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Senator McCain's Weekly Radio Address

October 04, 2008

Good morning, this is John McCain. And this week our government finally took a decisive step to regain confidence in our financial markets. It took Congress a while, but a majority finally awakened to the danger. And by the week's end, with the unity that this crisis demands, Congress acted to restore stability to the American economy.

On Thursday night, millions of Americans got to see a little more of why I chose Sarah Palin to be my running mate. In her debate with Senator Joe Biden, she showed the intelligence, heart and grace under pressure that our nation's capital desperately needs. I couldn't be prouder of my choice, or more certain that she's the right person to help me shake things up in Washington. And there were moments when I almost felt a little sorry for my old friend, Joe.

Pressure and crisis often have a way of revealing the best within us -- of showing what we are made of, and how much we can achieve when we are put to the test. This is true of the grave challenges we face in Washington today. Yet it should not require extreme emergencies to bring out the best in us, or to bring us together in service to the common good. We are supposed to do that even in the calmest of times. And if we worked together more often in that spirit, perhaps there would be fewer crises, close-calls, and near-disasters confronting our nation.

Our government is on the wrong track, our economy is struggling, and we got even more bad news with yesterday's unemployment report. It is a time for leadership and a plan to create jobs and get our country on the right track.

I believe in low taxes; spending discipline, and open markets. I believe in rewarding hard work and letting people keep the fruits of their labor. We will keep tax rates low. We will simplify the current tax code. We will double the child exemption from 3500 dollars to 7000 dollars. We will give every family a 5000 dollar tax credit to buy their own health insurance or keep their current plan, and we will open up the national health-care market to expand choices and improve quality. And my administration will reduce the price of food by eliminating the subsidies for ethanol and agricultural goods. These subsidies inflate the price of food, not only for Americans but for people in poverty across the world, and I intend to abolish them.

I believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans, so they can create more jobs and keep our economy growing. So we will cut business taxes from 35 percent to 25 percent, to give American businesses a new edge in competition. We will spur new investment through R&D tax credits and expensing of equipment. And we will protect the right of workers to decide for themselves, by secret ballot, whether to unionize.

As president, I will also set this country on the straightest, swiftest path to energy independence. We will attack the problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we'll drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. In all of this, and more, we will create millions of new jobs, many in industries that will be the engine of our future prosperity -- jobs that will be there when your children enter the workforce.

If I am elected president, I will also act immediately with reforms to restore fairness, integrity, and financial sanity to the institutions that have failed us on Wall Street. We will apply new rules to Wall Street, to end the frenzies of speculation by people gaming the system, and to make sure that this present crisis is never repeated.

We must also realize that this rescue plan has serious implications for future spending. We cannot dedicate more than a trillion dollars to rescue failing institutions, and then go right back to business as usual in Washington -- as if there were no end to the resources of government or to the patience of taxpayers. Therefore, as president, I will impose a one-year spending freeze on every agency of the federal government, excepting only national defense, the care of our veterans, and a few critical priorities. Leadership requires candor. And I will tell you bluntly that America is already ten trillion dollars in debt, and to make our economy strong again we must reduce the burden of federal spending. We cannot tax our way to prosperity. I am committed to billions in spending reductions that will balance the budget, and get us on the path away from ruinous debt.

The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems in Washington isn't a cause, it's a symptom. It's what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you.

Again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That's how I will govern as president. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it.

Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn't think of them first, let's use the best ideas from both sides. This great country can do anything we put our minds to. I will ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me. And my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability. We're going to finally start getting things done for the people who are counting on us, and I won't care who gets the credit.

Thanks for listening.

John McCain, Senator McCain's Weekly Radio Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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