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President Barack Obama Weekly Address March 28, 2015 (Video/Trascript )
President Barack Obama Weekly Address The White House March 28, 2015
Hi, everybody. Five years ago, after the worst financial
crisis in decades, we passed historic Wall Street reform to end the era
of bailouts and too big to fail.
As part that reform, we created an independent Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau with one mission: to protect American
consumers from some of the worst practices of the financial industry.
They’ve already put $5 billion back in the pockets of more
than 15 million families. And this week, they took an important first
step towards cracking down on some of the most abusive practices
involving payday loans.
Millions of Americans take out these loans every year. In
Alabama, where I visited this week, there are four times as many payday
lending stores as there are McDonald’s. But while payday loans might
seem like easy money, folks often end up trapped in a cycle of debt. If
you take out a $500 loan, it’s easy to wind up paying more than $1,000
in interest and fees.
The step the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
announced this week is designed to change that. The idea is pretty
common sense: if you’re a payday lender preparing to give a loan, you
should make sure that the borrower can afford to pay it back first.
As Americans, we believe there’s nothing wrong with making
a profit. But there is something wrong with making that profit by
trapping hard-working men and women in a vicious cycle of debt.
Protecting working Americans’ paychecks shouldn’t be a
partisan issue. But the budget Republicans unveiled last week would
make it harder, not easier, to crack down on financial fraud and abuse.
And this week, when Republicans rolled out their next economic idea, it
had nothing to do with the middle class. It was a new, more-than-$250
billion tax cut for the top one-tenth of the top one percent of
Americans. That would mean handing out an average tax cut of $4 million
a year to just 4,000 Americans per year, and leaving the rest of the
country to pay for it.
I don’t think our top economic priority should be helping a
tiny number of Americans who are already doing extraordinarily well,
and asking everybody else to foot the bill. I think our top priority
should be helping everybody who works hard get ahead. This country does
best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair
share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.
That’s what middle-class economics is all about, and as long as I’m your President, that’s what I’ll keep on fighting to do.