Alan Grayson | Will He Say This?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011 09:40 By Rep Alan Grayson and Alan Grayson, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed | name.

President Obama is delivering his State of the Union message today.

This is the speech that I would like to hear:

"My fellow Americans. Two years ago, 69 million of us voted for me to be our President. It was the largest vote for President that any person has ever received. But I understand that you did not support me merely because I have an unusual name. Especially the middle one. No, you supported me because I promised the change we need.

"We have been through two hard years, with many people losing their jobs, and many people losing their homes. You know that I did nothing to cause these problems, and I tried hard to solve them. Although our accomplishments have been substantial, an intransigent Republican minority in the Senate has blocked much of my legislative program.

"But a President is more than a legislative program. Although my title is 'President,' you did not elect me to preside. You elected me to lead.

"We are at a fork in the road. The Republican House Leadership demonstrated last week that its highest legislative priority is to prevent 30 million Americans from seeing a doctor when they are sick. We can let Republican control of the House of Representatives doom us to no progress, no change, for the next two years. Or I can exercise my powers under the Constitution and our laws to deliver the change we need.

"I choose the latter. As for the Republican leaders, they can lead, follow, or just get out of the way.

"These are the things that I will do now, to give us the good government that we Americans deserve, and the change we need:

"First, to give the economy an immediate boost, I will direct the executive agencies to accelerate the obligation of federal contracts and grants, rather than waiting until the end of the fiscal year.

"Second, I will recognize the obvious, declare China a 'currency manipulator,' and end the forced currency union with China that we never asked for and we don't want, which has cost us 5 million manufacturing jobs in the last decade. I will institute 'anti-dumping' actions to protect American jobs.

"Third, I will direct Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA and the VA to include in every home loan that they issue or finance a provision that requires mandatory mediation, at the bank's expense, before foreclosure. Families who are in danger of losing their homes deserve at least that much.

"Fourth, I will direct both the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department to break up any financial institution that is considered 'too big to fail.' Too big to fail should mean too big to exist. There will be no more bailouts, no more Wall Street welfare.

"Fifth, I will ask the FBI to investigate and DOJ to prosecute anyone who committed criminal misconduct in connection with the collapse of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Bear Stearns, Countrywide, Merrill Lynch, and all the rest. I will ask the SEC to bar such people from publicly traded companies and the capital markets. In the 18 months before I took office, twenty percent of our national wealth was wiped out, and no one has been punished for that. If we leave the same people doing the same things, then those same disasters may well happen again. We can't take that chance.

"Sixth, because corporate income tax revenues have dropped by half in the past decade, while Big Business is enjoying record profits, I will ask the IRS to audit every one of the Fortune 500. This will ensure that they are paying the taxes that are due, rather than evading taxes through transfer pricing and offshore tax havens. And I will ask FASB and the SEC to mandate that public companies keep one set of books, rather than one set for investors and a different one for the IRS.

"Seventh, I will direct the EPA to exercise its authority to treat carbon dioxide as a pollutant. I expect to be able to reduce our emissions and pollution as much as other countries do. If they can do it, then so can we.

"Eighth, I will ask the SEC to direct that shareholders in public companies must authorize all campaign expenditures in advance, and that public companies disclose all such expenditures within 48 hours. We cannot allow trillion-dollar multinational companies to dictate the outcome of our elections secretly. We have to keep sewer money out of politics.

"Ninth, I ask the NLRB to take all available steps to ensure that the right of employees to organize, which is rooted in the Constitution's 'freedom of association,' be defended - including the promulgation of 'card check' by regulation under the National Labor Relations Act.

"Finally, as Commander in Chief, I will bring all of our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan by the end of this year, if not sooner. After a decade of war, it's time for peace.

"Many of you heard me for the first time six years ago, when I said that I believe not in a Blue America or a Red America, but rather, I believe in America. I still do. Americans deserve a good government, which delivers public services effectively and economically. America also deserves leadership that recognizes our problems, attacks them, and solves them. That's the change we need, and the change we deserve. I won't settle for less." 

Last modified on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 09:40