Bush buys time on bailout plan
President George Bush said on Saturday that benefits from the recently passed financial bailout would take time to show up in the US economy.
One day after Bush signed the $700-billion rescue package into law, he sought to assure the public the government would be careful in implementing the legislation aimed at easing a credit crisis that has created turbulence in global financial markets.
“In addition to addressing the immediate needs of our financial system, this package will also help to spur America’s long-term economic growth,” Bush said in his weekly radio address.
The president acknowledged more work lay ahead to stabilise financial markets where borrowing and lending have come to a standstill because of worries about bad debts.
“Obviously we’ve got to deal with this financial situation,” Bush told reporters while visiting a boyhood home after attending a Republican fundraiser.
He said Congress had taken a “big step” by passing the financial legislation in “giving us the tools necessary to bring some stability to the marketplace”.
He added, “There’s a lot of work to be done.”
Bush pressed all week for Congress to approve the legislation, which received a blow on Monday when the House of Representatives rejected it.
A modified version that raised limits on insured bank deposits received final congressional approval on Friday.
“My administration will move as quickly as possible, but the benefits of this package will not all be felt immediately,” Bush said.
“The federal government will undertake this rescue plan at a careful and deliberate pace to ensure that your tax dollars are spent wisely.”
Bush, a Republican whose second term in office will end in January after the US presidential and congressional elections on November 4, was spending the weekend at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
‘McCain just doesn’t get it
Responding for the Democrats, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland said the loss of 760 000 US jobs so far in 2008 showed that ordinary people had been feeling the pinch of a slowing economy all year long, not just as financial market turbulence reached a crescendo in recent weeks.
“The crisis that hit Wall Street a couple weeks ago isn’t news to families on Main Street all across this country,” Strickland said.
He criticised Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s economic policies and championed those of Democratic contender Barack Obama.
“John McCain just doesn’t get it. He hasn’t said one thing he’d do to make his economy look any different than George Bush’s economy,” Strickland said.
“Right now, the change we need is Barack Obama’s plan to jumpstart our economy and move America forward.” - Reuters.