The foundation of the U.S. economy could crumble, President George
Bush said today, if Congress fails to approve a U.S. Treasury plan to take over
foundering financial firms, a proposal which the president called "a
much-needed 21st-century civil rights act for stupid people."
"To sustain this shining city on a hill," Mr. Bush said, "we need to rescue
the ignorant, irresponsible folks "” from Wall Street to Capitol Hill to
Main Street "” who got us to where we are today. We must guarantee that no American suffers the soft bigotry of being forced to live with the consequences of his bad decisions."
The president, in remarks to the news media clearly aimed at
reluctant Republicans in Congress, said, "Our financial system rests on
a foundation of huge banks, brokerage houses and quasi-governmental
agencies that followed Washington's lead by gambling on long-shot,
poorly-collateralized investments. Now this glorious way of life is
threatened, and we must act to preserve it."
"We need to guarantee that the structures, systems, people and
products that got us to this point won't be tossed on the ash heap of
history," said Mr. Bush. "If these giant companies fail, then America
will be left with nothing but thousands of small to mid-sized financial
firms that made prudent investment decisions during the past 15 years."