BROKAW: Your vice president, Joe Biden, said during the course of this campaign it would be patriotic for the wealthy to pay more in taxes. In this economy, does he still believe that?
OBAMA: Well, you know, I think what Joe meant is exactly what I described, which is that, if -- if our entire economic policy is premised on the notion that “greed is good” and “what’s in it for me,” it turns out that that’s not good for anybody.
It’s not good for the wealthy; it’s not good for the poor; and it’s not good for the vast majority in the middle.
If we’ve learned anything from this current financial crisis, think about how this evolved. You had a situation in which you started seeing home foreclosures rise. You had a -- a middle class that was vulnerable and couldn’t make payments. Suddenly, all the borrowing that had been -- and -- and all the speculation that had been premised on those folks doing OK, that starts evaporating. The next thing you know, you’ve got Lehman Brothers going under.
People used to think that, well, there’s no connection between those two things. It turns out that, when we all do well, then the economy as a whole is going to benefit.
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