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Bush: "Our energy policy has not been very wise.... I'm an alternatives fuel guy."

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-14-08 11:31 PM
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Bush: "Our energy policy has not been very wise.... I'm an alternatives fuel guy."
Bush Remarks on Economy

Friday, March 14, 2008; 2:14 PM

First of all, in a free market, there's going to be good times and bad times. That's how markets work. There will be ups and downs.

We inherited a recession. And then there was the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, which many of you saw firsthand, and you know full well how that affected our economy. And then we had corporate scandals. And I made the difficult decisions to confront the terrorists and extremists in two major fronts, Afghanistan and Iraq. And then we had devastating natural disasters. And the interesting thing, every time, this economy has bounced back better and stronger than before.

So I'm coming to you as an optimistic fellow.

Our job in Washington is to foster enterprise and ingenuity, so we can ensure our economy is flexible enough to adjust to adversity, and strong enough to attract capital. And the challenge is not to do anything foolish in the meantime.

Growth fell to 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. It's clearly slow. The economy shed more than 80,000 jobs in two months. Prices are up at the gas pump and in the supermarket. Housing values are down. Hardworking Americans are concerned -- they're concerned about their families, and they're concerned about making their bills.

Fortunately, we recognized the slowdown early and took action.

Secondly, the package will provide tax rebates to more than 130 million households. And the purpose is to boost consumer spending. The purpose is to try to offset the loss of wealth if the value of your home has gone down. . The purpose is to buoy the consumer.

The rebates haven't been put in the mail yet. In other words, this aspect of the plan hasn't taken to effect. There's a lot of Americans who've heard about the plan; a lot of them are a little skeptical about this "check's in the mail" stuff that the federal government talks about. (Laughter.)

The Federal Reserve has taken action to bolster the economy. I respect Ben Bernanke. I think he's doing a good job under tough circumstances. The Fed has cut interest rates several times. And this week the Fed -- and by the way, we also hold dear this notion of the Fed being independent from White House policy. They act independently from the politicians, and they should. It's good for our country to have that kind of independence.

The temptation is for people, in their attempt to limit the number of foreclosures, is to put bad law in place. And so I want to talk about some of that. First of all, the temptation of Washington is to say that anything short of a massive government intervention in the housing market amounts to inaction. I strongly disagree with that sentiment. I believe there ought to be action, but I'm deeply concerned about law and regulation that will make it harder for the markets to recover

I want to talk to you about a couple of ideas that I strongly reject. First, one bill in Congress would provide $4 billion for state and local governments to buy up abandoned and foreclosed homes. You know, I guess this sounds like a good idea to some, but if your goal is to help Americans keep their homes, it doesn't make any sense to spend billions of dollars buying up homes that are already empty. As a matter of fact, when you buy up empty homes you're only helping the lenders, or the speculators. ..... This bill sends the wrong signal to the market.

Secondly, some have suggested we change the bankruptcy courts, the bankruptcy code, to give bankruptcy judges the authority to reduce mortgage debts by judicial decree. I think that sends the wrong message. It would be unfair to millions of homeowners who have made the hard spending choices necessary to pay their mortgages on time. It would further rattle credit markets.

There are some in Washington who say we ought to artificially prop up home prices. .... The market is in the process of correcting itself; markets must have time to correct. Delaying that correction would only prolong the problem.

And so I made it clear that we expect for Congress to move forward on the Colombia free trade agreement ..... But if Congress were to reject the Colombia free trade agreement, it would also send a terrible signal in our own neighborhood; it would bolster the voices of false populism.

QUESTION (from Paul Gigot): Welcome to New York, Mr. President. And I want to ask you about something you didn't -- an issue you didn't address, which is prices.

.... Gasoline is selling for $4 a gallon in some parts of the country, but food prices are also rising very fast -- grain prices, meat prices, health care prices. And the dollar is weak around the world, hitting a record low this week against the Euro. The price of gold is now about $1,000 an ounce. Many observers say, oh, this means that we have an inflation problem. Do you agree with them, and what can be done about it?

BUSH: I agree that the Fed needs to be independent and make considered judgments, and balance growth versus inflation. And let me address some of those issues one by one.

We believe in a strong dollar. I recognize economies go up and down, but it's important for us to put policy in place that sends a signal that our economy is going to be strong and open for business, which will -- you know, which supports the strong dollar policy, such as not doing something foolish during this economic period that will cause -- make it harder to grow; such as rejecting -- shutting down capital from coming into this country; such as announcing that, or articulating the belief that making the tax cuts permanent takes uncertainty out of the system.

Energy: Our energy policy has not been very wise. You can't build a refinery in the United States. You can't expand a refinery in the United States. The Congress believes we shouldn't be drilling for oil and gas in a productive part of our country like ANWR because it will destroy the environment, which, in fact, it won't. Technology is such that will enable us to find more oil and gas. And so as a result of us not having, you know, been robust in exploring for oil and gas at home, we're dependent on other countries. That creates an economic issue, obviously, and it creates a national security issue.

And, look, I'm very -- I'm an alternatives fuel guy, I believe that's important. As a matter of fact, we've expanded -- mightily expanded the use of ethanol; a slight consequence if you rely upon corn to grow your hogs, but nevertheless it's a -- it is a policy that basically says that we got to diversify. But diversification does not happen overnight. You know, I firmly believe people in New York City are going to be driving automobiles on battery relatively quickly. And it's not going to be like a golf cart, it will be a regular-sized vehicle that you'll be driving in. (Laughter.) And I think it's coming. I think this technology is on its way.

But there's a transition period, and we, frankly, have got policies that make it harder for us to become less dependent on oil. You talk about the price of oil -- yeah, it's high. It's high because demand is greater than supply, is why it's high. It's high because there's new factors in demand on the international market, namely China and India. It's also high because some nations have not done a very good job of maintaining their oil reserves -- some of it because of bureaucracy, some of it because of state-owned enterprise. And it's a difficult period for our folks at the pump, and there's no quick fix.

You know, when I was overseas in the Middle East, people said, did you talk to the King of Saudi about oil prices? Of course I did. I reminded him two things: One, you better be careful about affecting markets -- reminding him that oil is fungible; even though we get most of our oil, by the way, from Canada and Mexico, oil is fungible. And secondly, the higher the price of oil, the more capital is going to come into alternative sources of energy. And so we've got a plan that calls for diversification, but it's -- our energy policy hadn't been very wise up to now.

Anyway, I'm going to dodge the rest of your question. (Laughter.) Thank you for your time.

The very worst of all of this.... it is not a dream.

Purely a rhetorical question after a weary week: How did this happen to us?

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Aristus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-14-08 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. "Preznit? Ah doan wawnt no smart feller; Ah jes' wawnt a feller Ah kin have a beer with."
That's how this happened to us.
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Demobrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-14-08 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. "We inherited a recession"
No asshole you inherited a surplus. Damn it's crazy-making when he lies with impunity.
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-14-08 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
3. It's the end of the world as we know it.
That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane -
Lenny Burnside is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn -
world serves its own needs, don't misserve your own needs. Feed it up a knock,
speed, grunt no, strength no. Ladder structure clatter with fear of height,
down height. Wire in a fire, represent the seven games in a government for
hire and a combat site. Left her, wasn't coming in a hurry with the furies
breathing down your neck. Team by team reporters baffled, trump, tethered
crop. Look at that low plane! Fine then. Uh oh, overflow, population,
common group, but it'll do. Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its
own needs, listen to your heart bleed. Tell me with the rapture and the
reverent in the right - right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright
light, feeling pretty psyched.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign tower. Slash and burn,
return, listen to yourself churn. Lock him in uniform and book burning,
blood letting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate. Light a candle,
light a motive. Step down, step down. Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh,
this means no fear - cavalier. Renegade and steer clear! A tournament,
a tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives
and I decline.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

The other night I tripped a nice continental drift divide. Mount St. Edelite.
Leonard Bernstein. Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs.
Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom! You symbiotic, patriotic,
slam, but neck, right? Right.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine...fine...
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
4. you invaded a country to steal their oil. That's hardly alternative.
Well maybe it's an alternative to ANWR.

God every word out of his mouth is a complete lie.
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Berry Cool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
5. He's an "alternatives fuel guy," all right.
He himself is powered by biofuel, as in the excrement and gas emissions of a bovine mammal.
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
6. "the use of ethanol; a slight consequence if you rely upon corn to grow your hogs,"
Or, perhaps, if you rely on corn to help put food on your families?

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