I am a full time student at the University of Miami pursuing a bachelor’s degree majoring in Economics. My occupation and position in society is that of a student. As a student of economics, the annual president’s speech on State of the Union carries a lot of weight regarding the economic evaluation of this country over the past years as well as gives the government’s plan on how to approach various crucial economic sectors. I admit not to have been a keen follower of the State of the Union speeches before, with the only existing memories comprising of nostalgia when I used to watch during childhood with my parents on the dinner table. All that is known about the State of the Union speeches is that they provide a forum for the president to share his false hopes with the citizens. This is attributed to the fact that hardly do the presented strategies come to bear substantive fruits at the end of the year. Being an economics student about to be ushered into the job market however, my attention is drawn to the president’s speech on how he intends to handle the issue of cutting and addressing the national debt. The national debt has presented numerous challenges on the state of the US economic growth including reduced jobs, inability to sponsor government schemes effectively among other challenges. This matter therefore calls for a detailed, objective and skilful approach to ensure that the national debt gets addressed in order to stimulate positive economic growth.
The national debt proves to be an issue of concern for most governments in the US. This raging issue slows growth and development of various key economic sectors. At least every president in the last two decades has addressed this issue in one of their State of the Union speeches. In his last speech on the State of the Union, Bill Clinton stated that his major plan as he retired was to eliminate the national debt of $ 44 trillion in one decade. After over a decade however, only $ 1.2 trillion was settled. President Obama still revisits the issue of reducing and finally settling the national debt. As a fact, this matter poses challenges to all Americans and calls for common effort in addressing it.
President Obama in his SOTU speech on 12th February to a joint session of the 113th Congress at the Chamber House, tried to highlight on this matter. This speech outlined the president’s key priorities for the fiscal year. Concerning the national debt, Obama stated his commitment to reducing US deficit and debt but clearly stated that he could not do it at the expense of Social Security and Medicare. He promised to cut some amount from Medicare as recommended by Simpson-Bowles Report. He further stated that some of the savings came from lower healthcare cost attributed to the Obamacare. The third savings will come from basing Medicare payments on quality of care and not the quantity of tests.
In my opinion the president did not give the matter of national debt the consideration it deserves. His ideas fell short of substantive conviction that such an approach would guarantee notable debt reduction. It is conventional wisdom that broad based economic growth calls for a balanced approach to deficit reduction with spending cuts and revenue with everyone doing their fair share. The president need to have emphasised more on creating job opportunities since this was the worst hit sector during the just ending economic crisis. With attractive jobs the government will be assured of increased revenue collection from people as well as economic growth. Accruing savings from the medical schemes is not adequate to offload the current debt. The earlier we settle this debt the earlier we start enjoying economic growth. The ball is in our court.
Amadeo, Kimberly. Obama State of the Union 2013 Address: Summary and Economic
Impact . Web. 15 Feb 2013. 18 Feb 2013
The Caucus. Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address. Web. 12 Feb 2013. 18 Feb 2013