The sudden loss of jobs contributed to the housing foreclosures crisis. As the stock market cratered, so were the dreams of many that thought they could ride out the crisis with their savings from investments. A large number of seniors, as well as many who recently lost their jobs, could no longer make ends meet or pay their bills. Michigan’s weakened job market saw parents competing for jobs that their young adult children used to fill. Children, their parents, and even their grandparents were in a financial mess.
This led to a sharp rise in the number of households that didn’t have health coverage, adults who ran out of coverage, companies that stopped offering insurance, and seniors who faced rising health costs and no additional income. Young adults in Michigan were facing an impossible challenge of being able to afford the education necessary to compete for and get jobs in America’s 21st Century economy.
The choice then and the choice now

President Obama was the choice of a strong majority of Michigan voters in 2008. He remains by far the best choice in 2012. Governor Romney opposed the auto bailout, instead declaring that we should, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” This is amazing considering that General Motors is once again the world’s automotive leader.  Michigan automakers are hiring again, and expanding their workforces beyond just those who were originally laid off.
Apart from the opposition to the auto bailout, Governor Romney even stood in opposition to reducing the foreclosure rate and keeping people in their homes. Instead he declared, “don’t try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.” Imagine: Michigan could have been a state where people have no place to live and are without a job.
Governor Romney also wants to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Today, young adults who are struggling to get ahead, find a job, and finish their education can stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26. Seniors trying to make ends meet will no longer have to worry about life time insurance caps, and everyone in the country no longer has to worry if they have a pre-existing condition when they enroll in a new insurance plan. He also has endorsed the Ryan Budget seeking to turn Medicare into a voucher program and decimate Medicaid.
Further, by keeping student loan interest rates low and expanding the number of Pell Grants under President Obama, our youth now have the ability to get ahead and afford the higher education they need to support themselves and their families.
Under President Obama, working families also saw their taxes go down during these difficult times. On the other hand, Governor Romney wants to reduce the taxes on the top 1% of all income earners and pass these costs on to working middle class families. President Obama favors sharing the responsibility of reducing the national deficit, rather than having the burden be placed on those who can least afford it.
The road ahead

I expect the presidential elections in Michigan to be close to the very end. Super PACs will continue to outspend the President, distort his record, and mislead the voters. In Michigan, supporters of the President are building an extensive grass-roots effort, alongside members of working families and others who will work to get people registered and to the polls. It is just as critical to educate and disseminate the truth about President Obama’s record, and all of his accomplishments that are continuing to turn Michigan’s economy around. Michigan has only one real choice this election, and that choice is President Obama.

Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan, is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.