President Obama addresses economic equality

February 2, 2012

Staff Reporter


President Obama delivered the annual State of the Union Address Jan. 24, which included provisions that could positively affect Tech students in terms of education.


In his speech, Obama touched on some of the main issues that he believes need to be addressed in this nation. Some of the ideas he mentioned included creating economic equality with taxes and making changes to laws that could affect high school and college students in furthering their education, according to the press release from the White House.


“Think about the America within our reach: a country that leads the world in educating its people,” Obama said in the press release. “An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity are not so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.”


Currently, a quarter of all millionaires pay fewer taxes than millions of middle class families because of tax loopholes, Obama said. He proposes under the Buffett Rule that if someone makes more than $1 million dollars a year then they should pay a minimum of 30 percent in taxes. If someone makes less than $250,000 a year, like 98 percent of Americans, their taxes should not be increased.


Some Tech students like Jordan Nix, a junior education major, said she believes the proposed new tax code is a good idea.


“If someone is making $1 million dollars a year then it shouldn’t really affect them because they can afford to pay for those taxes,” Nix said. “The middle class shouldn’t be paying the same amount because they have to make considerable sacrifices in order to pay them.”


Another proposition, Obama said in his speech, was to make it a requirement for all students to stay in high school until they graduate.


Brandon Lienhop, a senior mechanical engineering major, said he believes that the graduation requirement has positive and negative aspects to it when you consider some students’ home life.


“Sometimes kids in bad situations have to drop out of school in order to work and help out at home,” he said. “But, at the same time it will produce more intelligent students because they will have stayed in school until they graduate.”


Once kids graduate, they have to consider the high costs that come with continuing their education on a university level. Obama said he is encouraging Congress to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling in July. He said this will save families thousands of dollars.


Lienhop said this action will benefit students once they graduate because they will have acquired less debt and have more money to spend on necessary items.


It’s not enough in just trying to increase financial aid for students, but that other responsibilities need to be taken Obama said.


“States also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets,” he said. “Colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down.”


Obama said in the closing of his address that this nation is great because we worked together to build it. If America keeps that fact close at hand then there will be no task that it cannot accomplish.


“As long as we are joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, and our future is hopeful,” he said. “The state of our Union will always be strong.”


Email comments to mmb041@latech.edu.


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