McCain once again attacked Obama for proposing new spending, putting the figure at more than $860 billion. But at the same time, McCain himself began the debate by proposing a new spending program, to buy up troubled mortgages directly from homeowners and replace them with 30-year loans guaranteed by the government. McCain’s campaign e-mailed reporters with the following cost estimate:
McCain press release: The direct cost of this plan would be roughly $300 billion because the purchase of mortgages would relieve homeowners of “negative equity” in some homes.
For the record, Obama disputes the accuracy of the $860 billion figure, which is a four-year tally by Republican Party researchers that does not grant any credit for offsetting savings also proposed by Obama.