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Obama Pushes Passage of Wall Steet Rescue Bill

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Updated 2:42 p.m.
By Perry Bacon Jr.
RENO, Nev. -- Sen. Barack Obama, initially only a reluctant supporter of a Wall Street rescue agreement Congress reached over the weekend, has shifted to aggressively pushing passage of the bill, describing a nightmare scenario in which "thousands of businesses could close around the country, millions of jobs could be lost, a long and painful recession could follow" without it.

"We must act and we must act now," Obama told thousands at the University of Nevada at Reno. "We cannot have another day like yesterday. We cannot risk another week or another month where American businesses are afraid to extend credit and lend money."

"For the rest of today and as long as it takes, I'll continue to reach out to leaders in both parties and do whatever I can," Obama said. "To the Democrats and Republicans who opposed this plan yesterday, I say -- step up to the plate and do what's right for this country."

Both Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, will appear for a vote on the rescue package, according to aides. And Obama planned to appear in interviews on all three major networks to press for the bill's passage as well.

Obama said the bill has been "misunderstood and poorly communicated."

"When it's called a bailout, nobody is in favor of a bailout," Obama said. "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 troubled assets once the markets settle down and the economy recovers."

In the speech, he repeatedly highlighted how the crisis on Wall Street affected all Americans.

"Over one trillion dollars of wealth was lost by the time the markets closed on Monday," Obama said. "And it wasn't just the wealth of a few CEOs on Wall Street. The 401Ks and retirement accounts that millions count on for their family's futures are now smaller. The state pension funds of teachers and government employees lost billions and billions of dollars. Hardworking Americans who invested their nest egg to watch it grow are now watching it disappear. "

He added: "If all that meant was the failure of a few big banks on Wall Street, that'd be one thing. But that's not what it means. What it means is that if we don't act, it will be harder for you to get a mortgage for your home.... Thousands of businesses could close around the country. Millions of jobs could be lost. A long and painful recession could follow."

Obama used the speech to blast GOP efforts to deregulate the market, but at the same time said, "This is one of those defining moments when the American people are looking to Washington for leadership. It is not a time for politics." He invoked Franklin D. Roosevelt's "fireside chats" during the Great Depression as a reminder of how Americans could come together in hard times with the right leadership.

"There is plenty of blame to go around -- and many in Washington and Wall Street deserve it," Obama said, adding: "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."

Obama aides say that he has contacted President Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and congressional leaders over the last two days.

Obama also is now lobbying Democrats who voted no to support the bill, and one target this morning was Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., Obama's Chicago colleague and one of the many Congressional Black Caucus leaders who voted against the plan. A spokesman for Jackson refused to disclose details of the conversation, including whether his boss had changed his mind about the package. But he did confirm that it had taken place this morning.

By Web Politics Editor  |  September 30, 2008; 2:13 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , Battlegrounds , Economy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: New RNC Ad Dismisses Bailout as McCain Works for It
Next: Obama's Two-Minute Ad on Taxes


Did you see this?

McCain has put a McMansion on the market.
How tone deaf can you be?
It is expected to fetch 10.5 million bucks.
Couldn't they have waited a few weeks?

Posted by: mtobias1 | October 1, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The dumb a$$e$ just can't seem to get that the economic collapse is guaranteed wether Wall Street gets another trillion in tax payer money or not. The plan being put forward now is the same put forward by Hoover in 1931 to bailout all of his banker buddies and leave the American people to suffer. The two simplest things that could be done to stave off this atrocity are not even being discussed. One, the derivatives markets must be shut down, this is the fissionable material that is even now reaching a critical mass and will cause the greatest financial implosion in the history of the world. Two, a Moratorium on Mortgage foreclosures just as was done in 1935 by Roosevelt would immediately stop the hemorrhaging and provide a floor for the financial sector.
The freezing of the credit markets is a government/fed machination and where this has been leading for 14 months. A workable system of credit through existing and solvent institutions and the government is completely accomplishable but not an option when a criminal organization is looking to extort trillions of more dollars from our children and grandchildren and create so much debt as to leave what was once the greatest nation in the world completely incapacitated.
This is the culmination of 25 years of Republican ideology and economic philosophy. This is the result when true democracy is usurped by money, privilege and fraternal crony politics. The sheer ignorance of these few people have now led this country to the same place as it did seventy years ago. This is the result of the small minded petty thoughtless disingenuous self serving self important know nothings that have crammed their lies and rhetorical idiocy down the throats of an American populous to utterly stupid and unwilling to admit to themselves that the "right" are a group of lying thieving malevolent reprobates. A populous incapable of excepting truth in any form and more interested in their own delusional fantasies of power and prestige. People who are happy to be slaves in charge of slave's than to live in a free society.

Obama just lost my vote, there is only one true solution left now and that is Revolution. Drag these destroyers off of their comfortable perches above the rest of society and hang them in the streets, starting with this administration and those who have profited by it's profligate hubris. It's time to start again. Time to relegate those in our society who would hijack and destroy it to the hell they deserve. The Germans lost WWII, the fascists won, they branded themselves conservative and stole America, it's time to steel it back.

Posted by: mightytightywhity | October 1, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse


YOU DID THE RIGHT THING people by stopping this 700 billion dollar bailout of Wall Street with your money. It's a trap set by the Bush McCain administration years ago to spring on you, and the World just before the November elections. It will cripple our economy for years to come by taking away money from important social programs like health care reform, education, and social security.

What ever congress does to try and fix our stunning economic catastrophe needs to be done very carefully. Congress needs to take their time, and be sure of what they are doing. Whatever is done needs to be sharply focused at helping, and protecting the best interest of the ordinary Americans. In particular the vast American middle class. 700 billion dollars is a lot of the peoples money to spend to bail out a bunch of corrupt Bush loan sharks.

When have you ever known any government plan, or project to only cost what the government said it would. Remember the war in Iraq. Bush and his so-called advisers said it would only cost you about 80 billion dollars. But we now know that the war in Iraq will cost you, and your children, and your grand children over a trillion dollars, and still counting.

So if 80 billion can end up costing you over a trillion dollars. How much could 700 billion end up costing you. Any math wizards out there. I come up with 9 trillion...:-(

My fellow human beings, just as I warned you ahead of this catastrophic economic meltdown, I must now warn you that what is ahead has the potential to be even more catastrophic than what we are going through now. The worlds geopolitical landscape has been booby trapped by the Bush McCain administration and their republican allies in congress. These booby traps are poised to spring at any time.

Fortunately the Worlds Nations have been blessed with many excellent leaders (except the US) who have been careful, wise, strong, and self-restrained in dealing with the provocations, and antagonism's of the Bush, McCain administration.

Barack Obama and the democrats are your best hope now. Tell your family, friends, and everyone you know to support them as best you can, and vote for them like your life, and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. Because it does. You will not survive 4 more years of Bush McCain.


Posted by: JackSmith1 | October 1, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

If you want an unbiased analysis by a financial writer who has no political ties. He has no ax to grind.

On the other side are emotional arguments by people who have no understanding of our economy today, offer no reasoning behind their statements. They have political arguments that if followed will lead to the economic supremacy of this country being destroyed.

Those who are nihilists ignore the response of the markets because ignorance not reason is the foundation of their argument.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 1, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, time to be the bankers' bum. Lop-sided capitalism- all the risk is on the working people while all the profit goes to the billionaire bank owners. Rather than bail them out, a much better solution is to confiscate the banks and nationalize both sides of the equation. The market has failed because of monopoly banking. Just as the market has failed in other major areas of the economy that are monopolized- energy and war materials.

All three of these major economic pillars evidence gross profits, mismanagement, greed, failure to deliver the goods, and manipulation for insider trading, cornering the market, etc. So let's just cut to the chase. Rather than wave the panic flag as the so-called candidates are doing in lock step with the bankers. Let's rewrite the equation and nationalize these sectors and confiscate the ill-gotten profits of these billionaires that are scamming and threatening us. Let's be rid of the billionaires that are creating the problems, and be rid of their political apologists.

That's the way to reform- get down to the basics. People whose anti-social behavior creates problems should be punished, not rewarded. Politicians who do the bidding of the wrongdoers should be given the boot. Obama and McCain sing the same tune because they know that one of them is getting elected. Makes no difference what they say, one of these mouthpieces will win. Funny how the "crises" came to the front after tweedle dee and dum had their conventions and vetted these idiots as "the candidates". With candidates like these, who needs enemies?

Posted by: maynardtkrebs | September 30, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Don't be ridiculous! everybody know that:

"Change doesn't come from the top down, it comes from the bottom up"

Posted by: ChriSarasota | September 30, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

If there is not a rescue plan what will happen and if the credit markets completely seize up what will you do then. There is plenty of emotional arguments against this plan but no one speaking about what they will do if a depression ensues. This reminds me of the situation in the thirties when the wrong response to a decrease in money supply lead to the economy going into the icebox.

An emotional response is expected in the animal kingdom. We have a more complex communal organization but if we continue on the same path we may have a less complex society in which this type of emotionalism would be more important. We could return to the economy of centuries past.

The important thing is what is offered as an alternative and what would happen to ordinary Americans?

Posted by: Gator-ron | September 30, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Obama supports the Wall Street bailout so that his supporters will have money to attend Bruce and Billy fundraiser in NYC in October. His supporters will attend the rock concert courtesy of the blue collar taxpayers of the USA.

Posted by: Wiel | September 30, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Now it's a 'Rescue' plan and not a 'Bailout'? Puhleeez! It's a turd!
Just let the bill die peacefully. It was a bad idea from the begining.
You can polish a turd, but guess what? You can put a tie on it, or a bow, or even pig lipstick but it's still just a turd.

Posted by: Bobo4bush | September 30, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Insterad of trying to pay hero; maybe it would have just been easier (and a lot less expensive on us tax payers) if the creatin had just listened to Republicans as Clinton suggest in this viedeo link.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | September 30, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

The bailout will NOT put out the fire. It will add fuel to it!

It is absurd to trust the economic prescriptions of the very people who got us into this mess. They didn't suddenly gain "understanding. They still don't know what they are doing!

It is time to listen to the economic prescriptions of the people that warned us repeatedly about this very situation. They are telling us we are in for a longterm nightmare if we do this. The short term fallout of "doing nothing" will be painful, but it will be much less painful than what we are in for if this bailout proceeds.

Posted by: carolm62 | September 30, 2008 4:01 PM

Doing nothing was the same prescription as Herbert Hoover's in the late 20's and early 30's. Just because the person has the ability to type does not mean that they can think, analytically.

Posted by: Gator-ron | September 30, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

If Bush & his sleazy Republicans don't have control of this so called "Bail-Out" money i'd agree to it. KEEP IT OUT OF THEIR HANDS

Posted by: gatorsn09 | September 30, 2008 4:16 PM

This is an example of spewing hate from the left. Again what they do is the same thing that McCain does complain about the other guy but do not tell you how you will benefit.

As voters we have to decide where do our interests lie and support them. A bail out will help banks which loan money to small businesses which are the engine of our economy. I am angry. my livelihood has suffered during this whole Bush administration. But getting our economy to stop falling apart is what we need to do. The source of this post wants political gain and cares nothing about our welfare.

Posted by: Gator-ron | September 30, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

What is "Wall Steet"?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | September 30, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it’s a lousy bill, but probably necessary, if for no other reason than Paulson and Bush telling the world the sky will fall if it doesn't pass has created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Still, I only support it because I expect Obama to win with a larger Demo majority, so next year we can get some real reform.

Posted by: dcwsano | September 30, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

If Bush & his sleazy Republicans don't have control of this so called "Bail-Out" money i'd agree to it. KEEP IT OUT OF THEIR HANDS

Posted by: gatorsn09 | September 30, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Go obama you pristine and proper statesman! our government, with its bottomless 10 trillion dollar debt (also a temporary situation?!) will "temporarily" purchase "bad" assets then take those "troubled" assets and sell them off when the time is right...if...all....goes well?! hahahah...i say start anew: let those who made their wagers- FALL. let their educated well-thought-out decisions "trickle down" from them to the people whose jobs they blundered. banks scared to loan? Business cannot start up?buying a car every 5 years or a home every 30 years isn't such a bad deal when you think about it. without new businesses the existing businesses get bigger pieces of the American pie. for those of us americans who live in a cash world, with computer tech jobs and their debt to income ratio eternally screwed this is just fun to watch. Black, Old, or a Woman: Any one of them will be a breath of fresh cool air following the stale dead Administration we've long endured... No matter the high road or the low road: americans endure, adapt, and overcome.

Posted by: Jevons | September 30, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Nigmi, JGust, and AgnosticEngineer, I am no economist (unlike Ben Stein on Larry King last night), but even I can tell the difference between $300 and $2,300 per person. Even if people "waste" it on flat screen TVs or "save" it for 3% in the bank, that's better than Wall Street getting it.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | September 30, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The bailout will NOT put out the fire. It will add fuel to it!

It is absurd to trust the economic prescriptions of the very people who got us into this mess. They didn't suddenly gain "understanding. They still don't know what they are doing!

It is time to listen to the economic prescriptions of the people that warned us repeatedly about this very situation. They are telling us we are in for a longterm nightmare if we do this. The short term fallout of "doing nothing" will be painful, but it will be much less painful than what we are in for if this bailout proceeds.

Posted by: carolm62 | September 30, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The last thing this gluttonous country needs is more easy credit, more printed funny money.
The house of cards is collapsing, we need to tighten our belts, and WORK to pay off the debt we are leaving to our children.
Higher taxes on everyone straight into a fund to pay down the debt, letting business fail if that's what they deserve, and let the economy readjust.

A tent city of reality is better than a tower of printed money.

You all are going to get what you deserve.

Its time we all stared to pay our way again, instead of letting some pie in the sky endless accumulation of "wealth" determine our future.

No wealth evaporated yesterday. Real wealth is not so easily destroyed.

Posted by: stmc | September 30, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

NO!!!! The bailout is a farce. The original plan has had minor revisions to placate opponents, none of which can actually prevent the placement of $700 billion in the hands of one man to invest in any way he wants. There are alternatives plans from independent economists that have been rejected without debate in an attempt to force a panic-driven solution through in mere days that will have an impact on government spending for decades.

If this bailout passes, we can say goodbye to health care reform, alternative energy funding, education funding, road/bridge infrastructure repairs, communications and networking improvements, disaster relief, and a host of other programs that can't be funded due to crushing federal debt.

Since the plan does nothing to address the underlying problem of unregulated trading in fraudulently valued housing derivatives, we'll be back in the same boat eventually - if there's anything left of the U.S.A by then, that is.

I can't believe Obama is supporting what will doom the next president to complete failure.

Posted by: wiley1st | September 30, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

We can punish those who set the fire later, now is the time to putout the fire.

Posted by: mtobias1 | September 30, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see Obama's not making it all about him, like McCain, and turning his involvement into some absurd grand-standing spectical. Obama has been supporting the bill, and the specifics of the bill, many of which were laid out by him early last week.

In McCain's case, you can't mistake motion for action.*rollseyes*

Posted by: TeriB | September 30, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

bailout? rescue? whats the difference?
I am reading about several different plans out there that make much more sense.
Obama had my vote and is doing several things that are at risk of losing it.
McShame is a joke.

Posted by: mgcrhcp | September 30, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Why not give the money directly to the American people? Well ... that would be approximately 2000 per person. Not enough to purchase a house with, not enough to pay for school, not enough for a car, not enough, even, to pay for rent for more than, what, four, five months at best assuming very cheap rent (especially for the DC area). Wait! You could make that money grow! ... Invest in in ... oh ... right ... Maybe we do need that stock market strong and credit available from lending institutions after all, huh?

Posted by: Nigmi | September 30, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"Let Wall St. sink. Don't use MY money to bail out a bunch of crooks."

Did anyone read what Obama said about how this affects EVERY American?

Posted by: JGust | September 30, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"What prevents the banks from simply hording the money that the feds pay them for their "bad assets"? Wouldn't it be better to cut out the middle-men and give $700 billion directly to the American people?"

What prevents the American people from running out with the money and buying Gucci bags and Flat Screens as opposed to paying their mortgages? People are walking away from mortgages because they are bought a $300,000 home that is now worth $150,000 and its cheaper to just walk away from it!

Banks need to lend money to make money! You think interest just appears? Financial Institutions have to lend money to to make money. If they can't do that then you just lost your credit cards because that is FINANCIALS lending YOU money to purchase goods. If they can't then Joe Blow on mainstreet the buys goods for his store on a credit line can't operate anymore.

Posted by: JGust | September 30, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Let Wall St. sink. Don't use MY money to bail out a bunch of crooks.

Posted by: iamrta | September 30, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

It's the end of the GOP as we know it ...and I feel fine.

"Our economy is structurally sound for the long term"
George W Bush - Feb 11, 2008

"The American people can remain confident in the soundness and the resilience of our financial system"
Henry Paulson - Sept 15, 2008

"The fundamentals of our economy are strong"
John McCain - Sept 15, 2008

"The economy is fundamentally sound"
Herbert Hoover - October, 1931

Posted by: DrainYou | September 30, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"What prevents the banks from simply hording the money that the feds pay them for their "bad assets"? Wouldn't it be better to cut out the middle-men and give $700 billion directly to the American people?"

Did the "economic stimulus package" prevent this meltdown???

Posted by: AgnosticEngineer | September 30, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Bejeezus, now THAT'S the kind of leadership America needs!

Posted by: ethanquern | September 30, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

How Presidential he sounds. Calm, reasonable, steady, clear thinking. Unlike the hysterical Republican flip-flopper. McCain calls for bipartisanship and then blames everything on Democrats. He can't even stay in sync with his Party's ads, let alone ride into Washington to save the day. Which is it? Support a package or not? What a joke!

Posted by: thebobbob | September 30, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

What prevents the banks from simply hording the money that the feds pay them for their "bad assets"? Wouldn't it be better to cut out the middle-men and give $700 billion directly to the American people?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | September 30, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

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