Andrew Nenow is a wine and viticulture sophomore and the Mustang Daily conservative columnist.
The presidency is an ever-changing venue of respect, hope, frustration and controversy. The 44th chapter of the United States presidency has possibly been the most dramatic in respect to the popularity of a president since Nixon’s violent drop in approval following the Watergate Scandal.
Barack Hussein Obama’s term began in 2008 with every resource needed to effectively establish his agenda. With a congress controlled by democrats and a solid approval rating of 67 percent, Obama had the tools to turn the woes of America around. He convinced the United States population that he was the most qualified person for the presidency with a campaign centered around one word: “change.”
The literal definition of the word “change” is to become or make something different. Now we must ask ourselves, has Barack Obama offered the change that he promised the United States? The best way to answer this question is with another question. Has any substantial “change” in the last two years greatly altered the United States or made anything different?
This isn’t to say Obama has done nothing; rather he has been making a lot of political moves. During his term we have seen an initial stab at universal health care, the largest economic stimulus package in history ($789 billion) and plans of rescuing the housing market and the auto industry along with much more.
From my point of view, when I look at these accomplishments I see one thing: spending, spending and more spending. Not just spending but spending during a severe recession where the country’s debt is already through the roof.
As of right now, the national debt is standing at $13.7 trillion. To put this number into perspective, we can say in order to pay off this debt every American citizen would need to pay more than $44,000. If that’s not enough, it is estimated the national debt rises $4.17 billion a day.
This forces me to wonder where Obama is getting the funds for all of this spending. The truth is that the money does not exist and is a way of avoiding the issue. The stimulus packages are a form of short-term relief which are just making it appear as though the Obama administration is gaining ground in economic recovery.
The major issue with Obama’s spending is the long-term consequences and what it means to future generations. As the economy recovers and regains stability, the national debt will remain. As young adults who will witness the decades following the Obama administration, there should be a great amount of concern among college students surrounding our economic future.
Obama’s current approval ratings are the best representation of how much people feel he has changed the United States. It is quite astounding how quickly the president’s approval ratings have dropped in just two years. Obama hit an all-time low last month as only 41 percent of citizens were at least “somewhat satisfied” with his performance.
What took George W. Bush six years to do, Obama accomplished in just two as Bush’s approval ratings did not reach this low until the second year of his second term. Obama’s hope is his stimulus package will produce good numbers in the stock market and result in support when he runs for reelection in 2012.
The influence of the word “change” brought hope and a face to go along with it, but it has become apparent the effects of the word “change” varied among all Americans. To some, it meant a new way of life with more amenities offered by the federal government and a relief to recent economic woes. To others, it meant fewer freedoms and a socialist government.
The point of a “change” centered campaign was to allow every American to examine what he or she hoped would get done and provide a candidate people believed in. But for this American, no change has been accomplished, and if anything, the change has been for the worse.