“We did not arrive at the doorstep of our current economic crisis by some accident of history. This was not an inevitable part of the business cycle that was beyond our power to avoid. It was the logical conclusion of a tired and misguided philosophy that has dominated Washington for far too long,” Obama said.
Later he spoke about the differences between himself and McCain on the economy, “Because for all his talk of independence, the centerpiece of his economic plan amounts to a full-throated endorsement of George Bush’s policies. He says we’ve made “great progress” in our economy these past eight years. He calls himself a fiscal conservative and on the campaign trail he’s passionate critic of government spending, and yet he has no problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for big corporations and a permanent occupation of Iraq – policies that have left our children with a mountain of debt.”
“George Bush’s policies have taken us from a projected $5.6 trillion dollar surplus at the end of the Clinton Administration to massive deficits and nearly four trillion dollars in new debt today. We were promised a fiscal conservative. Instead, we got the most fiscally irresponsible administration in history. And now John McCain wants to give us another. Well we’ve been there once, and we’re not going back. It’s time to move this country forward,” he continued.
Obama also attacked McCain’s credentials as a fiscal conservative, “At a time when we’re fighting two wars, when millions of Americans can’t afford their medical bills or their tuition bills, when we’re paying more than $4 a gallon for gas, the man who rails against government spending wants to spend $1.2 billion on a tax break for Exxon Mobil. That isn’t just irresponsible. It’s outrageous. If John McCain’s policies were implemented, they would add $5.7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. That isn’t fiscal conservatism, that’s what George Bush has done over the last eight years.”
His short term economic proposal involves a $50 billion stimulus package for those who have lost their jobs, an expansion of unemployment benefits, and help for homeowners facing foreclosure. He also wants to reform the bankruptcy laws, and the credit card industry.
“This is the choice you will face in November. You can vote for John McCain, and see a continuation of Bush economic policies – more tax cuts to the wealthy, more corporate tax breaks, more mountains of debt, and little to no relief for families struggling with the rising costs of everything from health care to a college education. But I don’t think that is the future we want,” Obama said.
Obama is going to keep hammering away at McCain on the economy all through this campaign. McCain has no interest in talking about the economy, but I think Obama will force him to do so. McCain’s proposals are the same as George W. Bush’s policies, and I don’t see how Americans who vote based on the economy will support John McCain. If Obama is able to fuse his change message with a solid economic plan, he will have no trouble beating McCain in November.
You can read the full text of Obama’s speech right here.