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Obama Takes Jab At Bush Policies: ‘A Surplus Became An Excuse To Transfer Wealth To The Wealthy’

By ThinkProgress on February 24, 2009 at 9:17 pm

"Obama Takes Jab At Bush Policies: ‘A Surplus Became An Excuse To Transfer Wealth To The Wealthy’"

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In his speech before a joint session of Congress tonight, President Obama took a jab at Bush’s disastrous economic policies:

[W]e have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election. A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market.

Indeed, when Bush entered office in 2001, he inherited a budget surplus of $128 billion. He bequeathed a budget deficit of over $1 trillion to President Obama.

Read the text of the full speech here.

Update

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) notes on his Twitter feed: “One doesn’t want to sound snarky, but it is nice not to see Cheney up there.”


Update

,Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) twitters: “Pres just hailed the Recov Act. Sen Spector [sic] was a lonely Republican when he stood to applaud.”


Update

,According to Fox News, Obama was interrupted 65 times for applause. The Australia Broadcasting Corporation counted 37 standing ovations.


Update

,Obama delivered this pledge on health care, eliciting a roar of approval:

I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. Once again, it will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and our conscience long enough. So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.

Watch it:


Update

,Obama also said that the path to our economic future “begins with energy.” He then challenged the Congress to deliver legislation to limit global warming emissions “to truly transform our economy” and “save our planet.”


Update

,Speaking about fiscal responsibility, Obama began, “With the deficit we inherited –” as Democratic lawmakers broke into loud cheers. Watch it:

More in today’s Progress Report on the Bush deficit.


Update

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