Jesse Jackson Takes Aim at Banks

On first day of summit, Wall Street bankers put on blast

What can be done to make higher education more financially accessible?

Just as we’ve said to banks, they should not get government money and have excessive profits, universities should not get government money and have excessive tuition hikes. Banks are getting 0% interest money [from the bailout] and then charging students 6%-8% interest for student loans. Why should banks get free money and charge a fee for free money? Students should get the same deal banks get. Furthermore, we should shift again from loans to grants and see education as an investment and not as a commodity.

How do you feel about a healthcare reform bill that doesn’t include a public option? Do you think Obama could have done more to press Congress to include a public option?

Well the democrats have put an awful lot of capital into a healthcare bill. We don’t know where it stands now because it is still fluid. But the suggestion is it can ride without the public option. Without the public option we can not control costs and it will be less transparent. That is why stock for insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies is rising.

FedEx and UPS do a good job, but without the U.S. Postal Service and the Internet you couldn’t control the costs. There is a notion that we can trust [them] to do the right thing. We couldn’t trust the banks to do the right thing. Healthcare reform must be structured in a way to lend itself to justice and protection. That is not likely to happen with out a public option.

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