AMERICA HAS DEFAULTED ON ITS PROMISSORY NOTE -- (House of Representatives - September 23, 2008)
(Mr. JACKSON of Illinois asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. JACKSON of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ``In a sense we have come to our Nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
``It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given us a bad check, and it has come back marked insufficient funds.''
Dr. King went on to say, ``As a nation, we can spend billions of dollars to put a man on the Moon and a war in Vietnam, but we can't put a man on his own two feet right here in America.''
Last week this Congress could not provide money for community health care centers. They couldn't find money for day-care programs, for community policing, for crumbling schools, but this week we found $700 billion to bail out incompetence on Wall Street. For months, President Bush has refused to sign appropriations bills that exceeded his budget request. This week he wants the Treasury, with bipartisan support of the Congress, to give him maybe up to $1 trillion.
Stop defaulting on the American Dream. Stop issuing promissory notes.
Mr. Speaker, I too have a dream: Let's bail out homeowners and Main Street before Wall Street.