He's Got a Ticket to Ride: Economy and the White House
Photos/text by Renee Burrell
"Everywhere you look, the economic news is troubling. But for so many Americans, it isn’t really news at all."
DUNEDIN -- Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) gave a 30 minute speech to 10,000 plus supporters at Knology Park in Dunedin Wednesday, September 24.
His message focused on the then recent announcements for the dire need to bailout Wall Street. "I know we can steer ourselves out of this crisis," he said. "Because that’s who we are. Because that’s what we’ve always done as Americans. Our nation has faced difficult times before. And at each of those moments, we’ve risen to meet the challenge because we’ve never forgotten that fundamental truth – that here in America, our destiny is not written for us, but by us."
Obama told the crowd that the bailout plan needs to control executive's salaries, help homeowners keep their houses, come with a guarantee that taxpayers will get reimbursed, and be monitored by a bi-partisan oversight board.
"This Administration started off by asking for a blank check to solve this problem. To them, I say no. It is unacceptable to expect the American people to hand this Administration or any Administration a $700 billion check with no conditions and no oversight when a lack of oversight in Washington and on Wall Street is exactly what got us into this mess. If the American people are being asked to pay for the solution to this crisis, then you have a right to make sure that your tax dollars are protected. That’s why I’ve laid out a few a conditions for Washington."
"First, we need to set up an independent board, selected by Democrats and Republicans, to provide oversight and accountability for how and where this money is spent at every step of the way. Second, if American taxpayers are financing this solution, you should be treated like investors. That means that Wall Street and Washington should give you every penny of your money back once this economy recovers. Third, we cannot and will not simply bailout Wall Street without helping the millions of innocent homeowners who are struggling to stay in their homes. They deserve a plan too."
"Finally – and this one is important – the American people should not be spending one dime to reward the same Wall Street CEOs whose greed and irresponsibility got us into this mess. There has been talk that some CEOs may refuse to cooperate with this plan if they have to give up their multi-million-dollar salaries. I cannot imagine a position more selfish and greedy at a time of national crisis. So I would like to speak directly to those CEOs right now: Do not make that mistake. The enormous rewards you have reaped come with serious responsibilities to your workers and the American people, and we expect and demand that you live up to those responsibility. I will not allow this plan to become a welfare program for Wall Street executives."
According to Jim McTague, Washington Editor at Barron's Financial Weekly, the captains of industry on Wall Street feel whoever wins the election, won't have much bearing on the economy. Said McTague, "With housing in a depression, financial companies in crisis, stocks slumping and a recession gathering or under way, you'd think that Wall Street would have a strong opinion about whether John McCain or Barack Obama is better-suited to steer the ship of state away from the rocks. But interviews with dozens of money managers, economists and industry analysts over the past few months indicate that, while most would be more comfortable with the Republican candidate, the vast majority don't think that either man would affect the economy much differently than the other."
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