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Sen. Barack Obama Speaks at Campaign Event in Green Bay, Wisconsin

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Monday, September 22, 2008; 2:36 PM

SPEAKER: SEN. BARACK OBAMA, D-ILL.

[*] OBAMA: The era of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has led us to a perilous moment. They said they wanted to let the market run free but instead they let it run wild, and in doing so, they tramped our core values of fairness, balance, and responsibility to one another. As a result, we are facing a financial crisis as profound as any we have faced since the Great Depression. As a result, your jobs, your savings, and your economic security are now at risk.

This week, we must work quickly, in a bipartisan fashion, to resolve this crisis and avert an even broader economic catastrophe. And as we do act, Washington must recognize that true economic recovery requires addressing not just the crisis on Wall Street, but the crisis on Main Street that so many of you have been feeling in your own lives long before the news of last week. We need a plan that helps families stay in their homes, and workers keep their jobs; a plan that gives hardworking Americans relief instead of using taxpayer dollars to reward CEOs on Wall Street. And we cannot give a blank check to Washington with no oversight and accountability when no oversight and accountability is what got us into this mess in the first place.

But no matter what solution we finally decide on this week, it is absolutely imperative that we get to work immediately on reforming the broken politics and the broken government that allowed this to crisis to happen in the first place.

We did not arrive at this moment by some accident of history. We are in this mess because of a bankrupt philosophy that says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to the rest of us.

We're here because for too long, the doors of Washington have been thrown open to an army of lobbyists and special interests who've turned our government into a game only they can afford to play - who have shredded consumer protections, fought against common-sense regulations and rules of the road, and distorted our economy so that it works for them instead of you.

We are here because an ethic of irresponsibility has swept through our government, leaving politicians with the belief that they can waste billions and billions of your money on no-bid contracts for friends and contributors, slip pork projects into bills during the dead of night, and spend billions on corporate tax breaks we can't afford and old programs that we don't need.


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