Recently elected Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) gave this week’s Democratic Radio address. Foster’s topic was the Democrats economic plan, and its priority on helping middle class families. “My constituents are worried about the economy, and with good reason. They can barely afford groceries or a trip to the gas station. If they talk about health care, it isn’t about the latest medical advances but about the latest increase in costs. They want a good college education for their kids, but they’re nervous about tuition increases. And virtually everyone I talked to was worried about their homes and the mortgage crisis.”
Foster promoted the steps that the Congressional Democrats have taken to strengthen the economy, “Already we have taken steps to strengthen the economy. Earlier this year, Congress passed and the president signed into law an economic stimulus plan that will put more money into the pockets of middle-class families and give our economy a boost. The plan provides recovery rebate checks of up to $1,200 to those who need it most, and families will start receiving their checks in May. This plan was a good start and, importantly, it was worked out with the president. There were real differences of opinion and approach, but Speaker Pelosi, Republican Leader Boehner and President Bush were all able to reach an agreement and move forward. We haven’t seen enough of that kind of cooperation in the last decade, so it was a good beginning on an important subject.”
He also talked about gas/energy prices and President Bush’s blocking of legislation that would promote the production of renewable energy. “Democrats have a plan to extend essential tax credits that will support the production and use of renewable energy, like ethanol. Unfortunately, President Bush opposes this plan and is instead working to protect taxpayer subsidies for big oil companies. These companies are making record profits — and they don’t need handouts from the taxpayer. Passing this legislation is critical, but achieving energy independence will be virtually impossible if the war in Iraq continues with no end in sight. We have now spent more on the war in Iraq than has been invested on energy research in the history of our country.”
His next topic was the need to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program. “We can begin confronting the health care crisis by expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program and ensuring that no child goes without basic medical care. Democrats have been fighting to expand this program, but for too long President Bush has been the one man standing between millions of children and their health care.”
Rep. Foster concluded by saying, “In the coming weeks, Democrats will work with our colleagues to bring about these solutions, to get our economy moving again and give middle-class families the relief they need. And we hope to work with Republicans and with President Bush to give the American people the bipartisan solutions they demand and deserve.”
The Democrats are going to try to make the economy issue number one in the fall campaign. Much of what Rep. Foster discussed today is correct. The biggest barrier to progress has been located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Since John McCain’s answer for the economy is to do nothing, this is a wise move for the Democratic Party.
Pocketbook is are usually far and away the top concern of voters, so John McCain can spend the fall trying to defend a war that most Americans have already made up their minds on, while the Democratic nominee will center their arguments around the housing crisis, the price at the pump, and healthcare. If this is the way the campaign plays out, then the Democrats will cruise to victory.
Transcript of Democratic address: