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George Bush Speaks About The Economy

Sitting here waiting for George Bush, who will be speaking momentarily. Peggy Noonan is hoping he’ll inspire us. Um…yeah.

Bush walks out to face the clicking cameras, and looks rumpled and peevish. Will transcribe as quickly as I can:

Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted on a financial rescue plan that had been negotiated by Congressional leaders of both parties and by my Administration. Unfortunately, the legislation was defeated by a narrow margin. 

I’m disappointed by the outcome. But I assure our citizens and citizens around the world, that this is not the end of the legislative process. Producing legislation is complicated and it can be contentious. It matters little what path a bill takes to become law. What matters is that we get a law.

We’re at a critical moment for our economy. And we need legislation that decisively addresses the troubled assets now clogging the financial system, helps lenders resume the flow of credit to consumers and businesses, and allows the American economy to get movin’ again.

I recognize this is a difficult vote for members of Congress. Many of them don’t like the fact that our economy has reached this point — and I understand that. But the reality is that we’re in an urgent situation, and the consequences will grow worse each day if we do not act.

The dramatic drop in the stock market that we saw yesterday will have a direct impact on the retirement accounts, pensions funds, and personal savings of millions of our citizens. And if our nation continues on this course, the economic damage will be painful and lasting.

I know many Americans are especially worried about the cost of the legislation. The bill the House considered yesterday commits up to $700 billion taxpayer dollars to purchase troubled assets from banks and other financial institutions. That, no question, is a large amount of money. We are also dealing with a large problem.

But, to put that in perspective, the drop in the stock market yesterday represented more than a trillion dollars in losses. Furthermore, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget expect that the legislation considered would ultimately cost the taxpayer far less than the $700 billion, because the government would be purchasing troubled assets and selling them once the market recovers. It is likely that many of the assets would go up in value over time.

Ultimately, we expect that much if not all the tax dollars we invest will be paid back.

As much as we might wish that the situations were different, our country is not facing a choice between government action and the smooth functioning of the free market. We’re facing the choice between action and the real prospect of economic hardship for millions of Americans.

And for the financial security of every American, Congress must act.

My administration will continue to work closely with both parties on Capitol Hill. I appreciate their determined efforts. While Congress is out today for the Jewish holiday, my administration will be talking with Congressional leaders today about how we can move legislation forward when members begin returning to the capitol tomorrow.

Our economy is depending on decisive action from the government. The sooner we address the problem, the sooner we can get back on the path of growth and job creation. This is what elected leaders owe the American people. And I’m confident we’ll deliver.

John Heilman on MSNBC: "I say this with due respect and even some sympathy for the man. That to me was the picture of a beaten dog. That was a picture of presidential impotence there."

Well, I don’t think that was a winner for anyone…yeeeeesh. Not feeling so confident after that, I have to say.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com