Because of the housing crisis, we are now in a very dangerous situation where financial institutions across this country are afraid to lend money. If all that meant was the failure of a few big banks on Wall Street, it would be one thing.
But that's not what it means. What it means is that if we do not act, it will be harder for you to get a mortgage for your home or the loans you need to buy a car or send your children to college. What it means is that businesses won't be able to get the loans they need to open new factories, or hire more workers, or make payroll for the workers they have. What it means is that thousands of businesses could close. Millions of jobs could be lost. A long and painful recession could follow. Let me be perfectly clear. The fact that we are in this mess is an outrage. It's an outrage because we did not get here by accident. This was not a normal part of the business cycle. This was not the actions of a few bad apples. This financial crisis is a direct result of the greed and irresponsibility that has dominated Washington and Wall Street for years.
But while there is plenty of blame to go around and many in Washington and on Wall Street who deserve it, all of us now have a responsibility to solve this crisis because it affects the financial well-being of every single American. There will be time to punish those who set this fire, but now is the moment for us to come together and put the fire out.
TPJ: But it wasn't all gloom and doom from Obama, he conveyed the seriousness of the situation and the need to do something soon but also gave us hope and courage that we can get out of this mess:
I know that many of you are feeling anxiety right now - about your jobs, about your homes, about your life savings. But I also know this - I know that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis. Because that's who we are. Because this is the United States of America. This is a nation 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. With resolve. With confidence. With that fundamental belief that here in America, our destiny is not written for us, but by us. That's who we are, and that's the country we need to be right now. This is no longer just a Wall Street crisis - it's an American crisis, and it's the American economy that needs this rescue plan.TPJ: And while he pushed for a bailout package he made it clear that he wants one that better protects tax payers than the first bill:
First, I said we needed an independent board to provide oversight and accountability for how and where this money is spent at every step of the way. Second, I said that we cannot help banks on Wall Street without helping the millions of innocent homeowners who are struggling to stay in their homes. They deserve a plan too. Third, I said that I would not allow this plan to become a welfare program for the Wall Street executives whose greed and irresponsibility got us into this mess. And finally, I said that if American taxpayers are financing this solution, then you should be treated like investors - you should get every penny of your tax dollars back once this economy recovers.
This is not a plan to just hand over $700 billion of your money to a few banks on Wall Street. If this is executed the right way, then the government will temporarily purchase the bad assets of our financial institutions so that they can start lending again, and then sell those assets once the markets settle down and the economy recovers. If this is managed correctly, we will hopefully get most or all of our money back, or possibly even turn a profit on the government's investment - every penny of which will go directly back to you, the investor. And if we do have losses, I've proposed to institute a Financial Stability Fee on the entire financial services industry so that Wall Street foots the bill - not the American taxpayer.
I've also said that if I'm President, I will review the entire plan on the day I take office to make sure that it is working to save our economy and that you are getting your money back. This morning, I proposed one such idea that might increase bipartisan support for this plan and shore up our economy at the same time: expanding federal deposit insurance for families and small businesses across America who have invested their money in our banks.
The majority of American families should rest assured that the deposits they have in our banks of up to $100,000 are still guaranteed by the federal government. That guarantee is more than adequate for most families, but it is insufficient for many small businesses to meet their payroll, buy their supplies, and create new jobs. The current insurance limit of $100,000 was set 28 years ago and has not been adjusted for inflation. I've proposed raising the FDIC limit to $250,000 - a step that would boost small businesses, make our banking system more secure, and help restore confidence by reassuring families that their money is safe.TPJ: This is the most imformative, detailed, sobering yet uplifting speech that I have heard during this whole economic disaster. It's nice to hear someone talking some sense and talking in away that we non-economists can understand and accept. The only thing that I hear from McCain is muddled positions that change from day to day.