PHILADELPHIA - John Kerry won the endorsement of
10 Nobel Prize-winning economists on Wednesday as he attacked
President Bush for policies that he said have led to the
creation of only low-paying jobs.
The Democratic presidential nominee released a letter from
the economists saying the Bush administration had "embarked on
a reckless and extreme course that endangers the long-term
economic health of our nation."
They cited "poorly designed" tax cuts that instead of
creating jobs have turned budget surpluses into enormous budget
deficits, a "fiscal irresponsibility threatens the long-term
economic security and prosperity of our nation."
The endorsement, in the form of an open letter American
voters, was signed by George Akerlof and Daniel McFadden of the
University of California at Berkeley, Kenneth Arrow and William
Sharpe of Stanford University, Daniel Kahneman of Princeton
University, Lawrence Klein of the University of Pennsylvania,
Douglass North of Washington University, Paul Samuelson and
Robert Solow of MIT and Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University.
Kerry, in remarks prepared for an appearance in
Philadelphia, called for "jobs that don't just let you survive
but let you get ahead. Jobs that let you pay your bills, send
your kids to college, buy a house, save a little for retirement
and go out to dinner or a movie every once in a while."
Now, he said, good jobs are being replaced "with ones that
just don't pay the bills," -- 1.8 million private sector jobs
lost replaced by ones that pay $9,000 less and are more likely
to be temporary less likely to offer health insurance.
Kerry hammered on the jobs issue in his neck-and-neck race
for the Nov. 2 election with Bush after days of focus on
criticism about his Vietnam war record.
In an appearance in Philadelphia Tuesday night the
decorated veteran who became one of the conflict's leading
critics firmly defended his opposition to the war.
Voters "can judge my character" by his Vietnam record, the
Massachusetts senator said, "Because when the times of moral
crisis existed in this country, I wasn't taking care of myself.
I was taking care of public policy. I was taking care of things
that made a difference to the life of this nation."
He said he served in Vietnam for two tours -- longer than
opponents allege -- and the Navy "thought enough of my service
that they made me an aide to an admiral."
Aides said his total service was about six months,
including four months and 10 days in country and several weeks
on a ship off the coast.
He was awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three
"The Navy 35 years ago made the awards that it made through
the normal process. I'm proud of them and I'm of my service and
I'm proud that I stood up against the war when I got home
because it was the right thing to do," he added.
The controversy over how Kerry won his medals in that war
35 years ago has recently stolen the spotlight in the race for
the White House as both candidates try to portray themselves as
best able to lead the United States in its global anti-terror
Some veterans, some with ties to the Republican Party and
Bush allies, have called Kerry's courage into question and
disputed the circumstances under which he received his medals.
But other veterans -- with direct knowledge of events --
have backed him up.
Bush's record during the Vietnam war has also drawn
criticism from some Democrats who accuse him of going absent
without leave from the Texas Air National Guard, citing gaps in
his service record. Bush did not serve in Vietnam.
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