YouTube video of Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff for then president-elect Barack Obama. [2m 47s]
A candid statement about the opportunities that the financial crisis presents. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington, D.C., Nov. 19, 2009.
"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that, it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before. ...
This is an opportunity, what used to be long-term problems, be they in the
- health care area,
- energy area,
- education area,
- fiscal area,
- tax area,
- regulatory reform area,
things that we had postponed for too long, that were long term, are now immediate and must be dealt with.
And this crisis provides the opportunity for us, as I would say, the opportunity to do things you could not do before.
[...] We covered very serious issues as it relates to spending reforms, on government approach. He [Sen. McCain] brought the idea of defense procurement. We bought the idea of corporate welfare commission, but how to spend money different, because it's not an argument about big government versus small government, but more effective government, so you actually are getting your bang for the buck that the tax payers and all those who put money into it expect, whether that be in the area of education or health care.
The five reforms that we see.
One in health care, would be in the area that deals with cost control as a principle, and expansion of coverage.
Energy, with both independence and alternatives. In the area of taxes, fairness, as well as simplicity.
In the area of education, there's gotta be fundamental reforms there as it relates to making sure we are effectively training the work force. [...] You can not be in an era of where you earn what you learn and have both our education system from K to 12 as well as our access to higher education, and I'm not just talking about four year but also community colleges, that needs a fundamental overhaul that is the bridge fundamentally to the future.
And lastly, financial regulatory overhaul, with the principles of both, I would say, transparency and accountability."