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Hillary Clinton slams Bush on economy PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 27 January 2008

Agence France-Presse . Greenville, South Carolina

Democratic White House hopeful Hillary Clinton Thursday savaged President George W Bush over the economy, saying his 'bankrupt' ideas sparked a downturn felt around the world. New York Senator Clinton sharpened her rhetoric two-days before the South Carolina primary, the next leg of the 2008 nominating marathon, which polls say her top party rival Barack Obama is poised to win.

As she laid out how she would bring the US economy roaring back from a feared recession, Obama, an Illinois senator, took his own swipe at Clinton, saying her economic plan proved she would say anything to get elected.

Clinton spoke as the White House and US lawmakers reached a tentative deal on a 140-billion-dollar stimulus. The Wall Street Journal reported the plan would feature tax rebates of at least 300 dollars for individuals who paid taxes in 2007, with additional cash for families with children with a maximum payout of 1,200 dollars for families.

Clinton accused Bush of failing to throw himself into the hard work of daily management of the economy, arguing his decision to stay at a 'comfortable cruising altitude' has led to US finances going off the rails. 'Our economic problems are complex, but there is one thing we know for sure: the problem with our economy is not the American people, instead, the problem is, in part the bankrupt ideas, of president George W Bush.

'The American people don't hire a president to talk about our problems but to solve them,' she said, again laying out plans to tackle the mortgage crunch, high energy prices and make health care and education more affordable. 'It's time we had a president who believes that leading an economic comeback is a full-time, hands-on job,' Clinton said, arguing that she was uniquely qualified to bring the staggering US economy bouncing back.

Obama earlier accused Clinton of initially failing to realise that 'workers and seniors' needed immediate relief in her stimulus plan designed to head off reccession when she first laid out her economic plans on January 11. 'Five days later, the economy didn't really change, but the politics apparently did, because she changed her plan to look just like mine,' Obama said in a written statement. 'We can't afford a president whose positions change with the politics of the moment,' Obama said.

'We need a President who knows that being ready on day one means getting it right from day one,' he said, riffing on language frequently used by Clinton to portray what she says is her readiness to lead. Clinton's campaign says she was the first major presidential candidate to call for a stimulus plan, last year, and unveiled details of the mammoth package now totalling 110 billion dollars on January 11.

Obama followed up with a 75 billion dollar plan that includes tax cuts for low-income Americans, as well as help for the unemployed and relief from the housing crisis. Candidates from Bush's Republican party, meanwhile, are preaching the classic conservative themes of low taxes and limited government spending.

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