President tackles consumer protection and economy

Courtesy of Creative Commons.

Courtesy of Creative Commons.

Families all across the nation have recently sought out financial help through venues such as payday lending stores in order to stabilize the wealth prior to pay day. On March 26th, President Barack Obama addressed this issue in a speech on consumer protection and the nation’s economy at the Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama.

Those gathered where able to hear about accomplishments achieved thus far during Obama’s term as president as well as the new budget unveiled by Republicans in Congress this past month.

In regards to consumer protection, the President advises the nation to “educate themselves on their options” before debt accumulates. With that, Obama acknowledged the existence of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, which was created to “serve as an independent consumer watchdog.”

According to Obama’s speech, he stated that the organization has “put over $5 billion back into the pockets of more than 15 million families” and that it is moving towards tackling the most abusive practices involving payday loans and title loans. However, the CFPB website does not keep records nor advertises such statistics. Similarly, many families in the United States are still facing financial hardship due to debts by payday lending.

With that, the President made it a key point to highlight the decrease of unemployment rates as well note the five-year growth within private sector jobs. Although both points true for the Obama administration, many of the statistics mentioned were calculated at the peak of each year.

“When I first came into office, the unemployment rate was at 10%. Now, it’s at 5.5%,” Obama said.

His striking number proves true in comparison to 2009’s worst month and 2014’s best month for unemployment rates.

Throughout the remainder of the speech, Obama highlights the new budget announced by the Republicans and the plans projected repercussions.

“It would cut investments in education the lowest level since the year 2000.”

However, Representative Ken Buck of Colorado stated that “the plan hopes to keep the Pell Grant program” and make it “permanently sustainable.”

President Obama is set to continue discussion on the economy and the new budget during his weekly briefings.


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