A transcript of the Democratic radio response to President Bush's radio address on Oct. 18

Good morning. This is Congressman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

On weekends like this, maybe you're like me and my neighbors, working around the house, trying to save a few bucks. My neighbors and yours are struggling in this economy. They're working as hard as they know how, but the economic policies that George Bush proposed and John McCain supports have left them working harder, paying more and making less.

Democrats want to bring change to our economy. To reward small businesses that create jobs, and hold accountable big corporations that ship jobs overseas. That's why we Democrats are working on a real recovery plan to turn this economy around and bring relief to families in need.

Maybe you're working on paying the bills, and you're seeing how health care and college costs have doubled and energy costs have tripled. You're wondering just how you're going to make ends meet this month.

Democrats know the middle class is struggling. That's why Barack Obama and congressional Democrats want to target tax cuts to 95 percent of working Americans. We believe that the way to make even more Americans wealthy is to target our economic policies to the middle class — the families who drive this economy.

Republicans like President Bush and Senator McCain have a different view. They believe a few investors drive our economy. That's why the Bush tax cuts showered billions on a select few. You know what happened next: the prosperity never trickled down. But the pain caused by rising costs and smaller paychecks certainly did. You know we need real change to help middle-class families and turn our economy around.

You're still working hard and still putting your family first.

So maybe, like my wife Amy and me, your weekend is dominated by shuttling kids to their activities, from soccer games to swimming meets to dance recitals. I'll bet you wince when you have to fill up the family car at the gas station — especially knowing that a lot of that money is going straight to countries that don't like us very much.

That's why we Democrats are fighting for real energy independence. Not more of President Bush's big subsidies for Big Oil. They're making billions in profit; they don't need welfare from you.

And maybe your child sprained their ankle at the soccer game and you're driving them to the doctor or even the emergency room. I'm lucky — on two accounts. My dad's a pediatrician and as a congressman, you give me and my family the best health benefits around. But what about you? If guaranteed health care is good enough for politicians like me, President Bush and Senator McCain, it ought to be available and affordable to you and your kids. That's why we Democrats are working to make quality health care you can afford a reality.

Maybe you're a small business person like the small businessmen and women across the country who get up early, work all day, stay late and still worry about meeting payroll. And you know what? If they go under, no one's going to bail them out.

That's why we Democrats are fighting for a rescue plan for Main Street. Barack Obama's plan cuts taxes for small businesses, helping them create the jobs it will take to rebuild our middle class.

And we Democrats will make sure any big banks or other corporations that get government help from President Bush cannot use your money to give themselves multi-million-dollar bonuses and spa treatments as a reward for running their company into the ground.

Maybe you're looking at your retirement savings this weekend. You probably cringe when you look at your 401(k) statement that just arrived. You can't just give yourself a golden parachute. That's why we Democrats are working to make sure your tax money doesn't go to golden parachutes for Wall Street executives who have failed their shareholders and their employees.

These changes — concrete changes that will help everyday Americans like you — that's what Senator Obama and Democrats believe. And with your help and support, we can all come together to fix our broken and battered economy and give our kids a fresh shot at the American dream.

This is Congressman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois. Thank you for listening.