I wanted to just talk about a couple of things here, too. One of the things that is most striking to me is, is the President's and the rhetoric that happens on this House floor, that disconnect again with the American public, that disconnect of what a person is going through. And you can tell them all of these facts, all of these figures, all of the things that are out there, and they will still come back to the reality as it affects their life.

And I want to talk to you, as many of us saw, just for a minute, Mr. Speaker, as many of us were predicting for several years, they felt the fragileness in this economy, they felt they were saving less, they felt costs were going up, they saw that the ability to get their children to college getting further and further out of their reach. We saw policies that when those people of my generation had the opportunity to go to college, fully 80 percent was on the idea of Pell Grants and different types of grants, 20 percent in the forms of loans. We have almost exactly reversed that. And then we took those loans from being low-interest government guaranteed loans to being government guaranteed loans to private lenders with high interest rates. We have absolutely not made an investment in the future a priority.

And when you hear people talk about the so-called tax cuts, I ask everyone out there to see if, since 2001 and President Bush's tax cuts, are you better off? Have they fulfilled their promise? Have they filled your pockets with wealth? Have your streets gotten better? Have your schools become more productive? Has everything gone exactly the way they told you they would do? Because the bottom line in this country is, we have seen the single largest shift of wealth to the smallest percentage at the top than we have seen since the 1920s. We have the greatest disparity from those in the middle class and those in the top 1 percent than we have seen in the past 100 years.

The policies that were put into place did exactly what they were supposed to do: They shifted that wealth. And in the ideology, and I don't deny that my friends across the aisle believe this, those people in their benevolence were going to reinvest it all, creating great jobs here, and spurring the American dream.

The problem was this: They found out that they could invest in manufacturing jobs in places that didn't have worker standards, that didn't have environmental standards, that didn't care if there was lead in the toys. And, as they invested in those countries, their profits rose, and the jobs in America, according to I guess Adam Smith, the invisible hand pulled them and grabbed them to China. And when they couldn't do it in China anymore, they pulled them and grabbed them to Vietnam. And when they couldn't do it in Vietnam, they pulled them to Bangladesh.

I am unsure where they will go next, but I can tell you this, there is a lot of people sitting throughout the Midwest through Ohio and Michigan that sure wish some of those jobs were here. And they are not asking for a fortune, they are asking for a living wage. Well, that living wage, and every time we ask for it: That is going to hurt business, that is going to hurt the profits.

The bottom line on this is, this country was founded and predicated and was so successful because the middle class was successful. We are the most productive people in the world. Our productivity of workers in America is at an all-time high.

Now, the question I ask is, how can that be and real wages are decreasing? How that can be when their buying power has decreased? Unless something is fundamentally wrong with the economy? But if you ask President Bush, all is peachy clean. There are a couple quotes here, I don't know if it would be fair, but it sounds an awful lot like Hoover in the 1930s.

But here he was on October 17. Here was the economic news: The Commerce Department reports that housing starts in September fell to the lowest levels in over a decade and a half.

Here are President Bush's words: When you got more houses than you got more buyers, the prices tend to go down and we are just going to have to work through the issue. I am not a forecaster, but I can tell people that I feel good about many of the economic indicators here in the United States.

The subprime crisis was right on top of our heads, and yet we are hearing this type of rhetoric. It is not based in reality, it is not based on the people who were already behind in their mortgage payments. It is not based and behind some of those exotic investment vehicles that were going to come crashing down. It is not that we didn't see that the Bear Stearns thing was on the horizon. Most people did, including his former Fed Secretary in Alan Greenspan. But, nope, it didn't bother the President. It doesn't matter the people here who for 6 years rubber-stamped every single piece of legislation written by K Street by the lobbyists and sent down here. Everything that was done behind closed door by Ken Lay, by Jeff Skilling, by the rest of them, sent down here, voted on against the objection by the minority party, our party at that time, that, you are heading for disaster, do not do this. Oh, no, no. We will create jobs, we will create wealth, we will create energy.

Now, all of a sudden, we have a slim majority in the House, we are equal over in the Senate, and the President vetoes anything that we utter over here. Now all of a sudden all of this is the responsibility here.

Well, I have one thing to say. The American people, come November, don't care what side of the aisle you are on, they care about, what are you going to do about it?

Here are a couple more from the President.

December 17, former Fed Chairman Greenspan, as I was just saying, suggested a tax break or other government help for home owners facing the mortgage crunch.

Here is what the President said: This economy is pretty good. There are definitely some storm clouds and concerns, but the underpinnings are good, just fine.

February 28, reports show that new home sales in January fell to the lowest level in 13 years, and orders for big ticket items such as cars and refrigerators slumped dramatically.

Well, I don't think we are headed into a recession, but no question we are in a slowdown.

And then, just yesterday: No recession. No recession.

The bottom line on this is, you have got your head stuck in the sand for so long, you tell yourself for so long that these policies are going to work. The American public again, as I said, doesn't care what the economists say. The American public and the average person that is out there, middle-class worker, doesn't care what the exact number of foreclosed homes are. They don't care about the derivatives in these exotic vehicles that were created on the subprime. They don't necessarily care where the oil is coming from or where the energy is coming from. What they know is they have got to get to work in the morning, and that takes gas. And that job is not paying any more. It might not be there tomorrow. They are not saving enough.

And I heard the person before me speaking on this floor talking about how great this oil investment is in the 401(K). Well, I should probably get some of his advice, because mine like many others in this country showed a downturn last year because of all of the other drops in stocks and investment vehicles.