Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bush Speech on the Economic Plan: Transcript (10-14-08)

Read below the text of Bush's remarks on his plans for the economy.

Good morning. I just completed a meeting with my working group on financial markets. We discussed the unprecedented and aggressive steps the federal government is taking to address the financial crisis. Over the past few weeks, my administration has worked with both parties in Congress to pass a financial rescue plan. Federal agencies have moved decisively to shore up struggling institutions and stabilize our markets. And the United States has worked with partners around the world to coordinate our actions to get our economies back on track.

This weekend, I met with finance ministers from the G-7 and the G-20 - organizations representing some of the world's largest and fastest-growing economies. We agreed on a coordinated plan for action to provide new liquidity, strengthen financial institutions, protect our citizens' savings and ensure fairness and integrity in the markets. Yesterday, leaders in Europe moved forward with this plan. They announced significant steps to inject capital into their financial systems by purchasing equity in major banks. And they announced a new effort to jump-start lending by providing temporary government guarantees for bank loans. These are wise and timely actions, and they have the full support of the United States.

Today, I am announcing new measures America is taking to implement the G-7 action plan and strengthen banks across our country.

First, the federal government will use a portion of the $700 billion financial rescue plan to inject capital into banks by purchasing equity shares. This new capital will help healthy banks continue making loans to businesses and consumers. And this new capital will help struggling banks fill the hole created by losses during the financial crisis, so they can resume lending and help spur job creation and economic growth. This is an essential short-term measure to ensure the viability of America's banking system. And the program is carefully designed to encourage banks to buy these shares back from the government when the markets stabilize and they can raise capital from private investors.

Second, and effective immediately, the FDIC will temporarily guarantee most new debt issued by insured banks. This will address one of the central problems plaguing our financial system - banks have been unable to borrow money, and that has restricted their ability to lend to consumers and businesses. When money flows more freely between banks, it will make it easier for Americans to borrow for cars, and homes, and for small businesses to expand.

Third, the FDIC will immediately and temporarily expand government insurance to cover all non-interest-bearing transaction accounts. These accounts are used primarily by small businesses to cover day-to-day operations. By insuring every dollar in these accounts, we will give small business owners peace of mind and bring stability to the - and bring greater stability to the banking system.

Fourth, the Federal Reserve will soon finalize work on a new program to serve as a buyer of last resort for commercial paper. This is a key source of short-term financing for American businesses and financial institutions. And by unfreezing the market for commercial paper, the Federal Reserve will help American businesses meet payroll, and purchase inventory, and invest to create jobs.

In a few moments, Secretary Paulson and other members of my Working Group on Financial Markets will explain these steps in greater detail. They will make clear that each of these new programs contains safeguards to protect the taxpayers. They will make clear that the government's role will be limited and temporary. And they will make clear that these measures are not intended to take over the free market, but to preserve it.

The measures I have announced today are the latest steps in this systematic approach to address the crisis. I know Americans are deeply concerned about the stress in our financial markets, and the impact it is having on their retirement accounts, and 401(k)s, and college savings, and other investments. I recognize that the action leaders are taking here in Washington and in European capitals can seem distant from those concerns. But these efforts are designed to directly benefit the American people by stabilizing our overall financial system and helping our economy recover.

It will take time for our efforts to have their full impact, but the American people can have confidence about our long-term economic future. We have a strategy that is broad, that is flexible, and that is aimed at the root cause of our problem. Nations around the world are working together to overcome this challenge. And with confidence and determination, we will return our economies to the path of growth and prosperity.

Meet The Press Transcript (10-12-08)

Read the complete transcript.

GOV. JON CORZINE (D-NJ): The answer to that has to be, unfortunately, yes. When you have destruction of value that we've seen, $8 trillion from the high of the stock market a year ago, 4 trillion in the last 10 days, people understand that they've lost protection of their retirement savings and other things, and that erodes confidence. And so they're going to spend less and be a little less proactive about how they go out and spend scarce dollars. And that's going to hurt the economy, slows production, has an unfortunate negative impact that I think has yet to be fully appreciated in the real economy. We've seen, obviously, the decline in homes, but now I think you're going to see rising levels of unemployment, unfortunately, and that, that's, that's a real problem as we go ahead in the months ahead.

MR. BROKAW: Congressman, do you see any light at the end of the tunnel?

[...]GOV. CORZINE: Well, I agree with the idea that we ought to stabilize housing prices. I don't agree with the idea that we ought to be bailing out the banks that made the loans, as I think Rob would recognize on Tuesday night when Senator McCain talked about a program to bail out the mortgages. That, that sounded good, that was part of the $700 billion program to start with. On Tuesday, he came out with a program that said that we're going to pay the full value for those mortgages, bailing out the banks that actually made those loans. I think that's a horrible idea. The taxpayers will end up underwriting it. What we need to do is restructure mortgages. There's a couple of ways to do that, change the bankruptcy laws or you could actually buy mortgages at their market value today and then go in and restructure them with the individuals. And yes, we ought to be stabilizing housing prices. I think actually we could even buy houses, like they did back in the--in the '30s under the RFC program, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. But the way that Senator McCain has done it is sort of really messed up on how it would actually impact folks.

[...]GOV. CORZINE: Now is the time for steady leadership. We can't have a new economic program each morning we wake up. That's what's been going on. Unfortunately, with regard to how the bailout package was put together and the whole structure in Washington, and it's certainly the case with Senator McCain's various proposals. This mortgage program that we talked about was included in the Frank-Dodd proposal, it was included in the $700 billion, and there have been changes; but it is still the basic, we ought to help mortgages. Now we're coming up with a new plan. What Senator Obama has talked about and is absolutely is essential is make sure that we use thoughtfully this $700 billion, including, by the way, investing in banks. Direct investment will stabilize--they call it recapitalization--stabilize the banks. Then he has talked about let's make sure that we have middle class tax cuts. He's been talking about that for months. Ninety-five percent of the folks, about 90 percent will get tax cuts, 95 will get no increases, including on capital gains above--below $250,000.

And then, what is maybe most important, we need a real economic stimulus. We're in what you call a liquidity trap. You can, you can, you can lead a horse to water, but it doesn't drink. Right now nobody has confidence to do things. We need to be putting demand into the system. That means infrastructure--build highways, build schools, build our energy system so that we can actually create jobs, get people back to work.

Obama Economic Speech: Transcript (10-13-08)

Read the full transcript and video.

We meet at a moment of great uncertainty for America. The economic crisis we face is the worst since the Great Depression. Markets across the globe have become increasingly unstable, and millions of Americans will open up their 401(k) statements this week and see that so much of their hard-earned savings have disappeared.

The credit crisis has left businesses large and small unable to get loans, which means they can’t buy new equipment, or hire new workers, or even make payroll for the workers they have. You’ve got auto plants right here in Ohio that have been around for decades closing their doors and laying off workers who’ve never known another job in their entire life.

760,000 workers have lost their jobs this year. Unemployment here in Ohio is up 85% over the last eight years, which is the highest it’s been in sixteen years. You’ve lost one of every four manufacturing jobs, the typical Ohio family has seen their income fall $2,500, and it’s getting harder and harder to make the mortgage, or fill up your gas tank, or even keep the electricity on at the end of the month. At this rate, the question isn’t just “are you better off than you were four years ago?”, it’s “are you better off than you were four weeks ago?”

I know these are difficult times. I know folks are worried. But I also know this – we can steer ourselves out of this crisis. Because we are the United States of America. We are the country that has faced down war and depression; great challenges and great threats. And at each and every moment, we have risen to meet these challenges – not as Democrats, not as Republicans, but as Americans.

We still have the most talented, most productive workers of any country on Earth. We’re still home to innovation and technology, colleges and universities that are the envy of the world. Some of the biggest ideas in history have come from our small businesses and our research facilities. It won’t be easy, but there’s no reason we can’t make this century another American century.

But it will take a new direction. It will take new leadership in Washington. It will take a real change in the policies and politics of the last eight years. And that’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America.

My opponent has made his choice. Last week, Senator McCain’s campaign announced that they were going to “turn the page” on the discussion about our economy so they can spend the final weeks of this election attacking me instead. His campaign actually said, and I quote, “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” Well Senator McCain may be worried about losing an election, but I’m worried about Americans who are losing their jobs, and their homes, and their life savings. They can’t afford four more years of the economic theory that says we should give more and more to millionaires and billionaires and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. We’ve seen where that’s led us and we’re not going back. It’s time to turn the page.

Over the course of this campaign, I’ve laid out a set of policies that will grow our middle-class and strengthen our economy in the long-term. I’ll reform our tax code so that 95% of workers and their families get a tax cut, and eliminate income taxes for seniors making under $50,000. I’ll bring down the cost of health care for families and businesses by investing in preventative care, new technology, and giving every American the chance to get the same kind of health insurance that members of Congress give themselves. We’ll ensure every child can compete in the global economy by recruiting an army of new teachers and making college affordable for anyone who wants to go. We’ll create five million new, high-wage jobs by investing in the renewable sources of energy that will eliminate the oil we currently import from the Middle East in ten years, and we’ll create two million jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads, schools, and bridges.

But that’s a long-term strategy for growth. Right now, we face an immediate economic emergency that requires urgent action. We can’t wait to help workers and families and communities who are struggling right now – who don’t know if their job or their retirement will be there tomorrow; who don’t know if next week’s paycheck will cover this month’s bills. We need to pass an economic rescue plan for the middle-class and we need to do it now. Today I’m proposing a number of steps that we should take immediately to stabilize our financial system, provide relief to families and communities, and help struggling homeowners. It’s a plan that begins with one word that’s on everyone’s mind, and it’s spelled J-O-B-S.

McCain Speech in Virginia Beach: Transcript (10-13-08)

Read the complete transcript of McCain's speech. He avoids being too negative.

Three weeks from now, you will choose a new President. Choose well. There is much at stake.

These are hard times. Our economy is in crisis. Financial markets are collapsing. Credit is drying up. Your savings are in danger. Your retirement is at risk. Jobs are disappearing. The cost of health care, your children's college, gasoline and groceries are rising all the time with no end in sight. While your most important asset -- your home -- is losing value every day.

Americans are fighting in two wars. We face many enemies in this dangerous world, and they are waiting to see if our current troubles will permanently weaken us.

The next President won't have time to get used to the office. He won't have the luxury of studying up on the issues before he acts. He will have to act immediately. And to do that, he will need experience, courage, judgment and a bold plan of action to take this country in a new direction. We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. The hour is late; our troubles are getting worse; our enemies watch. We have to act immediately. We have to change direction now. We have to fight.

I've been fighting for this country since I was seventeen years old, and I have the scars to prove it. If I'm elected President, I will fight to take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it.

I'm not going to spend $700 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. I'm going to make sure we take care of the people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington. I'm going to spend a lot of that money to bring relief to you, and I'm not going to wait sixty days to start doing it.

I have a plan to protect the value of your home and get it rising again by buying up bad mortgages and refinancing them so if your neighbor defaults he doesn't bring down the value of your house with him.

I have a plan to let retirees and people nearing retirement keep their money in their retirement accounts longer so they can rebuild their savings.

I have a plan to rebuild the retirement savings of every worker.

I have a plan to hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home.

Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy.

The explosion of government spending over the last eight years has put us deeper in debt to foreign countries that don't have our best interests at heart. It weakened the dollar and made everything you buy more expensive.

If I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money, on top of the $700 billion we just gave the Treasury Secretary, as Senator Obama proposes. Because he can't do that without raising your taxes or digging us further into debt. I'm going to make government live on a budget just like you do.

I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren't working for the American people. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes.

If I'm elected President, I won't fine small businesses and families with children, as Senator Obama proposes, to force them into a new huge government run health care program, while I keep the cost of the fine a secret until I hit you with it. I will bring down the skyrocketing cost of health care with competition and choice to lower your premiums, and make it more available to more Americans. I'll make sure you can keep the same health plan if you change jobs or leave a job to stay home.

FOX News Sunday Transcript (10-12-08)

Read the complete transcript.

PENNSYLVANIA GOV. ED RENDELL: Well, I think the message in Pennsylvania — and I think it's a national message — should be to the McCain campaign, "Look, before the economic crisis, this was a two-point race in Pennsylvania. Since the economic crisis has happened, it's blown out to 13 points."

Now, Chris, I don't believe it's a 13-point race. I believe it's tighter than that. But certainly, Senator Obama has lengthened his lead, and that should be a clear message to the McCain campaign that these personal attacks that — he's trying to describe Senator Obama as risky, or we don't know enough about him, or whatever it is — they are not working, because when the economy's in crisis, people want real answers.

Mr. Davis once said about a month ago that this campaign isn't about issues. Well, maybe that was the case before the economic meltdown. But now with the economic meltdown, it is about issues, and people want to hear what the candidates are doing.

And Senator Obama has performed far better than Senator McCain the last five weeks.

[...]PAWLENTY: Well, I think it is a fair question, Chris, to look at not only his associations, as it's been called, with people like William Ayres and others, but, you know, is he being forthcoming about the depth and scope of those relationships. And that's not the — you know, that's not the point that's been featured in these discussions.

You know, the fact of the matter is Barack Obama's political campaign in Illinois appears to have been launched in Bill Ayres' living room. And so has he been truthful about that? Has he been forthcoming about that?

But beyond all of that, to the point you raise, I don't think the country is going to like the Democratic Party running the table on taxes, on education, on health care, and have kind of the liberal unchecked imbalanced approach to all of those issues. It's going to be bad for the country.

I think having John McCain as president to balance that out and be able to work across the aisle, as he has throughout his career, to get things done would be a good compromise, a good balance.

WALLACE: Governor Rendell, don't middle-of-the-road swing voters have legitimate reason to worry about where an Obama White House and a Pelosi House and a Harry Reid Senate, possibly with a veto-proof majority, would take the country?

RENDELL: No, I don't think so, Chris, at all, and let me tell you why. I think Americans know we need our government to respond and respond quickly to the challenges we're facing, like the economy, like what's happening abroad, like the health care crisis in this country.

And I think they see the opportunity for a cohesive government to do something about that.

Let me tell you what a divided government does. Governor Pawlenty and I were the chairman and vice chairman of the National Governors Association together, and Tim was the chair and I was the vice chair.

We were trying to get the Congress to override the president's veto of the extension of the Children's Health Care Program. We couldn't get the override done, and as a result, 9 million children in this country are not going to get health care unless we can reverse that decision.

And that was because we had a divided government with two different philosophical views of things which couldn't mesh. You can talk about reaching across the aisle all you want, but on that, it was pure philosophy.

I want to say two things, if I can, about what Tim said. Number one, he called Senator Obama a rookie. I think you'll agree, Chris, that in those two debates with Senator McCain, Senator Obama looked anything but a rookie.

And then secondly, Tim talked about taxes. Well, the American people are finally getting the truth about taxes, and that is if you're a family that earns less than $250,000, not only is Senator Obama not going to raise your taxes, he's going to give you a bigger tax cut than Senator McCain will.