President Obama’s Response to my “Open Letter”
Awhile ago, last March 2011, I wrote an Open Letter to President Obama detailing my experience trying to find work, higher education and reverse discrimination over the past fifteen years.
Here is his response,verbatim and in detail, which address nothing in my letter:
June 23, 2011
Thank you for writing. Each day, I hear from concerned Americans who are struggling in this economy. Their stories encourage me to work harder to ensure all Americans can find good jobs so they can support their families and communities.
Below are just a few of the actions we are taking to help hard-working American families get through these tough economic times:
CREATING JOBS AND GROWING OUR ECONOMY
My Administration has taken critical steps to accelerate our Nation’s economic growth so that we are producing jobs at a faster pace. We have already seen significant growth, and there are good signs for our future, yet they are little comfort to those who are out of work or struggling to keep their home. We are working tirelessly to push our recovery forward and promote economic growth, accountability, and transparency. To follow developments and track local projects, visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/issues/economy and www.Recovery.gov.
IMPLEMENTING TOUGH WALL STREET REFORM
For too long, Wall Street firms were not held accountable, financial dealings were not transparent, consumers and shareholders were not given enough information and authority to make decisions, and Government did not have the appropriate tools to close down failing financial firms without bailing them out. That is why I went to Wall Street before this crisis hit and called for common-sense reforms to protect Americans and our economy, and that is why I was proud to sign into law the most comprehensive package of financial reforms in decades, including the strongest consumer protections in our Nation’s history.
Wall Street reform brings greater security to hardworking people on Main Street — from families looking to buy their first home or send their kids to college; to small businesses, community banks, and credit unions that play by the rules; to shareholders and investors who want to see their companies grow and thrive. By cracking down on abusive and deceptive practices, these reforms ensure that Americans are not unwittingly caught by overdraft fees or unfair rate hikes, that students who take out loans have clear information, and that lenders do not cheat the system. It also gives Americans free access to their credit score if they are denied a loan or insurance — or given a higher interest rate — because of that score.
Because of these reforms, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for the excessive risk-taking of some on Wall Street. There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts. By laying a foundation for a stronger, safer financial system that is innovative and competitive, our Nation will reach a more secure and prosperous future. To learn more about how financial reform affects you, please visit: www.FinancialStability.gov.
ENDING CREDIT CARD COMPANY ABUSES
My Administration is also working to help Americans who have had their credit lines reduced or interest rates increased without clear justification. During my first year in office, I partnered with Congress to pass the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act. This landmark law took effect in February 2010, and promotes greater fairness, transparency, and accountability in credit card practices. It requires companies to inform credit card holders of payment timetables and accrued interest, and it ends retroactive rate hikes and sudden changes to terms and conditions. To read more about CARD and how it affects you, visit WhiteHouse.gov/3XL and www.WhiteHouse.gov/issues/economy.
These reforms will have a tangible impact on the ability of American families and businesses to achieve their goals. For information on credit and consumer protections, please visit www.hud.gov/foreclosure or call 1-888-MYMONEY.
Many Americans are also struggling to stay in their homes. Access to the American dream continues to be tested by a mortgage crisis that threatens the stability of families, neighborhoods, and our entire economy. While many Americans have received help, far too many are still unable to refinance their mortgages or obtain loan modifications. This crisis has not only hurt home values nationwide, it has also had a dramatic effect on the credit Americans need to purchase cars, pay college tuition, and grow small businesses.
For assistance with a home foreclosure or to find a local housing counselor, I encourage you to call your mortgage servicer directly, speak with a housing specialist at 1-888-995-HOPE, or contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-569-4287. You can also visit www.hud.gov/foreclosure and www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov.
HELPING STRUGGLING FAMILIES
As our economy recovers, we must continue to help those who are losing their jobs and struggling to pay their bills. Every day, I meet with my economic advisors to make sure we are doing all we can to create good jobs and help Americans support their families and pursue the American dream.
My Administration is helping Americans return to work by emphasizing job training in industries that cannot be outsourced. Recently laid-off workers receiving unemployment benefits have new opportunities to pursue higher education and job training programs, including easier access to Pell Grants. To encourage job creation in the United States, we are cutting payroll taxes and providing incentives for businesses to invest by allowing them to expense all of their investments in 2011. Available assistance can be found online at go.usa.gov/a53 or www.Opportunity.gov.
Together, we can help more Americans find and keep good jobs and enjoy a healthy standard of living. To locate an employment center near you, select your state at: www.dol.gov/dol/location.htm. For information on benefits and opportunities for those out of work, I encourage you to visit: go.usa.gov/a5x. To find career resources, you may call 1-877-872-5627 or visit: www.careeronestop.org.
While it will take time to fully repair the damage done by the worst recession in our lifetime, I am confident our Nation will not only recover, but also prosper in the 21st century. For more information on jobs, health benefits, housing assistance, and other public resources call 1-800-FEDINFO or visit: www.usa.gov. Thank you, again, for writing.