Is Obama’s economic blueprint viable?

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address to remind the public of the merits of the hands-on approach to economics. But he failed to address the economy’s most pressing issue: $15-trillion in federal debt.

Wendy Fu | Daily Trojan


If the plans put forth in Obama’s address are approved, we will have to face this debt long after earning our degrees — something that should cause us to think twice about voting for him in the presidential election.

Obama’s decision to make the economy the focal point of his address came in the middle of a barrage of Republican pro-free-market rhetoric. The ideological debate between the warring political factions must result in the victory of the Republican Party’s free-market principles.

After three years as president, Obama is still struggling with the economy. It is clear that the government needs to take a different approach to the economy if the country is to return to prosperity. The stakes are especially high for college students, who will face the aftermath of the upcoming presidential election as undergraduates and new entrants to the workforce.

The president outlined a long-term fix to the economy, but his strategy will not result in any benefits until he leaves office.

Though Obama called for an end to excessive outsourcing by American businesses, he also put forth the merits of a heavily involved government, which initially led to the problem. The best way to prevent outsourcing in the first place is to get the government out of the way and allow businesses to struggle and thrive on their own.

He emphasized a reformed tax code that runs by the “Buffett Rule,” which would ensure that any individual earning more than $1 million a year pays at least 30 percent of his or her income in taxes.

Though some of the president’s points were valid and his suggestions are honorable, his methods for addressing America’s ludicrous debt show he is missing the point. Instead of spending more on job training programs and slapping higher income tax rates on the wealthy, the government should simply spend less. When a country is in this much debt, the first thing it must do is cut all unnecessary expenditures, not tack on more to the federal budget.

Obama’s call for a return to “American values” is misleading. Ripping off the rich for the sake of the less wealthy while spending taxpayers’ hard-earned money on questionable foreign entanglements cannot be an American value. Americans that work hard and earn their wealth should not be penalized for their innovation, ingenuity or diligence.

As future hard-working Americans, we must remember that the government will someday want to take our money. By choosing an economic strategy that cuts the government’s frivolous spending and allows for a more independent private sector, we can expect to see much more substantial and lasting change. Otherwise, we can only expect to be hit even harder after graduation.


Sarah Cueva is a sophomore majoring in Middle East studies and religion. Point/Counterpoint runs Fridays.

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4 replies
  1. Disillusioned
    Disillusioned says:

    Obama, members of Congress, and the big wigs on Wall Street who get these people into office, are clearly in it for themselves. The rest of us have to fight over the crumbs that they so graciously give us. There is so much hypocrisy, hyperbole, and insincerity from our “leaders” and those fighting to become the next leaders, that we have become desensitized to the nonsense. We accept what they offer as truth and question nothing. We point fingers at the other party as if they are to blame when in fact, they are the same. Pitching a tent in front of city hall is not the answer. Pitching these guys on their asses and electing “true” representatives of the people is the answer. Alas, not a single candidate running for President fits this bill. I guess the good guys and gals are not attracted to run for elected office.

  2. kurt toneys
    kurt toneys says:

    Typical freshman dribble…OBAMA may be well intentioned but he is a complete incompetent with respect to the economy. Wait till you need to find a job or are considerd rich when trying to support a family in socal on 250k. Problem is, he has never had a job, made payroll or lived the life of the 99pct. He is and his wife are the ultimate “*afirmative action” president. While I personally don’t care for him, a non afirmative action guy like Gingrich will tear Obummer apart. Government should stay out of BOTH religion and the economy. Something for you brainwashed liberals, the number of federal limosines has roughly doubled since bush from 197 to almost 400 (recent gao report). Imperial. Presidency anyone? Both. Democrats and Republicans are for bigger govt, higher taxes and more control of your life. Socilaism is slavery, capitalism is freedom. Think about it.

    • Disillusioned
      Disillusioned says:

      While I agree with most of what you wrote, Gingrich is the ultimate hypocrite on so many levels, so how would be any better than Obama as President? I am a lifelong Republican and I am not happy with anyone on the slate. In fact, I am not happy with my party either as it espouses to cut spending while waging unfunded trillion dollar wars and bank bailouts. Let’s face it, the two party system that we have is broken and playing the name game is a red herring that comes from those who want to divide and conquer us. Think about it.

  3. Thekatman
    Thekatman says:

    Very good synopsis of what should be of prime concern for the citizens of this country. Nice write-up, Sarah.

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