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Political Notebook

Democrats off course, says S.D. GOP senator

October 24, 2010

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Senator John Thune of South Dakota said yesterday that Democrats, who have controlled Congress and the White House for two years, are taking the country “in the wrong direction.’’

In the Republicans’ weekly radio address, Thune said Democrats have failed to help restore economic growth and lower unemployment and said the nation is worse off today than when Barack Obama was elected president. “A new direction is needed,’’ Thune said.

Thune said the $814 billion stimulus passed last year didn’t deliver on the administration’s promise to spur job growth and hold unemployment under 8 percent. The national jobless rate was at 9.6 percent last month and has been at 9.5 percent or higher for the past year.

“Rather than create jobs, the Democrats expanded government, and now the American people are stuck with another bill for nearly $1 trillion,’’ he said. “Republicans want to reverse the dangerous course the Democrats have us on.’’

In Orlando, Fla., yesterday, former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told a jubilant crowd that the momentum of the midterm elections was with Republicans.

Hundreds of Republicans gathered at the event, 10 days before elections in which Republicans have a good chance of taking over the House, if not the Senate.

Joining Palin was Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, US Senator George LeMieux, and Senate candidate Marco Rubio, who is in a race with independent Governor Charlie Crist and Democratic Representative Kendrick Meek.

— Bloomberg News

Obama: Consumers lose if financial law repealed
In his weekly radio and Internet address, President Obama said yesterday that consumers would lose if Republicans regain power in Congress and try to roll back his hard-won Wall Street overhaul.

He said the GOP’s promised repeal of the law would mean the return of a financial system whose near-collapse led to the worst recession since the Depression.

“Without sound oversight and common-sense protections for consumers, the whole economy is put in jeopardy,’’ Obama said. “That doesn’t serve Main Street. That doesn’t serve Wall Street. That doesn’t serve anyone.’’

The law passed despite nearly unanimous Republican opposition. It sought to rein in a financial system that had sped ahead of outdated rules, allowing banks, traders and others to take increased risks.

Separate legislation tackled bank overdraft fees and abuses such as retroactive interest rate increases on credit card balances.

The financial overhaul law came after a $700 billion bank rescue passed in the final months of George W. Bush’s presidency. While the bailout is credited with providing stability, it is deeply unpopular with voters angry that taxpayer money wasused to help prop up huge banks.

Obama promised that the measure ensures that taxpayers will “never again be on the hook for a bailout.’’

House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio has called for a repeal of the financial regulation overhaul, as have top Senate Republicans.

However, Obama still would stand in the way through his veto power.

— Associated Press