A: Well, keep in mind this is not just a crisis for the Hispanic community; this is a crisis for the entire country because increasingly the workforce is going to be black and brown, and if those young people are not trained, then this country will not be competitive. Closing the achievement gap involves making sure that children are prepared the day they come to school, and so working with at-risk parents & poor children to make sure that they’re getting their childhood education they need is absolutely critical. I’ve seen crumbling school buildings & children learning in trailers because of overcrowding. We’ve got to have a program of school construction all across the nation. After-school programs and summer school programs can make an enormous difference in preventing dropout rates because a lot of times young people after they get out of school have no place to do their homework. And that can make an enormous difference.
A: It shouldn’t be. And it’s wrong. You know, my mother died of ovarian cancer when she was 53 years old. And I remember in the last month of her life, she wasn’t thinking about how to get well, she wasn’t thinking about coming to terms with her own mortality, she was thinking about whether or not insurance was going to cover the medical bills and whether our family would be bankrupt as a consequence. That is morally wrong. It’s objectionable. That’s why I put forward a comprehensive legislation for universal health care so that all people could get coverage. My attitude is, that since you are paying my salary as taxpayers, you should have health care that is at least as good as mine. And the key to that is not only a good plan, but we’ve also got to overcome the drug & insurance company lobbies, that spent $1 billion over the last 10 years to block reform. As president, I am going to take them on.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the pharmaceutical and insurance industries spent $1.2 billion and $949 million, respectively, on all lobbying efforts since 1998. Moreover, the two industries combined shelled out about $193 million in political donations and expenditures backing Republicans, about twice as much as they spent supporting Democrats. So it is reasonable to conclude that the pharmaceutical and insurance industries have indeed spent at least $1 billion combating legislation that Obama favors.
OBAMA: I have been a consistent champion of comprehensive immigration reform. And keep in mind that my father came to this country from a small village in Africa because he was looking for opportunity. And so when I see people who are coming across these borders, whether legally or illegally, I know that the motivation is trying to create a better life for their children and their grandchildren. So I was one of the leaders, along with several other senators, in passing comprehensive immigration reform. It failed in the House. That is going to involve some elements of border security because we’ve got to make our borders more secure. We can’t just have hundreds of thousands of people coming into the country without knowing who they are.
A: I think it is absolutely critical that we step in and work with financial institutions that gave these loans, oftentimes under false pretenses. And part of the problem of the whole subprime lending market is that we did not have enough regulation of this market, we didn’t have adequate disclosure. I meet families that thought they were getting a low interest mortgage and did not realize that unless their home prices kept on going up they could end up losing their home, and that’s a failure of regulation. And that’s something that we have to work on prospectively. I’ve got legislation called the STOP FRAUD Act that basically requires the kinds of disclosure that should have been in there in the first place. But in the meantime, we’ve got to take a portion of the profits and make certain that people have a chance to refinance their home or least get bridge loans.
The above quotations are from Democratic primary debate on Univision, in Spanish, in Miami Florida, Sept. 9 2007.
Click here for main summary page.
Click here for a profile of Barack Obama.
Click here for Barack Obama on all issues.
Barack Obama on other issues:
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
(We rely on your support!)