Congressman Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak, addressed a gathering of Macomb County business and community leaders Wednesday on issues in Washington and to share his thoughts on the presidential election.
While Levin cited data that showed the economy is improving in Macomb County, the affects the recession are still being felt by the residents.
“Our country remains in the grip of a tumultuous period unlike any we’ve faced in generations,” Levin told the crowd of about 100 people. “The deep recession, combined with the financial crisis, crippled our economy at a time when we were still involved in two foreign conflicts and grappling with the need to make investments in education, technology and infrastructure to lay the groundwork for the next economic revival."
Levin also used the speech at during a meeting of the Macomb First Business Alliance to stump for President Obama by highlighting the positive impact of his polices on Macomb County, including:
- The automotive rescue which has allowed General Motors to succeed and create one of “the most extensive labs for testing electric batteries in the world” which also resulted in Sterling Heights Chrysler plant being saved and expanded.
- The unemployment rate in Macomb County dropped from 17.6 percent in 2009 to 9.5 percent.
- More than $350 million invested in Macomb County through the Recovery Act.
- Nearly $30 million in funding for water quality and sewer projects in Macomb.
He also took an opportunity to take a jab at Mitt Romney's stance on the bailout.
"Many others in addition to Mitt Romney were saying, 'Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,' and we had to work day and night to convince folks of the vital role the domestic auto industry plays in our national economy," Levin said.
He also addressed the drop in median income in Macomb County, which dropped nearly 28 percent in the last 10 years.
"Macomb County has always been a bellwether of how well government is working to address the issues that matter to middle class families," Levin said. "There is more at stake in this election than any previous one that I remember, and I look forward to making the case for the Obama Administration because their policies are making a difference here."