Saturday, October 11, 2008

Obama Speech Columbus, Ohio: Transcript (10-10-08)

Read the complete transcript. Excerpts below:

  • There are many causes of this crisis, and it's very important that we respond using all the tools that we have. So I'm encouraged that the Treasury is considering dramatic steps to provide more capital into our financial institutions so they have money to lend to businesses large and small. This is not a time for ideology; this is a time for common sense. This is a time for the politics of pragmatism. The test of an idea can't be whether it's liberal or conservative, the test should be whether it works for the American people and for American business. (Cheers, applause.) That's what we should be focused on in the days and week ahead.
  • You know, even as we face the most serious economic crisis of our time, even as you're worried about keeping your jobs or paying your bills or staying in your home, my opponent's campaign announced last week that they plan to -- I'm quoting them now -- "turn the page" on the discussion of our economy -- (boos) -- so they can spend the final weeks of this election attacking me instead. (Boos.) Senator McCain's campaign actually said, and I quote, "if we keep talking about the economic crisis, we are going to lose." (Cheers.) So in the last couple of days, we've seen a barrage of nasty insinuations and attacks. I'm sure we're see a lot more of that over the next 25 days. We know what's coming. We know what they're going to do.
  • Now, I know John McCain's worried about his campaign, but that's not what I'm worrying about. I'm thinking about Americans losing their jobs and their homes and their life savings. I'm worried about folks who started off with a 401(k) and now they've got a 101(k). (Laughter.) We can't afford four more years of the same economic theories that -- that says we should give more and more to those with the most -- the billionaires and the millionaires, the CEOs -- (boos) -- and the executives, and that somehow prosperity trickles down on everybody else. We can't afford four more years of stripping away regulations so that no one in Washington is watching -- watching anybody on Wall Street.

    We've seen where that leads us and we are not going back. It is time to move forward. It is time to take a new road with a new driver. (Cheers, applause.)

  • Now, I repeat, we need to do more to help innocent homebuyers. That's why I've worked on a serious proposals over the past two years to do just that. But we have to do it in a responsible way. That means making sure that we're not overpaying for these mortgages, letting the banks off the hook, rewarding the very lenders whose recklessness helped cause this crisis. It means giving taxpayers a share of the benefits when the housing market recovers. It means cracking down on predatory lenders by treating mortgage fraud like the crime that it is. (Cheers, applause.)

    We also have to make sure that if the Treasury moves forward with its plan to put more money into struggling banks, that taxpayers will be able to get their money back, and the CEOs who contributed to this crisis will not get rich at our expense. (Cheers, applause.)

  • This is going to start with a nationwide program to provide affordable, fixed-rate loans to small businesses across the country. We can run this through the SBA's Disaster Loan Program, provides loans to small-business owners, and they will get the help they need to maintain their inventory and meet their payroll. But we'll also make it easier for private lenders to make small-business loans by expanding the SBA's loan guarantee program. And by temporarily eliminating fees for borrowers and lenders, we can unlock the credit that small firms need to move forward, to pay their workers, to grow their businesses.

    And just as we make lending more available, we have to relieve the tax burden on small businesses help create jobs. That's why I've proposed eliminating all capital gains taxes on investments in small businesses and startups. (Cheers, applause.) That's why I'm proposing an additional temporary business tax incentive through next year to encourage new investments, because it is time to protect the jobs we have and to create the jobs of tomorrow by unlocking the drive and the ingenuity and the innovation of the American people. That's what I intend to do when I'm president, bottom-up economic growth. (Cheers, applause.) Bottom-up economic growth.