Alexi Giannoulias on Corporations
GIANNOULIAS: It's important to put things in context. If you look at the mess that he inherited and the enormous challenges that he inherited--a trillion dollar deficit, increasing job losses--I think he's done everything he can to help turn this economy around.
Q: But is the country better off in this economic recession because of the change that President Obama brought?
GIANNOULIAS: If you look at what would have happened if some of the measures weren't taken [then yes]. They weren't perfect; when you look at TARP, I would have liked to have seen some more oversights, some more accountability requirement that these banks lend money to help increase access to capital. Something we've done in the state treasurer's office. I think that was a missed opportunity.
Q: [To Kirk]: How do you define the change Obama has brought to America?
KIRK: A tremendous amount of debt.
GIANNOULIAS: One of the problems is D.C. politicians who have forgotten what it's like on Main Street. The biggest problems that I hear from my friends in the business community is that there is no lending, that is tough to get a loan there. One of the first things that we need to do is to find ways to increase liquidity and to increase access to capital and to make sure that $1.8 trillion that is sitting on the sidelines in the banking system, which can be leveraged to at least $18 trillion We need to do everything we can to focus on that. We need to focus on green jobs: solar, wind, geothermal, bio-mass. There are so many opportunities but other countries like China are getting ahead of the curve.
A: Even the soundest economic policies--such as extending unemployment benefits and reining in Wall Street abuses--can fall victim to the pay-to-play game that defines Washington. Lobbyists and corporate special interests pour millions into the campaign coffers of politicians so that they vote against the middle class. We need to reform how our government works, to get it working for the middle class and not the corporate special interests.
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