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State of the Union reflection

By Amber QalagariColumnist

If politics seem overly simple, they are being done wrong. President Obama is no stranger to oversimplification. During his State of the Union speech on Feb. 13, Obama released his agenda for the coming term highlighting the benefits of his plan without relaying the financial logistics.

His ideas seem great on paper: community college career plan, nursery school for children of lower income families and investment in greener technology. Who wouldn’t want to get paid more for their work and improve our nation’s education all the while enjoying a carbon free atmosphere? Small problem, what does the price tag say?

One-hundred and forty-five billion dollars. It’s as if Obama ordered everything off the menu at a five star restaurant and left the bill for the taxpayers. What does Obama care? He promises these lavish programs and makes the public believe that they are entitled to them. Not only do they deserve them, but according to Obama, they won’t cost the government anything!

“Nothing I am proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime” said Obama.

Increasing spending on public works, creating a community college career fund, raising the minimum wage, enabling a cap and trade program and creating a nursery school entitlement won’t cost a single dime? They might not add to our nation’s deficit, because you, the taxpayer, will be covering the tab.

With America’s expansive debt, Obama’s agenda is unreasonable. Once Congress, who did their math, block each law, it will once again be the fight: "Good guy Obama" against the "stone-hearted Republicans.” It is obvious that these laws will never pass under the Republican House. Obama couldn’t even pass the Cap and Trade program for carbon emissions in 2010 when he had a Democratic House. This raises the question: why propose programs he knows Congress will shut down?

Simple, it makes him look better. By pushing toward these deceptively beneficial programs that are derived from high poll concerns, he increases his own popularity. He may not have to worry about reelection, but there are a few other areas in which he could use a positive image. As he paints the Republicans as uncompromising and against the wants of the public, the Democrats will undoubtedly use this as leverage to take back control of the House in 2014.

Four more years in office. That means four more years to create a positive image for future history books. He has already made a special mark on history by becoming the first African American president, but he’ll need immense popularity to make up for the extent of the debt he has created in our nation.

Like the parent that says “yes” to make the child happy, Obama has chosen to disregard all financial responsibilities to allow exorbitant plans to please the public. Republicans are left with the hard task of saying “no” because the proposals are financially impossible.

The White House has become Obama’s center stage, allowing him to pull stunts that will give him fans. Forget policies that work, or even proposing ones that are somewhat in our nation’s budget. According to Obama, it is still Bush’s fault that our country is in debt anyway.


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