Ima Puma attended the President’s recent speech on the economy. Applying her mad steno skills, she captured the actual text, which appears below.
Remarks by the President on the Economy in Owatanassami, Kansas
Owatanassami High School
12:59 P.M. CST: Bell rings.
THE PRESIDENT: Class, be seated.
AUDIENCE: Good afternoon.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, it is great to be back in the state of Texas. — (laughter) — Did I just say Texas? I meant Kansas. I’m from Kansas, as many of you know. I got my Kansas accent — not the one I use with the CBC; the one I’m using now — from my mother, who moved to Washington at age three. Her parents were from Texas, too. So my Kansas roots run deep. Did I mention I’m also Irish?
My grandparents served during World War II. He either liberated Auschwitz, or served in the Navy, or was declared 4F; she posed for that Rosie the Riveter poster. I got my biceps from my grandmother. They believed in an America where hard work paid off, and responsibility was rewarded, and anyone could make it if they tried. I got my moral compass from Rod Blagojevich.
My grandparent’s values gave rise to the largest middle class and the strongest economy that the world has ever known. Today, for most Americans, hard work has stopped paying off. Those at the very top grow wealthier from their investments.
We all know the story by now: bad mortgages, risky bets, regulators who looked the other way. And it plunged our economy into a crisis from which we’re still fighting to recover. This all took place long before I became president, sometime during the middle of Season Two of Mad Men.
And ever since, there’s been a raging debate over the best way to restore growth and prosperity. It’s left a near-constant state of gridlock in Washington, which ignored my campaign promise to be a transformative light-bringer who will end politics as usual.
But, Owatanassami, this is not just the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for my reelection chances. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement — or one where Goldman Sachs owns my slutty ass.
Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. They want massive bailouts, slaps on the wrist for corrupt financial institutions, lobbyists visiting the White House to write bills. They want endless, expensive wars, treaties that ship jobs oversees. They want an ever-rising flood of corporate money influencing politics. These aren’t Democratic values or Republican values. We’re both in this scam together.
If you believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules, then vote for me. I’m just as corrupt as my opponents, but I give better speeches.
You see, this isn’t the first time America has faced this choice. At the turn of the last century, Theodore Roosevelt praised the titans of industry and the free market. But he also busted up some monopolies. Now, for this, Roosevelt was called a socialist — (laughter) — And today, I’m called a socialist, even though I’m actually the lap dog of the titans of industry. The American people are starting to figure that out about me, which is why I’ve decided to be Teddy Roosevelt in the upcoming election.
Now, I know many of you thought I was Lincoln, or JFK, or Reagan, or maybe Jesus — (laughter) — I know some of you wish I’d be like LBJ this year — (applause) — But in 1910, Teddy Roosevelt came to Owatanassami and he talked about wages, unemployment insurance, and reforms in taxes and politics. I’m talking about these things here, too, which makes me Teddy Roosevelt.
Today, over 100 years later, our economy has gone through another transformation. It’s easy for businesses to set up shop and hire workers anywhere they want in the world. And many of you know firsthand the painful disruptions this has caused for a lot of Americans. Which is why I recently signed a free trade bill that will send over 500,000 jobs to South Korea, Venezuela, and Panama.
Factories where people thought they would retire suddenly picked up and went overseas. Which is why I circumvented regulations to give start-ups like Solyndra billions of dollars.
Now, just as in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there is a certain crowd in Washington who say, let’s just cut more regulations and cut more taxes for the wealthy. Do you get it, now? I’m Teddy Roosevelt, and the Republicans are the bad guys. Maybe I should grow a bristly mustache and wear spectacles to drive home the point. I’m also the 99%. I’m not Jesus anymore. Just forget that whole 2008 Jesus thing.
Now it’s time to insert “rugged individualism” into a sentence. (Applause.)
Now it’s time to blame Bush. Remember the most expensive tax cuts for the wealthy in history? What did it get us? The slowest job growth in half a century. I’ll need at least another term or two to clean up that mess. You can’t expect me to fix everything during my first 100 days in office — that’d be Franklin Roosevelt, and I’m Teddy.
Now it’s time to blame Congress. The same folks who are now running Congress gave us weak regulation, insurance companies jacking up people’s premiums with impunity, mortgage lenders tricking families into buying homes they couldn’t afford, an irresponsible financial sector that nearly destroyed our entire economy. I’ve tried to stop all this, but Congress refuses to pass my jobs bill. (Applause.)
I’d like to mention how I killed Osama bin Laden with a bowie knife, but this is a speech about the economy.
Now, I’m going to talk for the next several minutes about how economic inequality is really bad and hurts us all. If I go on and on for about seven, eight, nine minutes about how bad economic inequality is and how it hurts us all, just keep repeating for nine whole minutes how really bad economic inequality is and how it hurts us all, sort of like Arlo Guthrie in Alice’s Restaurant, you just might, after nine minutes, completely forget that I’ve done nothing at all about economic inequality, and I have no real plan to do anything about economic inequality, except for my jobs bill, which Congress refuses to pass. (Applause.)
But this isn’t a speech about economic inequality. It’s about my reelection.
Now, America has a choice. It can back the Republicans, which is a race to the bottom, or it can back me, Teddy Roosevelt, which is a race to the top. Bottom:Top, get it? I’m top.
THE PRESIDENT: Now, I’m going to mention some hook phrases like: everyone getting a fair shot, middle class, working moms, so David Gergen can call me a populist. But I’m also going to say some vague things about embracing new technology, not punishing anyone for becoming wealthy, getting competitive, so independents won’t think I’m a populist.
Now, I’m going to list several reasons why America is the greatest nation on Earth. (Applause.) Americans have always been way better than other people, which is why we can win this race to the top. I’m top.
I should also mention I now support reducing college tuition and some sort of student debt fixing thingie. This has absolutely nothing to do with the recent Occupy protests on campuses. As I see all of you sitting here today at Owatanassami High, I realize I’ll need your votes for my 2016 re-reelection campaign. (Applause.)
We need to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure. Historically, that hasn’t been a partisan idea. Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, did it, as did Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican and — like me — a proud son of Kansas and a chain smoker. (Applause.) Even though I’m Teddy Roosevelt, I’m also a little bit FDR and Ike, meaning I’m a little bit Democrat and a little bit Republican. So, if you’re an independent, you should vote for me.
Let me point to the many wonderful things I’ve already accomplished that are both Democratish and Republicanish:
1. To reduce our deficit, I’ve already signed nearly $1 trillion of spending cuts into law and I’ve proposed trillions more, including cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. (Applause.)
2. We need to extend my payroll tax cut that’s really a gutting of Social Security. It’s about to expire. (Applause.)
3. We have to rethink our tax system more fundamentally. That one you don’t get until my next term. (Laughter and applause.)
Now, independents loved Bill Clinton. If you remember, Republicans opposed Clinton when he tried to raise taxes on the rich. They predicted it would kill jobs and lead to another recession. Instead, our economy created nearly 23 million jobs and we eliminated the deficit. (Applause.) The only thing Bill Clinton ever did as president was raise taxes on the rich, and it created a booming economy. The only thing I’ve done so far for the economy — aside from my jobs bill, which Congress refuses to pass (applause) — is to raise taxes on the rich. OK, no, I didn’t actually raise taxes on the rich when I had the chance. But I’ve given speeches on raising taxes on the rich. Now, the Democrats suffered a terrible midterm defeat in 1994, but then America reelected Bill Clinton two years later. I suffered a terrible midterm defeat, but if I promise to raise taxes on the rich, will you reelect me, too?
Did I mention Warren Buffett agrees with me on the tax thing? (Laughter.) So do most Americans — Democrats, independents and Republicans. So most Americans should vote for me, Barack Clinton. Did I just say Clinton? I meant Kansas. Please don’t vote for any Clintons.
I really like the middle class, I do. (Applause.) I only rescued the big banks to protect the middle class from a second Depression. It had absolutely nothing to do with the millions of dollars the financial sector donated to my 2008 campaign. Part of the deal was we put in place new regulations for the financial sector. And you can all see how well that’s worked out.
But Republicans in Congress are fighting against any regulations on banks. Is there anybody here who thinks Republicans really like the middle class?
THE PRESIDENT: Of course not. But I’m Teddy Roosevelt; I’m Kansas, which is a state in the MIDDLE and I promise to fight for the MIDDLE class in my second term, to fight against Republicans who hate the middle class, and to use my BIG STICK to force Congress to pass my jobs bill.
Big Banks, crisis, mortgage abuse, big banks, 99%, follow rules, financial crisis, middle class, the economy. (Applause.)
Fair share, investing in education, grow, fair shot, follow rules, responsibility, middle class, transform our economy. (Applause.)
Getting parents involved, education, study harder — (laughter) — greater responsibility, mortgages.
Government more efficient, people’s needs (applause), cutting programs, consumer-friendly, save businesses billions, challenging schools, innovative, obligations, results.
And that’s my promise. Americans need to remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
“We are all Americans,” Teddy Roosevelt said that day in 1910, “we shall go bottom or top together.” I’m Teddy Roosevelt. I’m Kansas. I’m the middle. I’m top. So, judge me not on my record these past four years, but on my speeches, Owatanassami!
(c) 2011 by True Liberal Nexus. All rights reserved.