Dynamist Blog

More Obama--Or Reportorial?--Vagueness

The WaPost's personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary interviewed Obama about consumer debt and discovered that he, too, used to have a lot of debt and plans "initiate reforms" to "address the whole debt industry." What the hell does that mean? Here's Singletary's account:

Until a few years ago, the candidate and his wife, Michelle, were deep in debt. Together, they were carrying $120,000 in student loans they had taken on to pay for law school.

"We were making payments the size of a mortgage every month," Obama said.

Although Obama acknowledged that he and his wife were blessed to have enough income to service that debt, it wasn't until he wrote two best-selling books, "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope," that the couple were able to pay it all off.

Were he to become president, Obama said he would initiate reforms to address "the whole debt industry that has really got people in a financial hole they never dig themselves out of."

I believe that when Obama talks about his family's situation, he gets that we must move away from an economy driven by debt-laden consumers.

Nonetheless, the problems are so large and the changes needed to correct them are so deep and far-reaching -- requiring legislative reforms and shifts in people's financial behavior -- that even a self-proclaimed change-agent president would be sharply tested on this issue.

She believes he thinks we've got to "move away from an economy driven by debt-laden consumers," through "deep and far-reaching" change and "legislative reforms." But he wasn't that specific.

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