As stated above, the era of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has created a financial crisis as profound as any we have faced since the Great Depression. While the bailout of our financial institutions with a price tag of more than $700 billion in taxpayer dollars may actually be necessary, our leaders must take all steps necessary to correct the problems that caused this mess. Congress cannot underestimate or avoid its responsibility in taking such an enormous step.
Regardless of the shape this recovery plan takes, it must be guided by core principles of fairness, balance, and fiscal responsibility. The following are absolute requirements – as proposed by Senator Obama – that must be in any bailout package:
The failed economic policies and the same corrupt culture that led us into this mess will not help get us out of it. All of our leaders must get to work immediately on reforming the broken government — and the broken politics — that allowed this crisis to happen in the first place. Clearly, we must all understand that a recovery package is just the beginning. Trying to solve the money crisis by throwing money at it – without more – is just another typical Washington approach to problem solving. This is the way the “Washington crowd” deals with matters of concern to the American people.
There must be a plan in place that will guarantee our long-term prosperity — including tax cuts for 95 percent of families, an economic stimulus package that creates millions of new jobs and leads us towards energy independence, and health care that is affordable to every American. To say it won’t be easy is a gross understatement. It will be a challenge like none most living Americans have ever experienced. But if we work together and stand by sound principles, the American people will get through this crisis and emerge a stronger nation. That is certainly my prayer and it should be the prayer of all of our citizens. Finally, I believe a good number of folks will likely be indicted before this sad chapter in our nation’s history is completed and some may well go to jail.
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