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UI Democrats: Thoughts on the State of the Union

BY GUEST OPINION | FEBRUARY 02, 2012 7:20 AM

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On Jan. 24, President Obama outlined his major policy goals for the United States in his State of the Union address.

While Obama had many successes this past year, such as eliminating Osama bin Laden and ending the war in Iraq to name a few, his major focus of the speech revolved around the future. He focused on creating a strong, stable economy built to last, a goal that the University Democrats fully support. He outlined plans to restructure the American tax code, restore confidence in American manufacturing, and continue the trend of creating new jobs in the private sector.

As Democrats, we fully agree that there is a fundamental problem when individuals making millions of dollars a year pay a lower rate than hard-working, blue-collar, middle class families. (To be clear we are not defining the "middle class" the same way Republican candidate Mitt Romney defines himself as "middle class"). Furthermore, billionaires should not pay the same, or lower, taxes than their secretaries. Warren Buffett has stated that a system such as this is unsustainable and is a black spot on our society.

We as Democrats support the entrepreneurial endeavors of every American and wish them well. However, those who are able to "make it big" in America must, as intelligent and rational citizens of this nation, acknowledge that a tax system that puts a preponderance of our economic burden on middle-class families is irresponsible, at best.

Additionally, we support Obama's plans to continue the trend of creating jobs in America's manufacturing industry, a segment of the economy that is seeing growth for the first time since the late 1990s. By supporting domestic manufacturing, we are ensuring that well-paying jobs can be sustained and not move overseas.

Finally, we support the president's goal of continuing growth in the private sector. In the last 22 months, our economy has added nearly 3.2 million private-sector jobs, a welcome sign for college students graduating soon.

Aside from his intentions to continue economic growth, the president also iterated his administration's commitment to provide opportunities for higher education to more Americans. Our organization fully supports his goals to expand access to community colleges which provide young people with the skills necessary for entering the world of work. While his ideas to prevent tuition increases are an attempt to resolve this ever-growing problem, we would support a fuller solution. We are in full support of Obama presenting a more comprehensive package to protect students from rising tuition hikes.

Additionally, Obama made the case for protecting our environment from the dangers levied by a poorly regulated energy industry. He called on Congress to set a clean energy standard that includes plans to build renewable sources, such as solar farms, to power millions of homes. He also proposed legislative action to require companies drilling for oil or gas to publicly disclose the chemicals they are using in the fracking process. These are all positive steps that the University Democrats support to create a more sustainable America.

Given the president's ambitious agenda, we hope that the often contrarian House of Representatives can see beyond narrow political agendas and begin enacting policies necessary to assist the struggling middle class. Together, with the cooperation of Congress, the United States can continue to right its path and ensure a better future for all Americans.

— UI Democrats

Check back Friday to see what the UI College Republicans thought of the State of the Union.


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