The USC College Republicans hosted a panel discussion Wednesday night focusing on President Barack Obama’s policies and actions regarding the U.S. economy, the recent health care reform bill and the state of the country’s foreign relationships.
The “Teach-In to Oppose Obama’s Radical Transformation of America” featured input from Sally Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute; David Bahnsen, an economics expert who heads a firm on Wall Street; and Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and professor at Cal State Fresno.
The panel, sponsored by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, questioned the effectiveness of health care reform, citing a conflict between the cost of reform and benefits of changing the health insurance system.
“People make it clear they don’t want higher taxes, they don’t want higher deficits and they certainly don’t want rationed care,” Pipes said of health care reform.
Examining health care through the lens of economic policy, Bahnsen said Obama’s past stimulus and bailout efforts were proof of the president’s lack of success in crafting economic policy.
“The economic policies I lament in President Obama are not merely political difference, the differences are above all else a conflict in visions,” Bahnsen said. “May we stop this madness before we go past the tipping point.”
Hanson discussed Obama’s foreign policy relations with Russia, Iran, Israel and European world powers. He said he thinks Obama does not have a strong investment in protecting America’s interests on the worldwide level.
“There are going to be a lot of people who think they can make radical re-adjustments in the balance of power … because they think the United States is going to sympathize with them,” Hanson said.
The College Republicans held the panel to educate students about issues that have come up after the passage of the health care reform bill, said USC College Republicans President Alexa Ekman.
“This is about educating these people … There are so many things in the health care bill that us laymen would never have known,” Ekman said.
Kimberly Linares, a senior majoring in political science and theatre and a Democrat, said she appreciated the chance to listen to other opinions on Obama’s administration but disagreed with the panel’s characterization of the president.
“I don’t think they covered it completely fairly,” Linares said. “There were a lot of ideological biases, and then I think at the same time I felt they attacked Obama.”
Whether they agreed with the panel’s arguments or not, students who were in attendance said the panel was good opportunity to expand their knowledge on health care reform and other Obama policies.
“I would say some arguments were really good to me, I wouldn’t say I agree 100 percent with everything that was said,” said Michael Young, a sophomore majoring in political science and a Republican. “The three panelists are incredibly knowledgeable.”