Democratic radio address
Oct. 4, 2008
Good morning, this is Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.
Yesterday, we woke up to some tough news. Our economy lost another 159,000 jobs in
September – our single biggest monthly job loss in more than five years. That’s another 159,000 Americans wondering how they’ll find the courage to go home and give their families the news. Wondering how they’ll pay for the food, gas, and energy costs that are eating up more and more of their budget. Wondering how they’ll keep their home.
You see, the crisis that hit Wall Street a couple weeks ago isn’t news to families on Main Street all across this country. Three-quarters of a million Americans have lost their jobs this year. And yet, on the day we woke up to the news of our most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression, John McCain said “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.”
John McCain doesn’t seem to understand that this crisis isn’t two weeks old. Maybe he doesn’t realize that we’ve lost jobs every month this year. Maybe he doesn’t know that the average family’s income is down $2,000 in the Bush economy. Maybe because John McCain’s trying to remember how many homes he owns, he doesn’t understand that 7,000 families are losing their homes each day. So it’s shouldn’t be a surprise that John McCain said this economy has made “great progress” under the policies of George Bush.
Why else would he pledge $200 billion in tax cuts for Wall Street CEOs and corporations that ship Ohio jobs overseas, and yet, not a penny of relief to more than 4 million Ohio households? Why else would John McCain propose giving the average Fortune 500 CEO a $700,000 tax cut at a time when millions of Americans are struggling just to pay their bills? Why else would he vote against equal pay for women, and vote against raising the minimum wage nineteen times? Why else would John McCain’s health care plan provide a tax credit and then raise taxes on your health care benefits for the first time in history?
John McCain just doesn’t get it.
He hasn’t said one thing he’d do to make his economy look any different than George Bush’s economy. Now, if that’s John McCain’s idea of “progress,” we just can’t afford it. We cannot afford four more years of the greed from Wall Street and the irresponsibility in Washington that got us into this mess. We cannot take out a second mortgage on their failed economic policies.
Barack Obama does get it. Let me tell you how he sees progress.
It’s the sense of meaning and purpose that comes with earning fair pay for putting in a full day’s work. It’s the dream of being able to put our kids through college, or leave them the businesses we’ve built. It’s the security of having health care when we get sick. It’s the fundamental promise of retiring with dignity. There is no greater priority for me in Ohio than creating jobs and getting our economy moving again. That’s why this week, I established an Economic Growth Cabinet, an “all hands on deck” strategy to do just that.
And earlier this year, I signed a $1.57 billion bipartisan job stimulus plan. We passed legislation to stabilize energy prices and create a new energy economy in Ohio. And we’ve kept innovative tax reforms that make Ohio an attractive environment for business. These are the ways we’ll get our economy back on track. Right now, the change we need is Barack Obama’s plan to jumpstart our economy and move America forward. He’ll restore the middle class by cutting taxes for small businesses, and for 95% of workers and their families – including 5.7 million in Ohio. If you make less than $250,000, you won’t see your taxes go up one single dime. In fact, your tax rates will be lower than they were under Ronald Reagan. Barack Obama’s health care plan will reduce costs for the average family by $2,500 and will give small businesses a health care tax credit. He’ll create two million new jobs by investing in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure – our roads, bridges, and schools. He’ll build a new American energy economy that invests in alternative and renewable energy and retools our auto plants to build the cars of the future, in the process creating five million new jobs that pay good wages and can’t be outsourced.
He’ll guarantee every child a world-class education from birth through college so that they have the skills to compete for high-wage jobs. And instead of giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, he’ll give them to companies that create jobs right here in America. That’s the change that Barack Obama and Joe Biden will bring to Washington. That’s how we’ll put Americans back to work and turn this economy around. That’s how we will face our challenges with confidence and emerge a stronger, more unified people. We are Americans – we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again.
This is Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio. Thank you for listening.