By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
In its largest national ad buy ever, the progressive pro-Obama group Americans United for Change says that it plans to spend some $700,000 in a TV campaign starting today to promote President Obama's budget campaign. "The work that begins this week on President Obama's budget is by far the most significant in shaping the president's transformational commitments to healthcare reform, education, and clean energy," says Tom McMahon, the group's acting executive director. In a statement to Whispers, he added, "This ad is designed to engage the American people in the process of bringing about the transformational change they voted for in November by contacting their elected representatives and asking for their help in putting our country on the road to prosperity. It is our hope that Congress gets the boost it needs to stand up to the special interests that will do anything to maintain the failed policies of the last eight years that were entirely stacked in their favor and that turned our economy into a house of cards."
The ad, called Blueprint, essentially reviews the economy Obama inherited from President Bush and lays out Obama's budget plan, which he highlighted in last night's press conference. It will run on YouTube, cable, and local TV, especially in districts of key lawmakers. Some 23 local markets will be targeted, including Omaha; Indianapolis; Richmond, Va.; Little Rock, Ark.; New Orleans; Anchorage; and Tucson and Phoenix in Arizona.
Here is the script:
Americans United For Change
|ANNCR: For eight years, the Bush Administration turned our economy into a house of cards.||President Bush left the economy in shambles. "President Bush has presided over the weakest eight-year span for the U.S. economy in decades, according to an analysis of key data, and economists across the ideological spectrum increasingly view his two terms as a time of little progress on the nation's thorniest fiscal challenges." [Washington Post, 1/12/09]
• As of July of last year the Bush Administration "created just 58,000 new jobs per month on average compared with 237,000 per month under President Clinton." [The Bush Administration's Failed Economic and Fiscal Record, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Budget, 7/31/08]
2008 marked the highest job lost rate since 1945. "The hemorrhaging of American jobs accelerated at a record pace at the end of 2008, bringing the year's total job losses to 2.6 million or the highest level in more than six decades." [CNN, 1/9/09]
|ANNCR: Last fall that house came tumbling down.
CG: "Foreign Oil"
"Wall Street Speculators"
"Health care Costs"
|Gas Prices Soar Above $4 a Gallon. "Soaring oil prices - topping $145 a barrel over the summer - have taken a toll on the U.S. economy. As a result, gas prices rose above $4 per gallon in many parts of the U.S." [New York Times, 9/1/08]
"Lehman Brothers collapse stuns global markets" - CNN, 9/15/08
"Lehman Files for Bankruptcy, Merrill Sold, AIG Seeks Cash:" The American financial system was shaken to its core on Sunday. Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection, and Merrill Lynch agreed to be sold to Bank of America. [WSJ, 9/16/08]
Health care premiums having been rising steadily since 2000 and topped $12,600 in 2008, a jump of almost $500 from the previous year. [Employer Health Benefits 2008, Kaiser Family Foundation]
President Bush's final budget underfunded education programs he touts. "The President's budget increases NCLB funding by only $125 million over the 2008 funding level. This amount is $179 million less than the 2008 funding level, adjusted for inflation. The budget reflects a $406 million increase for state grants under Title I, the main program serving children from disadvantaged backgrounds. But these new funds are targeted toward new requirements for high schools, rather than helping schools meet the goals that have already been established." [Democratic Policy Committee, 2/13/08]
|ANNCR: Now President Obama has drawn up a budget blue print that will rebuild our economy on a solid foundation.
Jobs, health care, education, clean energy - reform.
On this foundation we can build real, long term economic prosperity - for all Americans.
CG: The Obama Budget Blueprint
|"Now is the time to act boldly and wisely - to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity. Now is the time to jumpstart job creation, re-start lending, and invest in areas like energy, health care, and education that will grow our economy, even as we make hard choices to bring our deficit down." [President Obama's Address to Congress, 2/24/09]
"In the next few days, I will submit a budget to Congress. So often, we have come to view these documents as simply numbers on a page or laundry lists of programs. I see this document differently. I see it as a vision for America - as a blueprint for our future... we will put Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient so that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bills." [President Obama's Address to Congress, 2/24/09]
"... We must also address the crushing cost of health care... [The budget] includes an historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform - a down-payment on the principle that we must have quality, affordable health care for every American." [President Obama's Address to Congress, 2/24/09]
"...we know that our schools don't just need more resources. They need more reform. That is why this budget creates new incentives for teacher performance; pathways for advancement, and rewards for success. We'll invest in innovative programs that are already helping schools meet high standards and close achievement gaps." [President Obama's Address to Congress, 2/24/09]
|ANNCR: Call Congress. Tell them you support President Obama's budget. Let's all get to work rebuilding America.
CG: Call Congress at 202-225-3121. Tell them to support to Obama Budget.
Paid for by Americans United for Change