 21st century."

Doug Holtz-Eakin, speaking for Sen. John McCain, who is in Iraq:

“Senator McCain has complete confidence in Chairman Bernanke and the actions of the Federal Reserve, and is committed to ensuring the economy continues to grow – because no government program or policy is a substitute for a good job. John McCain understands the federal government’s responsibility to ensure the stability of the US financial system, and is equally committed to protecting the pocketbooks of hardworking American families.”

Like a million men are going... I don't have no pocketbook...

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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