Facebook Slider
Get News Alerts!
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 11:08

The Speech Obama Should Deliver: "I'll Be Damned if I Let Them Do That Again!"

  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print
  • Email

HUGH CONRAD FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

My fellow Americans and my fellow Democrats,

I humbly accept your nomination for another term as your president. However, in determining what I would say to you tonight, I realized that what I attempted in my first term -- change that you can believe in -- did not work simply because of the obstinacy of the other party.

Therefore, I am going back to 1948 to use a template for victory in 2012. Yes, Harry S. Truman ran into the same problem as I did with the do-nothing republicans, and he came out fighting in that election.

I am going to follow his example and fight them tooth-and-nail in this election and in my second term, asking Americans to allow my economic policies -- which have resulted in positive job growth since 2010 – to continue during the next four years.

When I took office in 2009, we were on the brink of another Great Depression. I worked with my cabinet and the Democrats in Congress to chart a path to success. If we had some republicans willing to help us, we could have done more, particularly in creating a much larger stimulus than we used. The do-nothing republicans in Congress -- like they had in 1933 and 1993 -- did absolutely nothing to help the American people.

In effect, they were rooting for America to fail – particularly for the American auto industry to fail. Their only goal in 2009 and through my first term was making my reelection in 2012 more difficult.

Tonight I vow this: I'll be damned if I will let them do that.

Let's talk about the history of the American economy over the past century. I am very disappointed, very upset that the economy has been slow in taking hold over the past three-and-a-half years – and that the unemployment is still above 8 percent. I am asking that Americans be patient, just as they were with Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936 and as they were Bill Clinton in 1996.

Here is what should frighten the American people about the Romney/Ryan economic plan. It's the same one that republicans have tried over and over again – that old "Voodoo Economics" that republican George H.W. Bush identified when running against Ronald Reagan in the primary in 1980.

That plan is still Voodoo Economics in the 21st Century; it has never worked.

I'll be damned if I will let them try that again.

Here is your history lesson. In the 1920s the republicans had three opportunities to build a robust economy. Republican presidents Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover used the same mantra that Romney and Ryan and the other right-wing conservatives are using now. Tax cuts, tax cuts, and tax cuts, with no regulation of business (laissez-faire). The result has always been disastrous. Those policies led to the Stock Market Crash in 1929 and ultimately to the Great Depression in which unemployment was as high as 25 percent.

I'll be damned if I will let them do that again.

In the 1980s Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush again cut taxes and removed all kinds of regulations of business in their "trickle-down" theory of economics. They also increased spending on defense exponentially, quadrupling the national debt over 12 years, the worst debt in American history up to that time. Those policies again led to another serious recession.

By the end of Bush I's term, the national debt was 67 percent of GDP, which was also the highest in history.

I'll be damned if I will let them do that again.

Then in the 2000s, George W. Bush used the same Voodoo Economics game plan that had failed in previous administrations, taking advantage of having control of both houses of Congress. Bush cut taxes significantly in three instances, he removed business regulations, particularly in the housing area, and he then started two wars, putting trillions of dollars on a credit card for me to deal with in 2009. Add in a multi-billion dollar gift to the pharmaceutical industry with the Medicare Part B, and Bush/Cheney ran up the largest debt in history, eclipsing that of his father and Reagan in the 1980s. That led to the Great Republican Recession of 2007-08, which brought America to its knees and to the brink of another depression.

I'll be damned if I will let them do that again.

In each case, Americans turned to Democrats to pull them out of the quagmire. In 1932 they elected Franklin D. Roosevelt, who established the New Deal to allow the country to pull itself out of this. In 1936, FDR faced republicans who tried to tell him that his policies were failing. They battled him at every turn in the election and in his second term, but by 1940, the U.S. was moving in the right direction economically.

In 1992 Americans turned to Bill Clinton to redress the problems wrought by Reagan and Bush I. The foundation of what became the greatest decade of economic growth in history was set when the Democrats in the Senate gave President Clinton a tax increase to pay down the debt, with Vice President Al Gore breaking the tie in the Senate.

Yes, tax increases, similar to the ones that I am proposing on the wealthiest Americans – work to improve the economy.

Again, the Republicans did not have the intestinal fortitude to raise taxes, but that balanced budget under President Clinton served as the stimulus to build a robust economy that led to a surplus for the first time in decades.

Then, from 2001 to 2008, the repubs passed two huge tax cuts and added $5 trillion to the debt. I inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression. The surplus became a major deficit.

Now, Romney and Ryan want to use the same Voodoo Economics that failed in the 1920s, 1980s, and the 2000s. Their policies are identical to the ones that led to the Great Depression of the 1930s, to the Great Republican Recession of the 2000s, and to the severe recession in the 1980s-early 90s caused by Reagan/Bush.

I'll be damned if I will let them do that again.

These guys – Romney and Ryan -- believe that you do not understand history. They believe that you will not investigate their republican flim-flam. What Americans have to do is look at the economic history of presidents over the past century.

For instance, during the 1990s, President Clinton not only balanced the budget. but he created 23 million new jobs. If we continue on our policies, with some stimulus, we will have created that many new jobs and will have reduced the unemployment rate significantly by the time I leave office in 2017.

Republicans have presided over 17 recessions since 1900, with only six beginning during a Democratic presidency.

I'll be damned if I will let them do that again.

The history lesson is clear. Four more years!

The VP candidate wants to play Orwell's "1984" with his time during the Bush II presidency. Paul Ryan was a representative and gave Bush a blank check to cut taxes, to enter two wars that were not paid for, and to spend billions of dollars on a Medicare drug plan that was a gift to Pharma.

Yes, Paul Ryan was an enabler during the Bush, and then suddenly became concerned with deficits once I took office in 2009.

Now, he conveniently forgets about that double-think of "1984": A truly successful economy vs. the republican economic reality proven by history.

I'll be damned if I will let them do that to our economy.

I am also asking you to vote with all Democratic candidates, allowing us to continue these policies. Together, we can continue job growth in 2013 and beyond. We will also secure Medicare and Social Security not just for current recipients, but also for workers in their 20s and 30s.

Join with me in that quest.