Thursday, October 30, 2008
In an event sponsored by CBN, a bunch of fundamentalists all went to Wall Street, where they all laid hands on the Wall Street bull, and prayed for economic wealth.
Where is Moses when you need him?
I can just hear him yelling, "FAIL!"
I hope these morons haven't sentenced us to 40 years of Economic Depression.
KING: You don't believe Barack Obama is a socialist do you?
MCCAIN: "No, but i do believe that he has been in the far left of American politics and stated time after time that he believes in spreading the wealth around. He has talked about courts that redistribute the wealth. He has a record of voting against tax cuts. And for tax increases."
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Palin faces ethics complaint over kids' travel
New complaint charges VP hopeful of charging state for kids' travel
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A new ethics complaint has been filed against Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, accusing the Alaska governor of abusing her power by charging the state when her children traveled with her.
The complaint alleges that the Republican vice presidential nominee used her official position as governor for personal gain. It follows a report by The Associated Press last week that Palin charged the state more than $21,000 for her three daughters' commercial flights, including events where they weren't invited, and later ordered their expense forms amended to specify official state business.
In some cases, Palin also has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.
It's sort of amazing how much baggage this woman has and how many skeletons are in her closet. Obviously, she think public funds are her personal piggy bank.
I guess Ted Stevens WAS her mentor.
Very moving and very powerful. Is it just me, or is it a RELIEF to see a Democrat actually claim the principles and ideas that USED to go without saying in America - but which had all but disappeared?
For how many years have working people been looked down on, and treated as second class citizens, while limitless, engorging greed has been praised?
For how many years have we been told that public money shouldn't be used for the good of the public, but should be simply handed over to the richest to do with as they wished?
For how many years have we been told that the supply-side was all that counted, and the DEMAND-side (that's US) had no real say in things, and just had to make do with the leavings?
For how many years has it been ASSUMED that concentration of wealth was normal and good, and that employees only had value as tools for the employer, and no intrisic worth as human beings?
And when the hell did that nonsense START? And when did it come to be viewed as what America was about?
"They used to say it was the land of milk and honey;
Now they say it's the land of money.
Who would ever have thought that they could make that stick?" - Bob Dylan
"He's spent these last few days calling me every name in the book. Lately, he's called me a socialist for wanting to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans so we can finally give tax relief to the middle class. I don't know what's next. By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in Kindergarten."
Daughter of slave votes for Obama
109-year-old Bastrop woman casts her vote by mail.
By Joshunda Sanders
Monday, October 27, 2008
Amanda Jones, 109, the daughter of a man born into slavery, has lived a life long enough to touch three centuries. And after voting consistently as a Democrat for 70 years, she has voted early for the country's first black presidential nominee.
Historically speaking, conservatism is a movement organized and funded by society's most powerful members; politically speaking, it lusts for tax cuts and government rollbacks that will benefit those same fortunate folks at the top.
But what it really is, in its own mind, is a crusade on behalf of society's most abject members: the true Americans who are victimized, sneered at and persecuted for their faithfulness.
Who persecutes them? Well, the mainstream media, to begin with, which supposedly chuckles at their unadorned heartland ways from its lofty perches in New York and Washington. Academics, for another, with their fancy rhetoric and their bottomless contempt for the red, white and blue. And the ACLU, for a third, with its unceasing war on Ten Commandments monuments and Nativity scenes.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Younger, healthier workers likely wouldn't abandon their company-sponsored plans, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain's senior economic policy adviser.
"Why would they leave?" said Holtz-Eakin. "What they are getting from their employer is way better than what they could get with the credit."
Then why the hell is McCain proposing it?
Here's Obama's response:
This morning, the McCain campaigns top economic policy advisor unleashed an October Surprise of straight talk when he finally admitted that the health insurance people currently get from their employer is way better than the health care they would get if John McCain becomes President. ... Senator McCain has been trying to cover this up for months, but his advisors brutal honesty today is certainly better late than never, and it should give every American pause about electing a candidate who has proposed such radical and dangerous changes to our health care system.
Virginia elections officials say fliers are making the rounds in several Hampton Roads localities attempting to confuse voters.
The fliers advise Republicans to vote on one day, and Democrats on another.
Election Day for everyone, of course, is Nov. 4.
The bogus advisory features the logo of the State Board of Elections and states the two voting dates are intended to ease the load on local balloting officials.
State police are looking into the source of the fliers.
I believe that this is prosecutable. Especially since they are using the official logo of the State Board of Elections.
It also has "backfire" written all over it. It's being reported in the Virginia newspapers, on Virginia TV. Can you think of anything for likely to infuriate voters than this sort of transparent fraud?
This really takes guts. Telemarketers have NO money. If they could find another job, they would. They are as totally powerless in the workplace as it gets.
And they refused.
Good for them.
Not the least disturbing sentence in Goodstein's article is:
"Religious leaders in Alaska, including Mr. Donelson [Patrick Donelson, 'a pastor and fishing guide who helped found a spiritual warfare ministry' appointed by Palin to the only seat reserved for members of the clergy on the state’s Suicide Prevention Council], declined interviews, with several saying they had been told by the McCain-Palin campaign not to talk to members of the news media."
So Alaska's spiritual commanders are taking their marching orders from McCain-Palin headquarters?
When you have pastors taking orders from a political party, you have a total perversion.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Brian Williams: Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist under this definition?
Sarah Palin: (Exasperated sigh.) There’s no question that Bill Ayers by his own admittance was one who thought to destroy our U.S. Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist. There is no question there. Now others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that it would be unacceptable to, I don’t know if you’re gonna use the word "terrorist" there.
At McCain's spending rate of $1.5 million a day, the Arizona senator likely has only $12 million to spend in the next 11 days before the Nov. 4 election. He began the fall campaign in September with $84 million in public funds.
The McCain campaign is emailing supporters telling them about a desperate need for money.
And they spent $150,000 on clothes.
Have they even thought of that as an option? Do they stand for anything except pure politics? Is governing now so far off the radar screen that they don't even think of it?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Being Barry Goldwater's granddaughter and living in Arizona, one would assume that I would be voting for our state's senator, John McCain. I am still struck by certain 'dyed in the wool' Republicans who are on the fence this election, as it seems like a no-brainer to me.
Myself, along with my siblings and a few cousins, will not be supporting the Republican presidential candidates this year. We believe strongly in what our grandfather stood for: honesty, integrity, and personal freedom, free from political maneuvering and fear tactics. I learned a lot about my grandfather while producing the documentary, Mr. Conservative Goldwater on Goldwater. Our generation of Goldwaters expects government to provide for constitutional protections. We reject the constant intrusion into our personal lives, along with other crucial policy issues of the McCain/Palin ticket.
My grandfather (Paka) would never suggest denying a woman's right to choose. My grandmother co-founded Planned Parenthood in Arizona in the 1930's, a cause my grandfather supported. I'm not sure about how he would feel about marriage rights based on same-sex orientation. I think he would feel that love and respect for ones privacy is what matters most and not the intolerance and poor judgment displayed by McCain over the years. Paka respected our civil liberties and passed on the message that that we should conduct our lives standing up for the basic freedoms we hold so dear.
For a while, there were several candidates who aligned themselves with the Goldwater version of Conservative thought. My grandfather had undying respect for the U.S. Constitution, and an understanding of its true meanings.
There always have been a glimmer of hope that someday, someone would "race through the gate" full steam in Goldwater style. Unfortunately, this hasn't happened, and the Republican brand has been tarnished in a shameless effort to gain votes and appeal to the lowest emotion, fear. Nothing about McCain, except for maybe a uniform, compares to the same ideology of what Goldwater stood for as a politician. The McCain/Palin plan is to appear diverse and inclusive, using women and minorities to push an agenda that makes us all financially vulnerable, fearful, and less safe.
When you see the candidate's in political ads, you can't help but be reminded of the 1964 presidential campaign of Johnson/Goldwater, the 'origin of spin', that twists the truth and obscures what really matters. Nothing about the Republican ticket offers the hope America needs to regain it's standing in the world, that's why we're going to support Barack Obama. I think that Obama has shown his ability and integrity.
After the last eight years, there's a lot of clean up do. Roll up your sleeves, Senators Obama and Biden, and we Goldwaters will roll ours up with you.
1. Barack Obama must be an anarcho-syndicalist because he believes in the power of unions.
2. Barack Obama must be a Whig because he believes in the government's role in building infrastructure and education.
3. Barack Obama must be a Gaullist because he believes in regulating banks.
4. Barack Obama must be a neo-Aristotelianist because he was a community organizer.
5. Barack Obama must be a Dadaist because cow.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.
According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.
The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.
The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.
Remember when the right-wingers were all freaking out over $400 haircuts?
When they point fingers, they are doing the same thing times 10. You can almost guarantee it.
And what's Miss Small-Town-Real-America doing having shopping sprees on 5th Avenue, anyway?
$150,000 - the price of a small house - spent on clothes in a month and a half.
Not bad for someone who's just an average "hockey mom."
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
"You know, I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately. And you know, I couldn't agree with them more."
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Would the country's collective point of view be different? Could racism be the culprit?
Ponder the following:
What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three-month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?
What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?
What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?
What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married?
What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five?
What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?
What if Obama wasn't?
What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing three planes?
What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?
What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?
You could easily add to this list.
This does a good deal to get it back.
Q: Sir, what role did McCain's negativity play in your decision?
POWELL: It troubled me. You know, we have two wars. We have economic problems. We have health problems. We have education problems. We have infrastructure problems. We have problems around the world with our allies. And so those are the problems the American people wanted to hear about, not about Mr. Ayers, not about who is a Muslim and who's not a Muslim. Those kinds of images going out on al Jazeera are killing us around the world. And we have got to say to the world it doesn't make any difference who you are or what you are. If you're an American you're an American.
And this business of, for example, a congressman from Minnesota who's going around saying let's examine all congressmen to see who is pro-America or not pro-America. We have got to stop this kind of nonsense and pull ourselves together and remember that our great strength is in our unity and in our diversity. And so that really was driving me. And to focus on people like Mr. Ayers, these trivial issues for the purpose of suggesting that somehow Mr. Obama would have some kind of terrorists' inclinations, I thought that was over the top. It was beyond just good political fighting back and forth. I think it went beyond. And then to sort of throw in this subtle Muslim connection. You know, he's a Muslim and a terrorist. And it was taking root. And we can't judge our people and we can't hold our elections on that kind of basis. And so yes, that kind of negativity troubles me and the constant shifting of the argument.
I was troubled a couple of weeks ago when in the middle of the crisis the campaign said we're going to go negative and they announced it. We're going to go negative and attack his character through Bill Ayers. And now I guess the message this week is we're going to call him a socialist. Mr. Obama is now a socialist because he dares to suggest that maybe we ought to look at the tax structure that we have. Taxes are always a redistribution of money. Most of the taxes that are redistributed go back to those who pay it in roads and airports and hospitals and schools. And taxes are necessary for the common good. And there's nothing wrong with examining what our tax structure is or who should be paying more, who should be paying less. And for us to say that makes you a socialist I think is an unfortunate characterization that isn't accurate. And I don't want my taxes raised. I don't want anybody else's taxes raised. But I also want to see our infrastructure fixed. I don't want to have a $12 trillion national debt and I don't want to see an annual deficit that's over $500 billion heading toward a trillion. So how do we deal with all of this?
The importance of endorsements is incredibly exaggerated. But this is one of the few, I think, that could actually affect votes. This is serious news. Not just his endorsing Obama, but his eviscerating of McCain.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
If he DOES endorse Obama, though, it will be HUGE news.
Now is the October of our discontent.
First of all, George W. Bush showed up on TV Friday morning to reassure the nation. What could possibly be worse?
Everybody knows that anything our president says is very likely wrong, and certainly won’t happen. If he announced: “I’m sending government agents to Spokane to arrest the looters,” we would expect that the officials would get lost, nobody would be arrested, and the looters probably never existed in the first place.
Friday, October 17, 2008
This is the first time the Tribune has endorsed the Democratic Candidate for President. Ever.
The paper was founded in 1847. 161 years.
This endorsement makes some history for the Chicago Tribune. This is the first time the newspaper has endorsed the Democratic Party's nominee for president.
The Republican Party, the party of limited government, has lost its way. The government ran a $237 billion surplus in 2000, the year before Bush took office -- and recorded a $455 billion deficit in 2008. The Republicans lost control of the U.S. House and Senate in 2006 because, as we said at the time, they gave the nation rampant spending and Capitol Hill corruption. They abandoned their principles. They paid the price.
We might have counted on John McCain to correct his party's course. We like McCain. We endorsed him in the Republican primary in Illinois. In part because of his persuasion and resolve, the U.S. stands to win an unconditional victory in Iraq.
It is, though, hard to figure John McCain these days. He argued that President Bush's tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible, but he now supports them. He promises a balanced budget by the end of his first term, but his tax cut plan would add an estimated $4.2 trillion in debt over 10 years. He has responded to the economic crisis with an angry, populist message and a misguided, $300 billion proposal to buy up bad mortgages.
McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate--but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin's exposure to the public. But it's clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment's notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
At a breakfast fundraiser this morning, Obama used the example of the New Hampshire primary, when he lost to Hillary Rodham Clinton after a huge win in Iowa, to warn his supporters against overconfidence, Carrie Budoff Brown reports.
Otherwise, they may get "spanked," he said.
"For those of you who are feeling giddy or cocky or think this is all set, I just have two words for you: New Hampshire," Mr. Obama told top contributors at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan. "I've been in these positions before when we were favored and the press starts getting carried away and we end up getting spanked."
He added, "That's another good lesson that Hillary Clinton taught me, so we want to make sure that we are closing strong, running through the tape."
Why would the Liberal Media perceive a Democrat win as a tie?
CBS poll of undecided voters:
Who won the debate?
McCain (R) 22
Obama (D) 53
Shares your values
Obama, Before the debate: 54
Obama, After the debate: 63
McCain, Before the debate: 53
McCain, After the debate: 56
CNN poll of voters who watched debate:
Who won the debate?
McCain (R) 31
Obama (D) 58
Obama, before debate: 63/35
Obama, after debate: 66/33
McCain, before debate: 51/45
McCain, after debate: 49/49
Those numbers look like a slaughter.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The left believes that it is wiser to actually CONTROL the use of our money, and in using the same money to build roads and bridges, which directly creates both private and public sector jobs, increases private sector income, helps the economy, AND - as a nice little bonus - actually fixes the roads and bridges.
The right believes in welfare and handouts.
The left believes in the value of work.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The Republicans have alienated whole professions. Lawyers now donate to the Democratic Party over the Republican Party at 4-to-1 rates. With doctors, it’s 2-to-1. With tech executives, it’s 5-to-1. With investment bankers, it’s 2-to-1. It took talent for Republicans to lose the banking community.
Conservatives are as rare in elite universities and the mainstream media as they were 30 years ago.
Friday, October 10, 2008
GM is the lowest it's been since 1958.
Ford is down to around $2 a share. Think about that: FORD, of all corporations, is almost a penny stock at this point. Gee, aren't you glad they used our money to bail out the car companies all these years?
Move along. Everything is fine. Nothing to see here.
I guess everybody KNOWS that he was full of shit now, eh?
Because now, he won't even talk about the economy, because of politics.
What a totally soulless, completely without principles, phony.
He doesn't even try to be subtle about it.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Interviewer: “There was a political issue, a local issue about whether the confederate flag should fly over the capital. You waffled on that.”
John McCain: “Yes. Worse than waffled. I said it was strictly a state issue clearly knowing that it wasn’t”
Interviewer: “Thats not what you believed in your heart.”
John McCain: “No”
Interviewer: “What did you believe in your heart.”
John McCain: “That it was a very offensive symbol to many Americans.”
Interviewer: “Why did you say that.”
John McCain: “I’m sure for all the wrong reasons”
Interviewer: “What wrong reasons?”
John McCain: “For ambition”
He has also said:
"I didn't decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political forms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. I was sixty two years old when I made the decision, and I thought it was my one shot at the prize."
"The prize." That's what it's REALLY about. Not principles. Not patriotism. "The prize."
He has a history of this: doing something lousy, and later admitting how lousy it was. He also said it was a TERRIBLE MISTAKE to get involved with Charles Keating.
And I'm sure that after he loses this one, he'll tell some interviewer about how he wasn't proud of saying things he didn't believe and rolling around in the mud like a fat old hog. Poor him.
Obama: McCain's mortgage plan shows 'erratic' leadership
(CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday slammed Sen. John McCain's new mortgage plan as "the latest in a series of shifting positions" and evidence of "erratic and uncertain leadership."
"He's ended up with a plan that punishes taxpayers, rewards banks, and won't solve our housing crisis," Obama said at an event in Dayton, Ohio.
At the second presidential debate Tuesday, McCain suggested that the government buy up bad home loan mortgages and renegotiate at the new diminished value of those homes.
Under McCain's proposed $300 billion mortgage rescue plan, much of the burden of paying to keep troubled borrowers in their homes would shift to taxpayers.
“This cover is a clear slap in the face at Sarah Palin,” Andrea Tantaros, a Republican political and media commentator said on the show. “Why? Because it’s unretouched. It highlights every imperfection that every human being has. We’re talking unwanted facial hair, pores, wrinkles.”
This has gone BEYOND insane.
"Ok, our FIRST bright idea didn't work: here's ANOTHER bright idea!"
WASHINGTON — Having tried without success to unlock frozen credit markets, the Treasury Department is considering taking ownership stakes in many United States banks to try to restore confidence in the financial system, according to government officials.
Treasury officials say the just-passed $700 billion bailout bill gives them the authority to inject cash directly into banks that request it. Such a move would quickly strengthen banks’ balance sheets and, officials hope, persuade them to resume lending. In return, the law gives the Treasury the right to take ownership positions in banks, including healthy ones.
I had no idea that the panic-driven rape of the American taxpayer allowed the Government to simply take over banks as they saw fit, OR allowed them to just hand banks our money whenever the banks asked them to.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Who did the best job in the debate?
Who seemed to be the stronger leader?
Who was more likable?
Who did you think was more intelligent?
Who did you think more clearly expressed his views?
Who do you think spent more time attacking his opponent?
"McCain did come out on top in one category that neither candidate wants to win. By a 16-point margin, debate watchers thought the Arizona senator seemed more like a typical politician during the debate."
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
"It's a dangerous road, but we have no choice," a top McCain strategist told the Daily News. "If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we're going to lose."
Well, you know what? If talking about the most significant issue facing Americans means that you'll lose, that's proof positive that you SHOULD lose.
Mishaps mark John McCain's record as naval aviator
Three crashes early in his career led Navy officials to question or fault his judgment.
McCain recounted the accident decades later in his autobiography. "The engine quit while I was practicing landings," he wrote. But an investigation board at the Naval Aviation Safety Center found no evidence of engine failure.
The 23-year-old junior lieutenant wasn't paying attention and erred in using "a power setting too low to maintain level flight in a turn," investigators concluded.
The crash was one of three early in McCain's aviation career in which his flying skills and judgment were faulted or questioned by Navy officials.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
O. J. Simpson Found Guilty in Robbery Trial
LAS VEGAS — O. J. Simpson was found guilty late Friday on all 12 counts stemming from a confrontation in a hotel room last year, including armed robbery and kidnapping.
Serious, too - 15 years to life.
But if he's in jail, who's going to search for the real killer?
Friday, October 03, 2008
Regardless of which candidate you happen to support, who do you think did the best job in the debate Joe Biden or Sarah Palin?
Some people were surprised that she talked smoothly and handled the camera well. I'm not sure why.
The problem, of course, is that Palin didn't actually answer any questions, and the results above are a response to that. When asked a question, she gave maybe a three word answer and then talked about something else. And in the second half, she just kept saying the same thing over and over, because that was all that there was in her talking points.
She knows how to handle the camera, and she rehearsed it well: "Listen to question, look at Biden, count to three, look at camera." It started well, and got VERY old by the end.
During the debate, you could see the audience response on the screen instantaneously - they had those little push-button things they give focus groups - and, for the most part, they did not respond to her well. And the reason is obvious:
These are SERIOUS TIMES. And she was PLAYING GAMES. Like people were stupid. She didn't answer the damned questions. That's insulting to the audience This country is in TROUBLE. People are angry, people are furious, and they want some DAMNED ANSWERS. Not some 40-something ex-beauty queen flirting with a camera.
Clowning around when angry people have serious questions makes them angrier.
And - despite some people being surprised that she wasn't actually babbling and incoherent - that appears to be the reaction to it.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.
McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush.
McCain's campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Q. When you look at terrorism right now, with people like Osama bin Laden, do you have any reservations about watching strikes like that?
MCcain: You could say, Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted? Most of us have never heard of him before. And where there is a parallel with Vietnam is: What's plan B? What do we do next? We sent our troops into Vietnam to protect the bases. Lyndon Johnson said, Only to protect the bases. Next thing you know.... Well, we've declared to the terrorists that we're going to strike them wherever they live. That's fine. But what's next? That's where there might be some comparison.
Gee, and he thought that going after terrorists (Not Iraq, mind you - actual TERRORISTS) might be a mistake.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Thank you very much, Madam President. And thank you to the distinguished Senator from Connecticut, not only for yielding time, but also for the extraordinarily hard work that he's put in over the last several days, and in fact, over a week. And I want to thank his counterparts on the other side, including Senator Gregg, for their hard work.
Now, the fact that we're even here voting on a plan to rescue our economy from the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street, and some in Washington, is an outrage. It's an outrage to every American who works hard, pays their taxes, and is doing their best every day to make a better life for themselves and their families. And understandably, people are frustrated. They're angry that Wall Street's mistakes have put their tax dollars at risk. And they should be. I'm frustrated and angry, too. But while there's plenty of blame to go around, and many in Washington and Wall Street who deserve it, all of us -- all of us -- 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's not the time to argue about how it got set or did the neighbor sleep in his bed or leave the stove on. Right now we want to put out that fire. And now's the time for us to come together and do that.
When the House of Representatives failed to act on Monday, we saw the single largest decline in the stock market in two decades. Over $1 trillion of wealth was lost by the time the markets closed. And it wasn't just the wealth a few CEOs or Wall Street executives. The 401(k)s and retirement accounts of millions became smaller. The state pension funds of teachers and government employees lost billions upon billions of dollars. Hard-working Americans who invested their nest egg to watch it grow saw it diminish and in some cases disappear. And while that decline was devastating, the consequences of the credit crisis that caused it will be even worse if we do not act now. We're in a very dangerous situation where financial institutions across this country are afraid to lend money. And if all that meant was the failure of a few banks in New York, that would be one thing. But that's not what it means. What it means is, if we don't act, it will be harder for Americans to get a mortgage for their home or loans they need to buy a car or send their children to college. What it means is that businesses won't be able to get the loans they need to open a new factory or make payroll for their workers. And if they can't make payroll on Friday, then workers are laid off on Monday. And if workers are laid off on Monday, then they can't pay their bills or pay back their loans to somebody else. And it will go on and on and on, rippling through the entire economy. Potentially we could see thousands of businesses close, millions of jobs could be lost, and a long and painful recession could follow. In other words, this is not just a Wall Street crisis, it's an American crisis. And it's the American economy that needs this rescue plan. understand completely why people would be skeptical when this president asks for a blank check to solve this problem. I was too, as was Senator Dodd, and a whole bunch of us here. That's why over a week ago, I demanded that this plan include some specific proposals to protect taxpayers. Protections that the administration eventually agreed to, and thanks to the hard work of Senator Dodd and Republican counterparts like Senator Gregg, we here in the Senate have agreed to and now hopefully the House will agree to as well.
Let me just go over those principles. Number one, 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.
Number two, 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.
Number three, I said that I would not allow this plan to become a welfare program for 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 they have to be treated like investors. They should get every penny of their tax dollars back once the economy recovers.
Now, this last part is important because it's been the most misunderstood and poorly communicated part of this plan. This is not a plan to just hand over $700 billion of taxpayer money to a few banks. If this is managed correctly -- and that's an important "if" -- we will hopefully get most or all of our money back and possibly even turn a profit on the government's intervention. Every penny of which will go directly back to the American people. And if we fall short, we will levee a fee on financial institutions so that they can repay for the losses that they caused.
Now, let's acknowledge, even with all these taxpayer protections, this plan is not perfect. Democrats and Republicans in Congress have legitimate concerns about it. Some of my closest colleagues, people I have the greatest respect for, still have problems with it and may choose to vote against this bill, and I think that we can respectfully disagree. I understand their frustrations. I also know that many Americans share their concerns. But it's clear that from my perspective, this is what we need to do right now. To prevent the possibility of a crisis turning into a catastrophe. It is conceivable, it's possible that if we did nothing, everything would turn out okay. It's -- there's a possibility that that's true. And there's no doubt that there may be other plans out there that, had we had two or three or six months to develop, might be even more refined and might serve our purposes better. But we don't have that kind of time. And we can't afford to take a risk that the economy of the United states of America and as a consequence the worldwide economy, could be plunged into a very, very deep hole. So to Democrats and Republicans who've opposed this plan, I say, step up to the plate, let's do what's right for the country at this time, because the time to act is now.
I know many Americans are wondering what happens next in passing this -- what happens next. And passing this bill can't be the end of our work to strengthen the economy, it must be the beginning. Because one thing I think all of us who may end up supporting this bill understand is that even if we get this in place, we could still have enormous problems and probably will have big problems in the economy over the next several months and potentially longer. Because the fact is, is that we have seen some mismanagement of the fundamentals of the economy for a very long time, and we are not going to dig ourselves out of that hole immediately. This this is not the end. This is the beginning. As soon as we pass this rescue plan, we need to move aggressively with the same sense of urgency to help families on Main Street who are struggling to pay their bills and keep their jobs. They've been in crisis a lot longer than Wall Street has. I said it before and I say it again, we need to pass an economic stimulus package that will help ordinary Americans cope with rising food and gas prices, that can save 1 million jobs rebuilding our schools and roads and help infrastructure, and help cities and states avoid budget cuts and tax increases. A plan that would extend expiring unemployment benefits for those Americans who've lost their jobs and cannot find new ones. That's the right thing to do at a time when consumer confidence is down and we are in great danger of slipping into a big recession.
We also must do more in this rescue package in order to help homeowners stay in their homes. I will continue to advocate bankruptcy reforms. I know my colleague from Illinois, Dick Durbin, has been a strong champion of this, as have many.
It is the right thing to do to change our bankruptcy laws so that people have a better chance of staying in their homes and we're not seeing communities devastated all across the country. We should encourage Treasury to study the option of buying individual mortgages like we did successfully in the 1930's. And finally, while we all hope that this rescue package succeeds, we should be prepared to take more vigorous actions in the months ahead to rebuild capital, if it's necessary. Just as families are planning for their future and tough times, Washington's going to have to do the same. Runaway spending and record deficits are not how families run their budgets. It can't be how Washington handles people's tax dollars. So we're going to have to return to the fiscal responsibility we have we had in the 1990s. And the next White House and the next Congress is going to have to work together to make sure that we go through our budget, we get rid of programs that don't work, that we make the ones that do work better and cost less. With less money flowing into the Treasury, some useful programs or policies might need to be delayed. Some might need to be stretched out over a longer period of time, but there are certain investments in our future that we cannot know precisely because our economy is in turmoil.
Mr. President, I've exceeded the time a little bit. I would like unanimous consent for a couple more minutes. thank you. There are certain investments in our future that we can't delay precisely because the economy's in turmoil. We can't wait to help Americans keep up with rising costs and shrinking paychecks and we're going to do that by making sure that we are giving our workers a middle-class tax cut. We can't wait to relieve the burden of crushing health care costs. We can't wait to create millions of new jobs by rebuilding our roads and our bridges and investing in broadband lines in rural communities and fixing our electricity grid so we can get renewable energy to population centers that need them. We need to develop an energy policy that prevents us from sending $700 billion a year to tyrants and dictators for their oil. We can't wait to education the next generation of Americans with the skills and knowledge they need to compete with any workers anywhere in the world. These are the priorities we can't -- cannot delay.
Now, let me just close by saying this. I do not think this is going to be easy. It's not going to come without costs. We are all going to need to sacrifice. We're all going to need to pull our weight. Because now, more than ever, we are all in this together. That's part of what this crisis has taught us, that at the end of the day, there's no real separation between Wall Street and Main Street. There's only the road we're traveling on as Americans. And we will rise or fall on that journey as one nation and as one people. I know that many Americans are feeling anxiety right now about their jobs, about their homes, about their life savings. But I also know this. That we can steer ourselves out of this crisis. We always have. During the great financial crisis of the last century, in his first fireside chat, F.D.R. told his fellow Americans that, "There is an element in the readjustment of our financial system more important than currency, more important than gold and that is the confidence of the people themselves. Confidence and courage are the essentials of success in carrying out our plan. Let us unite in banishing fear. Today we cannot fail. We cannot fail -- not now, not tomorrow, not next year.
This is a nation that's faced down war and depression, great challenges and great threats. And at each and every moment, we have risen up to meet these challenges. Not as Democrats, not as Republicans but as Americans with resolve and with confidence. With that fundamental belief that here in America, our destiny is not written for us, it's written by us. That's who we are and that's the country I know we can be right now.
I want to thank again the extraordinary leadership of Chairman Dodd and the Banking Committee as well as Chairman Baucus and Majority Leader Reid. They have worked tirelessly. I want to thank the leadership in the House of Representatives. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this important legislation, understanding that this will not solve all our problems. It is a necessary but not sufficient step to make sure that this economy once again works on behalf of all Americans in their pursuit of the American dream. Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.