Personal Finance: Please, Mr. President, I want some more

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Michelle Singletary
Thursday, September 23, 2010; 11:40 AM

During a recent town hall forum, President Obama fielded questions about when people could expect more - more jobs, more money from their investment returns AND more assurance that the American Dream isn't unreachable these days.

A 30-year-old audience member bemoaned the fact that despite holding a law degree, he can't find a job. He used loans to go to law school with the intention of going into public service, he said.

"I can't make the interest payments on those loans today, let alone think about getting a mortgage, having a family, having even a marriage," the man said during the forum broadcasted by CNBC. "I really want to know, is the American Dream dead for me?"

"Absolutely not," Obama promised. Obama then went on to give a rather long and rambling explanation of how we have the best universities and yadda, yadda, yadda. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who tuned him out at this point.

"For all the problems that we've got, as tough as things are right now, we are still the country that billions of people around the world look to and aspire to," Obama said.

Okie dokie. Not his best answer, but what else could he have said to the guy? "No problem, my man, I'll erase your student loans, give you a government job, and hook you up with a wife."

During the program there was at least one moment in which I wanted to throw something at my television. That came when Anthony Scaramucci, managing partner of hedge fund SkyBridge Capital, asked the President of the United States to stop "whacking" Wall Street folks.

"Listen, I represent the Wall Street community," Scaramucci said. "We have felt like a piƱata. Maybe you don't feel like you're whacking us with a stick, but we certainly feel like we've been whacked with a stick."

Of course, not all those who work on Wall Street are worthy of our wrath, but come on! Scaramucci's comments were ridiculous. Wall Street executives played a huge part in pushing us into the economic mess Obama is trying to clean up.

"There's a big chunk of the country that thinks that I have been too soft on Wall Street," Obama shot back.

Really, that's all you got, Mr. President? This was the time to really give Scaramucci and his rich buddies a presidential smackdown. But that's what I think. What about you? Here's this week's Color of Money Question: What do think of President Obama's defense of his efforts to fix the economy?

Watch the video of the forum or read the transcript. Then send your response to colorofmoney@washpost.com and put "Town Hall Thoughts" in the subject line.


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