But what did the other party say? No. They want to go back to the status quo that got us into this same situation. The reforms we passed protect consumers and responsible bankers and responsible business owners. That’s what the free market is supposed to be about: setting some basic rules for the road so that everybody can compete — not on how to game the system, but how to provide good service and good products to customers.
Make sure that mortgage companies can’t give you a mortgage that you don’t understand. Make sure that credit card companies can’t jack up（提高，顶起） your rates without providing you some notification — common sense stuff. But they want to repeal it because they’re more interested in the next election than they are in the next generation. And that’s the choice that we will face in this next election.
If the other party wants to keep on giving taxpayer subsidies（补贴，津贴） to big banks, that’s their prerogative（特权） . But that’s not what America is about. That’s not going to move us forward.
I’ll give you another example. We had a law in place when I took office in which the government was guaranteeing student loans, except they were going through financial middlemen who were taking out billions of dollars of profits issuing the loans. But the loans were guaranteed, so they weren’t taking any risks. They were just making billions of dollars of money.
We said, well, that doesn’t make sense at a time when young people are trying to get to college. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to cut out the middle man. We’ve added tens of billions of dollars to the student loans program. More than a million young people are going to get help that wouldn’t otherwise get help because of the decision we’ve made. (Applause.) What side do you think they were on? The other party voted no.
We passed a law to prohibit（禁止） pay discrimination. My attitude is equal pay for equal work. Women should be paid just like men for doing the same job. (Applause.) They said no. They want to go backwards. We want to move forwards. (Applause.)
They want to extend the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. Now, I believe in tax cuts for the right folks. I kept my campaign promise — cut taxes for 95 percent of working Americans. But I don’t understand how do you get up here and talk about how you care so deeply about the deficit, and yet you want to perpetuate（保持，使不朽） a tax cut that costs $700 billion, with a “B” — $700 billion — and would not provide the kind of economic growth or benefits for the vast majority of Americans. That’s the choice that we face in this election.
They voted to make sure that oil companies continue to get protected from some liabilities with respect to oil spills. How do you do that? We just spent all this time and energy trying to cap this well in the Gulf. You’d think it would make just common sense to ensure that oil companies are fully accountable. They voted no against that.
When we forced BP to put $20 billion aside to make sure those fishermen and store owners and hotel owners were protected — (applause) — and what happened? The guy who would be the chairman of the Energy Committee in the House apologized to BP. Sure did. Apologized. Said we engaged in a shakedown（调整，整顿） to protect ordinary families from the devastation that had taken place.
So look, you go across the board, Atlanta, there’s going to be a choice in this election. It’s the choice between special interest policies that led us into this mess and policies that are finally leading us out, that are finally helping America grow again, policies that are making middle-class Americans more secure and giving them greater opportunity.
I know this nation has been through incredibly difficult times. And I also know, by the way, that not all the steps we took have been popular. Folks in Washington, these pundits（博学者） , sometimes they write — they’re all surprised — “President Obama went ahead with some of these steps like health care reform and helping the auto companies, and those weren’t popular.”
Well, I knew they weren’t popular. I’ve got pollsters too. (Laughter.) You don’t think I’ve got polls that tell me what’s popular and what’s not? But for the last 20 months, my job has been to govern.
So when I went to Detroit last week, and I look out and I see plants producing clean energy cars that otherwise would have been shut down, a million jobs that would have been lost, cars no longer made in America because the entire industry had collapsed, and I say, we made the right decision.
And now Ford and Chrysler and GM are all making a profit. They’ve all hired 55,000 workers back. (Applause.) They are on the move. They’re about to pay the taxpayers back for every investment that we made. (Applause.) Then I say to myself, I’m not here just to do what’s popular — I’m here to do what’s right.
And that’s the kind of leadership you need and you deserve. That’s the choice we face in this election. And, Democrats, if you work hard, as hard as you worked for me in 2008, we’re going to keep going forward. We are not going backwards. (Applause.)
Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. (Applause.) God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
END1:15 P.M. EDT