BY TAYLOR MARSH
“Don’t believe for a second this election is over. Don’t think for a minute that power concedes. We have a lot of work to do. We have to work like our future depends on it this week. …” – Barack Obama
The words or at least excerpts provided from team Obama:
In one week, you can turn the page on policies that have put the greed and irresponsibility
of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street.
In one week, you can choose policies that invest in our middle-class, create
new jobs, and grow this economy from the bottom-up so that everyone has a chance
to succeed; from the CEO to the secretary and the janitor; from the factory
owner to the men and women who work on its floor.
In one week, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation
just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against
town, Republican against Democrat; that asks us to fear at a time when we need
In one week, at this defining moment in history, you can give this country
the change we need. [Ã¢â‚¬Â¦.]
At a moment like this, the last thing we can afford is four more years of the
tired, old theory that says we should give more to billionaires and big corporations
and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. The last thing we can
afford is four more years where no one in Washington is watching anyone on Wall
Street because politicians and lobbyists killed common-sense regulations. Those
are the theories that got us into this mess. They haven’t worked, and it’s time
for change. That’s why I’m running for President of the United States.
Now, Senator McCain has served this country honorably. And he can point to
a few moments over the past eight years where he has broken from George Bush
Ã¢â‚¬“ on torture, for example. He deserves credit for that. But when it comes
to the economy Ã¢â‚¬“ when it comes to the central issue of this election Ã¢â‚¬“
the plain truth is that John McCain has stood with this President every step
of the way. Voting for the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that he once opposed.
Voting for the Bush budgets that spent us into debt. Calling for less regulation
twenty-one times just this year. Those are the facts.
And now, after twenty-one months and three debates, Senator McCain still has
not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he’d do differently
from George Bush when it comes to the economy. Senator McCain says that we can’t
spend the next four years waiting for our luck to change, but you understand
that the biggest gamble we can take is embracing the same old Bush-McCain policies
that have failed us for the last eight years.
It’s not change when John McCain wants to give a $700,000 tax cut to the average
Fortune 500 CEO. It’s not change when he wants to give $200 billion to the biggest
corporations or $4 billion to the oil companies or $300 billion to the same
Wall Street banks that got us into this mess. It’s not change when he comes
up with a tax plan that doesn’t give a penny of relief to more than 100 million
middle-class Americans. That’s not change.
The question in this election is not “Are you better off than you were
four years ago?” We know the answer to that. The real question is, “Will
this country be better off four years from now?” [Ã¢â‚¬Â¦]
Understand, if we want get through this crisis, we need to get beyond the old
ideological debates and divides between left and right. We don’t need bigger
government or smaller government. We need a better government Ã¢â‚¬“ a more
competent government Ã¢â‚¬“ a government that upholds the values we hold in
common as Americans. [Ã¢â‚¬Â¦]
So the choice in this election isn’t between tax cuts and no tax cuts. It’s
about whether you believe we should only reward wealth, or whether we should
also reward the work and workers who create it. I will give a tax break to 95%
of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paychecks every
week. I’ll eliminate income taxes for seniors making under $50,000 and give
homeowners and working parents more of a break. And I’ll help pay for this by
asking the folks who are making more than $250,000 a year to go back to the
tax rate they were paying in the 1990s. No matter what Senator McCain may claim,
here are the facts Ã¢â‚¬“ if you make under $250,000, you will not see your
taxes increase by a single dime Ã¢â‚¬“ not your income taxes, not your payroll
taxes, not your capital gains taxes. Nothing. Because the last thing we should
do in this economy is raise taxes on the middle-class. [Ã¢â‚¬Â¦]
But as I’ve said from the day we began this journey all those months ago, the
change we need isn’t just about new programs and policies.
It’s about a new politics Ã¢â‚¬“ a politics that calls on our better angels
instead of encouraging our worst instincts; one that reminds us of the obligations
we have to ourselves and one another.
Part of the reason this economic crisis occurred is because we have been living
through an era of profound irresponsibility. On Wall Street, easy money and
an ethic of “what’s good for me is good enough” blinded greedy executives
to the danger in the decisions they were making. On Main Street, lenders tricked
people into buying homes they couldn’t afford. Some folks knew they couldn’t
afford those houses and bought them anyway. In Washington, politicians spent
money they didn’t have and allowed lobbyists to set the agenda. They scored
political points instead of solving our problems, and even after the greatest
attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, all we were asked to do by our President
was to go out and shop.
That is why what we have lost in these last eight years cannot be measured
by lost wages or bigger trade deficits alone. What has also been lost is the
idea that in this American story, each of us has a role to play. Each of us
has a responsibility to work hard and look after ourselves and our families,
and each of us has a responsibility to our fellow citizens. That’s what’s been
lost these last eight years Ã¢â‚¬“ our sense of common purpose; of higher purpose.
And that’s what we need to restore right now.