The members of the Morning Sun Editorial Board met with Senator Carl Levin this afternoon from 2 to 3 pm.
The senator discussed the impact of the recession on Michigan, emphasizing the importance of saving the auto industry. While there has been job growth, banks need to inject funds more easily, particularly to small businesses.
He reminded us that the recession was much deeper than those of the recent past and so employment will take time, and those not working should continue to receive help while retraining to become more marketable.
When asked about Afghanistan, the senator indicated that the Afghans hate the Taliban, and want to defeat them. NATO should help their military to take on the burden of becoming a freer society. Al Qaida should not be allowed to re-group in that area of the world.
He believes that Iran is a much greater security threat than North Korea. Economic sanctions have hurt the average Iranian: fewer goods cost more at every level. The country must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, because they would threaten the entire Middle East, and nuclear materials could end up in the hands of terrorists.
On Universal Healthcare, he pointed out the existing benefits: insurance companies cannot deny coverage for preexisting conditions and cannot drop coverage when people get sick. Many parents want their children covered under their policies until age 26, because they cannot find work. Demands on emergency rooms have decreased because more people have coverage with doctors.
He made a point that reducing the deficit is crucial. Presidents Reagan, George Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush all increased government income as well as decrease spending during recessions. The Republican budget devised by Rep. Paul Ryan makes little or no effort to provide additional revenues.