The President spoke to a joint session of Congress yesterday and said that after years in which “surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy,” “regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market,” and other Republican policies, a “day of reckoning has arrived,” requiring his ambitious stimulus program, which he both explained and pimped.
He defended the bank bailouts, and said he would make recipients of public funds accountable — “CEOs won’t be able to use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks, or buy fancy drapes, or disappear on a private jet. Those days are over'” — and that the taxes in his next budget won’t go up for families making less that $250,000 a year.
He said that, just as “in the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another,” America would find “promise amid peril” in the current crisis, and pushed for health care reform and an end to American reliance on foreign oil. He also asked “every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training.”
Governor Bobby Jindal, giving the Republican response, said it’s great that Obama is black, but government cannot help us, and actually tried to drown people during Hurricane Katrina; cut taxes and everything works out. Other conservatives (“Here, in tonight’s address to Congress, is President Obama’s only mention of ‘freedom'”) are less eloquent.