One-on-One With Sen. Hillary Clinton

The housing industry might have seen a crack in the clouds Wednesday, but Hillary Clinton’s more concerned with homeowners than homebuilders.

Appearing on Mad Money tonight, the Democratic presidential candidate and senator from New York called for a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and a freeze on adjustable-rate mortgages. She also agreed with Cramer that the Federal Housing Authority should offer 30-year fixed mortgages for those who are unable to refinance their homes.

“If we don’t stop the bleeding in the home market,” she said, “I think we’re just looking at a longer and deeper economic recession over the longer term. We need bolder action, and we need it now.”

With ethanol such a big part of the early campaign, as both the Democratic and Republican candidates fought for votes in Iowa, Cramer pressed Sen. Clinton on the feasibility of the corn-based fuel as an alternative to foreign oil. Her take? The U.S. is in a “transition period,” and the situation will improve as we shift to cellulosic ethanol and find ways to incentivize wind and solar power. What’s important is “to get our plow in the ground,” she said, so we can find ways to rid ourselves of dependence on carbon-based fuels.

Cramer, knowing Democrats are considered unfriendly toward Wall Street, also asked about dividend and capital gains taxes. But that’s not something Sen. Clinton seemed overly concerned with. She said there might be “some increase” but “nothing significant.”

Instead she wants to return the tax rate for Americans making over $250,000 to its 1990s level. She called the move “affordable” and “understandable.” The money raised would fund the universal healthcare she advocates, she said, and “get us off this double-digit increase in healthcare costs, which we just can’t afford.”

Sen. Clinton will be campaigning hard over the next week before the March 4 primaries in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island. Behind rival Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois by 156 delegates, according to MSNBC’s count, the 370 delegates up for grabs next Tuesday could reenergize Clinton’s campaign – or they just might end it.


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