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Rev. Jesse Jackson Says "Transparency is the New Rule of the Game" for Stimulus Funds

February 14, 2009

Challenges leaders to get the stimulus to “the least of these” at the Rainbow PUSH Saturday Morning Forum

With the the $787 billion economic recovery bill awaiting the president’s signature, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, urged his audience at the international broadcast of the Rainbow PUSH Saturday Morning Forum to ask the question “Will the money get down to the needy?”

“President Barack Obama has done a magnificent job of structuring a package that will reach beyond Washington, D.C.”, said Rev. Jackson, “But will it get down to the people? President Obama has said the funds should go to support the least of these and that the new rule of the game is transparency.”

Rev. Jackson went on to explain how the first bailout failed due to lack of oversight and transparency. He asked where the money went and who benefitted? He described the banks and financial institutions as the culprits in this lack of transparency

“Banks are essentially scalping loans. They are getting free money but charge students from 4 to 15% on student loans. When students receive loans, they are motivated and are able to complete school. They become employed and pay taxes but, in many cases, are saddled with overwhelming student loan debt. If banks can get funds for 1% or less, so should students.”

Early in the broadcast, Jonathan Jackson, national spokesman for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, gave a crash course on the new stimulus package.

“The stimulus breaks down into three basic sections. 38% of the $787 billion stimulus package goes for aid, meaning education budgets and unemployment benefits; another 38% is for tax cuts; and 24% is for new spending,” Jackson stated.

Rev. Jackson also expressed concerned over the fair distribution of the stimulus package. “If the money leaves D.C. and stops on Clark Street or City Hall, it may never get to Roseland. The roots of this tree are dying, no matter how much you water the leaves, when the roots aren’t nourished the tree dies.”

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Citizenship Education Fund will host their 2009 annual conference, themed “A More Perfect Union -- Targeted Stimulus: The Key to Reconstruction” June 27–July 1 at the Hyatt McCormick Place at 2233 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Chicago.

Saturday Moring Forum airs at 10 a.m. CST on the Word Network, CAN-TV and WJYS.

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, please visit www.rainbowpush.org or call (773) 373-3366.