Debt Crisis: Christian Leader Explains the Impact on the Hispanic Community

The approval of the debt-ceiling increase in the United States earlier this week may have positive and negative impacts on the Hispanic community, a prominent Hispanic Christian Leader has said. He further added the warning that the Hispanic community would prioritize the issue of the economy during the 2012 election.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez said to The Christian Post this week that the impact of the debt ceiling agreement could ultimately result in large numbers from the Hispanic community being forced to make sacrifices.

“Everyone will have to sacrifice in order to eliminate the great debt. Everyone must play their part,” said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez to The Christian Post.

Rev. Rodriguez, who met Obama last month to talk about the economic crisis and its impact on Christian values and the poor, issued the warning that for a healthier economy to be forthcoming “there must be a painful path with a lot of sacrifice.”

The Christian leader for the Latino community in the U.S. pointed out the pros and cons of the agreement for the largest U.S. ethnic minority group.

Highlighting the positives from the agreement, Rodriguez said that not raising taxes would help provide more money in the economy for the entrepreneurs to develop more jobs.

However, on the other hand, he expressed that the agreement would negatively affect vital programs for the poor, homeless and elderly.

Talking about poverty and unemployment, the reverend explained that Hispanic communities are feeling a heavier impact from the crisis compared to other ethnic minority groups.

“Unemployment and poverty are increasing in the Latino community in the United States. This crisis is affecting the Hispanic communities more than other communities. So we have to seek for a solution for the crisis and as Christians we are committed to the poor,” he said.

Hispanics in the U.S. comprise 16 percent (50.5 million) of the total U.S. population of 308.7 million, and considering the current economic impact on this large portion of the American population there is speculation that there could be a possible shift in the Hispanic vote for the 2012 elections.

Rodriguez confirmed that the priority for Hispanics in the 2012 election would be the economy. However, he also believes that the recent debt ceiling agreement would not directly have a negative nor positive impact on the Hispanic vote during the election campaign.

“I believe that the community is blaming both parties for the economic crisis, and is blaming the president and House Republicans and the Democrats. I believe that Latinos have an open mind and are saying that everyone is guilty,” he said.

The Hispanic leader said that at the “end of the day” what would determine the Latino vote in 2012 would be: “The party that addresses the problems and offers firm solutions to the economy, Christian values and immigration reform. These three are the priorities to the people.”