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Congressman answers students’ questions in town hall

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United States Congressman Brad Sherman, (D) addresses audience during a town hall meeting in The Great Hall at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif. on Thursday, May 3, 2012. He was there to discuss his postions on issues relatd to the upcoming June primary. Photo by Ava Weintraub

 

 

Student loans, the Troubled Asset Relief Program and adult education were just a few of the topics discussed when Congressman Brad Sherman attended the town hall meeting in the Great Hall Thursday.

 

This event was put together after Sherman did not attend Tuesday’s town hall meeting, in which candidates running for the 30th congressional district debated and expressed their platforms.

 

“Due to an egregious over sight on my part, I forgot to confirm the date with Congressman Sherman’s office,” Brown said.

 

Kenneth Michael Leavit, a 30-year-old automotive major, was one of more than 120 people that attended the event.

 

Although Leavit was at the event for extra credit in his political science class, he was interested in what the congressman was planing on doing when it came to high taxes.

 

“I feel like we pay way too much tax for what we have,” Leavit said.

 

Sherman addressed Leavit’s concern when addressing the Buffett Rule during the meeting.

 

The Buffet Rule, named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett and first introduced in the Senate by Barack Obama, applies a minimum tax rate of 30 percent on those who make more than $1 million a year.

 

“I support the Buffet Rule on taxes,” Sherman said. “I do think those who make more than a million can pay 30 percent.”

 

The congressman also reminded attendees of the two most important things that he is doing to insure that college students are able to obtain a formal eduction.

 

The first issues that Sherman tackled was the interest rates on student loans.

 

“I have supported the democratic alternative to keep [student loans rates] at 3.4 percent, [and] the subsidy that keeps it at 3.4%,” Sherman said.

 

He has also been working on tax deductions for students.

 

“The second most important thing [is] the tax deductions for the first $1,500 of tuition, and I have been fighting to make sure that book and travel expenses can be included so that you can get the full $1,500 deduction,” Sherman said.

 

The troubled asset relief program (TARP) was a key issue addressed by Sherman.

 

The idea behind TARP was that banks would be able to take the worst mortgages, which the bank calls toxic, and sell them to the public, Sherman said.

 

On the congressman’s webpage, he credits himself as a leader against adopting TARP in 2008.

 

“By the time we [the House of Representatives] were done, they decided the program did not involve buying a single bad mortgage, not a single toxic asset, we took the T.A. out of TARP, and, instead, taxpayers bought preferred stock,” Sherman said.

 

He continued by expressing his views on big banks and bank bailouts.

 

“If you are too big to fail, you are too big to exist,” Sherman said.

 

The final issue that Sherman touched upon was adult education.

 

“I joined with the advocates of adult education, and with a letter to the school board,” Sherman said.

 

While he himself was not at the demonstrations, he did confirm that he had sent representatives of his to such events.

 

Sherman also urges the community to get involved.

 

“Continue to push LAUSD to fund adult education, and continue to push your congressmen to make sure the federal government is providing aid to LAUSD,” Sherman said.

 

In California, elections will be held June 5.

 

The candidates are Vince Gilmore, Susan Shelley, Navaraj Singh, Howard Berman, Mark Reed, Michael Powelson and Brad Sherman.

 

 

 

If you did not attend the town hall meetings this week, see the archived live stream on www.roundupnews.com

 

 

 

 

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