Washington: US President Barack Obama has criticised Republicans for launching "an all-out battle" to undo his ambitious Wall Street reform and consumer protection measures to prevent American people from suffering another financial crisis.
In his penultimate radio and Internet weekly address before the November six presidential polls, Obama said that Republican lawmakers were "waging an all-out battle to delay, defund and dismantle" the new rules aimed at protecting American people.
"Backed by an army of financial industry lobbyists, they`ve been waging an all-out battle to delay, defund and dismantle these new rules. I refuse to let that happen," Obama, 51, seeking re-election to the White House, asserted.
Wall Street Reform, commonly called the Dodd-Frank Bill, was signed by Obama in 2010. The law was passed to make US financial system more transparent and accountable, avoid another economic crisis, and to ensure that there is a system in place that will work towards protecting tax payers` money.
It created new regulatory agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council, whose job is to exercise control over financial markets to avoid excesses that had led to the 2008 financial turmoil.
However, Republicans argue that Wall Street reform has hurt the US economic recovery and killed jobs by making it more difficult for banks to lend and more costly for companies to do business.
But in his address yesterday, Obama highlighted the nation`s new independent consumer watchdog as an example of the good the Dodd-Frank reform act has done.
"It`s now been four years since a crisis that began on Wall Street spread to Main Street, hammering middle-class families and ultimately costing our economy 9 million jobs."
"Since then, we`ve fought our way back. Our businesses have added more than 5 million new jobs. The unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level since I took office. Home values are rising again. And our assembly lines are humming once more," Obama said.
"And to make sure America never goes through a crisis like that again, we passed tough new Wall Street reform to end taxpayer-funded bailouts for good," he said.
Obama said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau`s sole job is to help Americans make informed financial decisions and protect them from anyone who tries to take advantage of them, including the companies that determine their credit scores.
Obama also drew attention to the recent crack down on three credit card companies, ordering them to pay USD 400 million to people who were misled into making purchases they didn`t want.
"Sadly, that hasn`t been enough to stop Republicans in Congress from fighting these reforms," Obama said.
The US President also said he had faith in free markets, although with certain controls.
"I believe that the free market is one of the greatest forces for progress in human history, and that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not the government," he said.
Obama added that he believed that "the free market has never been about taking whatever you want, however you can get it."
We`ve come too far and sacrificed too much to go back to an era of top-down, on-your-own economics. And as long as I`m President, we`re going to keep moving this country forward so that everyone whether you start a business or punch a clock can have confidence that if you work hard, you can get ahead," Obama said.
Meanwhile, in the Republican address, Missouri congressional candidate Ann Wagner criticised Obama`s economic policies, saying they are "making things worse."
She promoted Obama`s Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, for president and called for repealing Obama`s health care law and fixing the US tax code, which she referred to as a "72,000-page monstrosity."
Wagner said Obama promised the nation change, but all it has gotten is "more spending, more red tape" and "more debt and decline."