Jan 13 2009
During his first week in office, Senator Warner went on the road to hear from students and small business owners who have been affected by the economic downturn.
At a roundtable discussion at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Senator Warner heard from more than two-dozen college students, small business owners and others who are struggling with college loans, a tight job market, mortgage pressures, declining company profits and other economic concerns.
Check out this video from the roundtable discussion:
Jeff Schapiro from the Richmond Times-Dispatch profiled some of the participants, and filed this report:
Jennifer Witten of Fredericksburg, a graduate student of pharmacology at Virginia Commonwealth University, said interest on her loans -- 7 percent -- is twice what she paid as an undergraduate.
"It's like a mortgage on my education," said Witten, who -- along with VCU dental student Frank Henrich -- wondered why rates on student loans aren't falling as those on mortgages are.
Frequently gesticulating and roaming the room, Warner said the Obama package is a work in progress that could pump millions into Virginia for transportation and public works. "We've got to grab the economy and give it a jolt," said Warner. ...
Sharon Madere, who heads the Midlothian pet-products business she started, said uncertainty over tax rates is an obstacle to job creation. Her firm recently cut payroll by 10 percent, trimming it to 85 workers.