By Nicole Vera |Staff Writer|
Keeping the basic American promise alive is the defining issue of our time, according to President Barack Obama in his State of the Union Speech on Jan. 24.
His definition of this promise was: “If you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college and put a little away for retirement.”
He went on to note taxes and employment as the critical issue in achieving this goal.
“It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I’ll sign them right away,” said Obama.
The plan to create jobs included raising taxes for companies moving overseas, lowering them for companies that stay in the U.S.
Larger breaks for those that relocate in a struggling community were also included and even greater tax deductions for high-tech manufacturers.
Obama promised businesses that if they brought jobs back to the U.S., he would do everything he could to help them succeed.
He went on to say that the 98 percent of Americans making under $250,000 annually should have lower taxes.
The other 2 percent of Americans that make above $1 million annually should not be allowed to pay under 30 percent in taxes.
In his official GOP response Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said of this proposition, “No feature of the Obama presidency has been sadder than its constant efforts to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others.”
Daniels also accused Obama’s policies of being pro-poverty and spending more money, specifically borrowed money, than any other administration in the history of the United States.
CSUSB’s chairman of the political science department, Brian Janiskee, said it should be noted that it is an election year which makes speeches significantly more political in nature because candidates hope to be re-elected.
He continued to say that the president is making the argument that spending must be reduced but revenue needs to come from those who are well off.
Representatives argue that at a time of recession, or sputtering recovery at best, the answer is not to raise taxes but reduce spending.
Nonetheless, taxes and employment were not the only topics of the night.
Obama also suggested that students be required to stay in high school until they graduate or reach 18 years of age.
He went on to note the financial challenges that college-bound students face once they graduate high school and proposed ways to soften the burden.
Obama suggested that Congress should do something to protect student loan interest rates from doubling this summer.
He also suggested the extension of tuition tax credit and doubling the number of work-study jobs over the next five years.
“The number of work-study students is valuable because it gives a really positive source of income for students that allows them to work on campus and create connections,” said CSUSB President Dr. Albert K. Karnig.