“I called for Fannie and Freddie to be reined in. The Democrats blocked it. I called for stricter accounting on Wall Street. I called for an end to wasteful spending which drove up government debt, which added to the toxic debt load that caused this problem. As Casey Stengel used to say, ‘you could look it up.’ Even with all the bias in the establishment media, there is not a reporter in the country who will deny the words I have just spoken. Not one.
“But that’s looking backward. The American people can sort out credit and blame later. What they want to know is, what should we do now? How do we avoid having this crisis ruin the family finances?
“To understand the answer, you have to understand that a phrase for which my opponent mocked me is actually the key. I did not explain it well then, but I stand by it. I never run from my principles. What I said was that “the fundamentals” of the economy are strong. My running mate, Gov. Palin, accurately said that one of those fundamentals to which I was referring was the strength of the American workforce. But that’s not ALL.
“There is one American economy, but it has two subsets. One subset is the high-flying paper traders on Wall Street with their complicated deals that are more like casino gambling than anything else. Those fundamentals are NOT strong, and I was the one who argued for years that they were a problem. Again, I warned about Fannie and Freddie and all the other things I said at the beginning of this answer. That part of the economy is a mess, and now it’s dragging the rest of the economy down with it.
“But the other part of the economy, what some people in shorthand call ‘the real economy,’ IS still strong. By ‘real,’ I don’t mean that the problems with the Wall Street paper don’t have real consequences, but I mean that they are not part of the economy based on real things like goods and services: steel, computers, widgets, haircuts, shoe shines, taxi cab service. In THAT part of the economy, the fundamentals are mostly strong, and in that part of the economy, the so-called real economy, lies the seeds of our recovery.
“We have good workers. We have great small businesses that make good products and perform good services. We have tremendous natural resources. We have technological innovation. We have good universities. We have a free market of real goods and services where companies like FedEx and E-bay can come out of nowhere and not only become tremendous success stories, but also make life for all the rest of us a little easier, more convenient, more efficient. THOSE parts of the American economy are strong. THOSE fundamentals are solid. And my time is up on the answer, but in the rest of tonight’s forum, I will return to this subject and explain how we can use those strengths to cushion the blow from the present crisis, and then recover from it most quickly, so that this scary time will, not just in the long run, but in the medium run as well, be something we can look back on as JUST a scare and not a decisive blow to our family finances.
“We are Americans. If we stop talking panic, and start talking positively, and follow with positive actions, we can overcome this. I plan to spend the rest of tonight, and the rest of the campaign, explaining how and why.”