Sep 10, 2010

Via BlackAmericaWeb:
The mid-term elections are crucial to stop Republicans from rolling back job creation and health care and financial reforms, President Barack Obama told "The Tom Joyner Morning Show."

"There are a whole series of choices that are going to be forced upon us if we don't take this election seriously," Obama told Tom Joyner and Sybil Wilkes on an interview recorded Thursday for Friday morning broadcast.

The president acknowledged the unemployment rate – especially in the black community, where it hovers around 17 percent – is still too high. Obama said that when he took office in January 2009, the economy was losing 700,000 to 800,000 jobs a month, but for eight straight months now, there has been growth.

"Jobs are being created, just not fast enough," Obama said, noting that he has called for $50 billion for infrastructure reform that would put millions of Americans back to work repairing roads and bridges and "rebuilding America."

"The economy right now is like a patient that got hit by a Mack truck and has been convalescing. It can't run yet, but it's walking," Obama said. "Even though I think people recognize my administration has taken action to avoid the worst case scenario, they're saying, 'Boy, we've got a long way to go.'"

Obama said the administration has been pursuing a two-pronged approach, with short- and long-term plans to try to get the economy jump-started and ensure continued growth. Under health care reform, for example, children can stay on their parents' health plans longer, seniors are getting help with prescription drug costs, and workers who previously didn't receive health benefits are eligible for medical insurance. Further, small business owners receive tax credits for providing health insurance for their employees.

The president also cited financial reforms to help working- and middle-class people avoid problems with bad mortgages, payday loans, high credit card fees and bad overdraft protection policies, all of which, he said, "take money out of their pockets." Additionally, the administration, he said, has focused on providing money and resources to schools at every level from elementary school to college – including $850 million over 10 years earmarked for historically black colleges and universities.

All those gains could be reversed, however, if the Republicans gain control of one or both houses of Congress in the mid-term elections, and the president said he wanted to get the word out - especially to the African-American community - to urge voters to go to the polls in November.

Obama said the problems African-Americans face now with unemployment, the lack of access to health care and financial assistance, bad school systems and infrastructure issues, were woes that existed in the community before, but were worsened by the recession.

And while much reform is yet to be enacted, what progress has been made is all endangered by the rollbacks proposed by Republicans, the president said.


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