US President Barack Obama Saturday praised a Wall Street reform law enacted this week and rejected a Republican plan to jump-start the economy, saying it will take the country backward.
U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement about the economy in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington July 23, 2010. (AFP Photo)
"Wall Street reform is a key pillar of an overall economic plan we have put in place to dig ourselves out of this recession and build an economy for the long run -- an economy that makes America more competitive and our middle-class more secure," Obama said in his weekly radio address.
On Wednesday, the president signed into law the most sweeping reform of the US finance industry since the 1930s, promising US taxpayers would no longer get the bill for Wall Street excess.
The legislation, which some Republicans have pledged to repeal, introduces new consumer protections, checks the power of big banks and cracks down on deceptive practices by credit card firms.
Seeking to restore public confidence in his economic leadership as unemployment flirts with double digits, Obama said the bill would repair the fractures and abuses that produced the financial meltdown.
"It’s a plan based on the Main Street values of hard work and responsibility -- and one that demands new accountability from Wall Street to Washington," the president said in his address.
Obama also rejected an economic plan offered by House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner, saying it would repeal health insurance reform and take away tax credits from millions of small business owners.
According to the president, the Republican plan would also permanently keep in place the tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans.
"These are not new ideas," Obama said. "They are the same policies that led us into this recession. They will not create jobs, they will kill them. They will not reduce our deficit, they will add one trillion dollars to our deficit. They will take us backward at a time when we need to keep America moving forward."