Archive for Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bush to address nation on economic crisis at 8 p.m.

September 24, 2008


— With a financial rescue plan facing a tough sell on Capitol Hill, President Bush has scheduled a prime-time, televised address Wednesday night, hoping to persuade the public that the massive proposal is relevant to them and "get this over the goal line" with lawmakers.

"The president believes it is important for the American people to fully understand the depths of the crisis affecting our country, how that affects them," White House press secretary Dana Perino said in announcing the speech. "I think everyone will tune in tonight because we are facing a once-in-a-century crisis in our financial markets."

The address, to be delivered from the White House's grand East Room, is to be between 12 and 14 minutes long, Perino said. Bush last gave a prime-time address to the nation 377 days ago, on the Iraq war, when he announced a gradual reduction in U.S. forces there.

The meltdown among several financial institutions and intense negotiations with Congress over the administration's requested $700 billion bailout package led the president to return to Washington early Wednesday from a three-day stay in New York. He canceled a planned trip to Florida, where he had been scheduled to raise campaign cash for Republican candidates later in the day.

The package is meeting with deep skepticism on Capitol Hill, especially from conservatives in Bush's own party who are revolting at the high price tag and unprecedented government intervention into private markets.

Though there is agreement among lawmakers that something must be done, and done quickly, there has been fierce debate over the outlines and specifics of the plan as the administration first proposed over the weekend. White House and administration officials have warned of disaster if the debate is delayed, and Perino did so again on Wednesday.

"This is a huge moment for America and if we don't take decisive and bold action, we could be facing financial calamity," she said.

But throughout the crisis, the White House has struggled to determine how best to deploy Bush.

As the problem mushroomed over the weekend of Sept. 13, Bush generally stayed out of the limelight, letting Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke take the lead with reporters, lawmakers and the public. He even canceled a planned statement on the economy last Tuesday and remained silent for days.

Since Thursday, the president has said something publicly on the situation almost every day - albeit very briefly most times - and yet he still has had trouble breaking into the debate. News coverage has barely mentioned Bush's comments. Points that he and his White House aides have tried to make about the aim and substance of the bailout plan have been covered mostly on the periphery of the story.

The decision to pull out perhaps a president's largest available weapon - the ability to command attention on evening television screens throughout the country, from a setting with the ultimate bully-pulpit power - could be seen as a sign that the package faces still-daunting hurdles. But Perino, speaking on behalf of Bush, said it is just the opposite.

"While we've asked Congress to bite off a lot, it's not more than we can chew," she said.

Still, the White House has been trying to frame the debate in layman's terms, and that was clearly Bush's goal for his speech.

"The cold on Wall Street could infect Main Street," Perino said. "(People) are concerned about their homes, their education funds, their retirement accounts, their savings. ... I think Americans are plenty smart on this, but more informatoin is certainly better."

Earlier in New York, Bush said he believes a plan will be passed despite the furious back-and-forth.

"I am confident when it's all said and done, that there will be a robust plan," the president said.

He spoke before a meeting to discuss free trade with leaders of other Western Hemisphere nations, one the last events in his trip to attend the annual U.N. General Assembly. The president was greeted there by world leaders who themselves had many questions about the turmoil in the United States markets.

Bush put a positive spin on what those leaders were seeing take place in the U.S. political system.

"They can see our legislative process is full of give-and-take, that there's ample debate," he said.

With so many crises hitting the United States at once, the presidential race has taken a back seat and so has Bush's involvement in politics. Wednesday's Florida trip was the third time in a week that he has canceled his attendance at out-of-town fundraisers.

Last Thursday, he scrapped attendance at fundraisers in Alabama and Florida, as well as an energy event in Alabama, to stay at the White House and consult with economic advisers. He also cancelled his appearance at fundraisers in Kansas and Texas last Tuesday, but those were replaced by a trip to another part of Texas to review damage from Hurricane Ike.


Unix_Admin 9 years, 7 months ago

Oh brother, I thought we were done having to listen to this guy.

sfjayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

The bush economic plan: Privatize profits, nationalize losses - brilliant, simply brilliant.

Alison Roberts 9 years, 7 months ago

Welp, good thing Im watching the CW tonight.. ANTM!! woohoo. Much better than listening to him.

ronwell_dobbs 9 years, 7 months ago

I know these are weird times when I find myself agreeing completely with Newt Gingrich. No bailouts.

Bruce Rist 9 years, 7 months ago

Give them the 700 B. That's right give it to them. Then ask them what line item they are going to cut out of the federal budget to make it work.This isn't tax and spend politics. It's borrow and spend ~ Bush's legacy

justnell 9 years, 7 months ago

when he speaks it sounds like the teacher off of charlie brown...good thing i will be workin and will miss his whole speech

MeAndFannieLou 9 years, 7 months ago

Maybe a miracle will occur and he'll announce his resignation, effecive immediately. And take Uncle Dick with him, of course.~ sick and tired of being sick and tired.

acg 9 years, 7 months ago

tomshewmon, do you ever have anything decent to say to anyone or are you always just a boil on the ass of humanity? If that's the case, I think it's high time someone lanced you. For the good of all mankind, you know.

blakus 9 years, 7 months ago

Bush says, "We will bail out my corporate buddies but screw you if you want health insurance and can't afford it. That's called socialism, and I ain't no European!"

Scott Drummond 9 years, 7 months ago

Why, Tom, is Time Out boy going to win? If so, I have a whole theory on how life should include one free "do over" per year that I am sure he'll be in favor of. Seriously, where oh where is Ms. Palin. She's a heartbeat away. Well, time for her to step up. Or maybe she's going to DC to "work on" the bail out of our tax money to private corporations. Or maybe, just maybe, this all has something to do with the 9 point lead Obama opened up in today's ABC poll?

Jaminrawk 9 years, 7 months ago

"Well, ya see ... what had happened was ... the liberals in Congress ... terror ... the fundamentals of our economy are strong ...."-Dubya

Richard Heckler 9 years, 7 months ago

What party is in the white house and has been observing the sub prime loan scandals, pretending nothing was wrong? Republicans The treasury secretary could have stopped this fraud but did not. Fraud has been against the law for some time now. With laws on the books against fraud who needs more legislation?CRIME: Who has history with financial institutions going south such as the savings and loan scandal?

Richard Heckler 9 years, 7 months ago

The Bush message will be his usual. Be afraid Be afraid Be afraid. He will want viewers to get on the phone and tell legislators to bail out his criminal pals who just may be guilty of fraud.He will threaten the voters with job losses. Why then hasn't he stopped outsourcing?The he will urge all to begin christmas shopping immediately following his speech.Bush really does not give a damn its just that there is an election coming up soon and he is concerned for the party image. Keep this picture in your mind while Bush is speaking:

4chewnut 9 years, 7 months ago

Trying to cram this down our collective throats. And McCain is so worried he wants to cancel Friday's debate. Ha! McCain is worried he is getting his rear kicked over economics. And yes, the debate was to be about foreign policy. I think the American public deserves the debate - especially in a time of crisis.

Jennifer Forth 9 years, 7 months ago

He canceled a planned trip to Florida, where he had been scheduled to raise campaign cash for Republican candidates later in the day. - another trip spoiled. How much do you want to bet he says Iran has WMDs and we need to invade to save our economy?????Thank the stars for Netflix!

justthefacts 9 years, 7 months ago

Let me summarize what will (or should) be said: "My fellow Americans. For decades America has borrowed money, given credit, leveraged its future, and hoped the bills would never come due. Well, the wait is over and the bills are due. We (and that includes the individuals and companies involved) can either pay what we owe now - which will mean a serious cut back in our life-style and our country's standing in the world - or we can continue to go further into debt by borrowing, leveraging, and over-taxing individuals - while we hope we can put off facing the mess until later (or perhaps hoping our children will be able to fix it). In the meantime, we can send those people who commited fraud to jail - but even if we do that, there weren't enough criminals or crime in all the world to create the debt and issues we face. We all contributed by turning a blind eye (personally and socially) the massive debts we were creating. Pay now. Or Pay later. And it looks like later has come." But that's not what he'll say. Because it is not what Americans of any stripe want to hear. Or do.

Scott Drummond 9 years, 7 months ago

Or maybe she and the First Dude will go back and testify in that whole Troopergate mess. ROTFLMAO

Ragingbear 9 years, 7 months ago

No Corporate Bail-Outs. We will be better off in the long run.

Steve Jacob 9 years, 7 months ago

Bailout or no bailout is basically do you want to be shot or stabbed. Both options will be painful. But you have to agree Congress is doing the right thing fighting, because basically, the fed gave them a 3 page memo, wanting $700 billion and full control. They have a right to be angry. Something will be get done, we do have an election soon. You know it a big deal when McCain and Obama are in Washington doing their paid jobs for the first time this year :)

newsreader 9 years, 7 months ago

If we're going to waste $700billion, at least send it to the tax payments and not Wall Street.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 7 months ago

Bush and McCain have been pushing hard for this financial disaster yet a treat for Wall Street:How will the rest of the U.S. economy be affected if the republicans social security privatization plan is enacted?Put simply, moving to a system of private accounts would not only put retirement income at risk--it would likely put the entire economy at risk.The current Social Security system generates powerful, economy-stimulating multiplier effects. This was part of its original intent. In the early 1930s, the vast majority of the elderly were poor. While they were working, they could not afford to both save for retirement and put food on the table, and most had no employer pension. When Social Security began, elders spent every penny of that income. In turn, each dollar they spent was spent again by the people and businesses from whom they had bought things. In much the same way, every dollar that goes out in pensions today creates about 2.5 times as much total income. If the move to private accounts reduces elders' spending levels, as almost all analysts predict, that reduction in spending will have an even larger impact on slowing economic growth.The current Social Security system also reduces the income disparity between the rich and the poor. Private accounts would increase inequality--and increased inequality hinders economic growth. For example, a 1994 World Bank study of 25 countries demonstrated that as income inequality rises, productivity growth is reduced. Market economies can fall apart completely if the level of inequality becomes too extreme. The rapid increase in income inequality that occurred in the 1920s was one of the causes of the Great Depression.

Scott Drummond 9 years, 7 months ago

At this hour McCain has "suspended" his campaign and returned to Washington DC until a bailout bill is passed. Strangely, McCain is not an important player on any of the relevant committees. Not at all clear what his presence will contribute. Wish someone in the corporate media would ask. Is he going to pitch ideas? Does he have his own plan? Why not have the guts to stand up & in the spotlight of the campaign announce what you want to do? Or is this just a way to cancel a few of the debates and force something the rescheduling in a different format? Or maybe a way to get the VP debates cancelled? Speaking of the VP candidate, it is stranger still, that she will apparently also suspend her non-speaking role as a Vice Presidential candidate pending the resolution of McCain very, very, very important work in DC. Perhaps she can return to Alaska and kill a few wild animals from the safety and comfort of a chasing plane. In the several weeks since her selection as the VP candidate, the McCain campaign has made the laughable contention that she is prepared to step in and lead should McCain fall & be unable to serve. Guess this stunt puts the lie to that claim. Lead the free world? The senile old coot who picked her doesn't even trust her enough to make a few campaign appearances. All in all a fitting, sad and pathetic development. Karma's a mother!! McCain should have run a more honorable campaign.

Scott Drummond 9 years, 7 months ago

"The mortgage crisis? The one that was mostly caused by bad loans to minorities so they could attain the American dream through home ownership and now repo. The liberal policies of WJC and pressure on lending organizations to relax requirements"This is a flat out, right wing, hate radio talking point lie. And if you disagree, produce the evidence to support the claim.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 7 months ago

McCain's Top Staffers Were Paid by Freddie Mac until Last MonthMcCain loves to bash Obama for taking Freddie/Fannie money; looks like another hypocritical gaffe from McCain.From "An article in Newsweek has now revealed that McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, was receiving monthly $15,000 checks until last month from Freddie Mac, the mortgage agency that the government recently took over. In addition, the head of McCain's transition team, William Timmons, Sr., was a registered lobbyist for Freddie Mac until this month according to an article on Bloomberg News. His firm received $260,000 this year for unspecified work. Although McCain likes to rail against lobbyists and how he will put them in their place, having his campaign being run by people who lobbied for Freddie Mac cuts to the heart of his pitch as a reformer. This story is soon going to be all over the place (see for example, Newsday, the NY Times, and Roll Call)."

chargdup 9 years, 7 months ago

Children, get away from the TV. It'll rot you brain.If Bush wants to get something passed, he's the last person that should be pushing it on TV.

christie 9 years, 7 months ago

GWB isn't only the WORST President...He could be he LAST PRESIDENT.China and Russia are SALIVATING and HOPING that McCane goes into office and chokes on a pork-rib.Better learn to speak Mandrian, because after the Russians take over China will be right behind them.

Scott Drummond 9 years, 7 months ago

I like his weird, CHester the Molester, snicker that you see every once and a while when he thinks he's said or done something funny. Too weird. Funny, too, how even the lowly gwb was able to debate John Kerry while he was sitting President. And if george could do it......Lord knows McCain oought to be up to the task. The more I think about it, this is nothing but a stunt to spare Palin from the grilling she'll likely get (and deserves.)

Scott Drummond 9 years, 7 months ago

"Don't you wish McCrazy would just go away? And take the lipstick-pig woman with him? Don't we have enough to deal with - some really serious issues - without having to hear this PTSD-addled freak read his stump speech over and over again and watch crazed scenes like yesterday when 85-year-old womanizing warmonger Henry Kissinger granted the lipstick-pig woman an hour sit-down in exchange for what? a free feel? a little leg? a flash of booty? The leer on Henry's face was obscene.Man, these people turn my stomach."- Mike Malloy, radio host

Jennifer Forth 9 years, 7 months ago

No no no. She is a Washington outsider so she can't be seen anywhere near the Beltway. Perhaps she is going home to spend some quality time with her family. That should go down well with the voters.

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