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HERE’S TO FOUR MORE YEARS

OBAMA2By Ryan Moonka

 

“Four more years! Four more years!” thundered throughout McCormick Place as President Obama mounted the podium for his victory speech. The roaring crowd seemed even more exhilarated about Obama’s victory than Obama himself, perhaps because only Obama knows the daunting challenges that lie ahead. At such a critical point in our history- with a looming fiscal cliff and the Middle East on fire- who is better suited to lead our country than Obama? We need Obama because he is a pragmatic, focused leader with the experience needed to guide us through the next four years.

Four years ago, one could make the argument that Obama wasn’t ready to lead America out of the economic collapse that started under the Bush administration.  He was just an inexperienced Senator from Illinois. Yet, four years in the trenches of American politics has produced a completely new, hardened Obama. He now has the experience to do what he couldn’t his first term- compromise.

The fiscal cliff- automatic tax increases and spending cuts across the board (which could trigger a double dip recession)- will automatically take affect if a budget compromise isn’t agreed to by the end of this year. Republicans don’t want increased taxes on the wealthy and military spending slashed, and Democrats don’t want increased taxes on the middle class and entitlement spending slashed. Obama has the experience necessary to compromise with Republican leaders to hammer out a budget- something Romney would have difficulty with as a newcomer in Washington.

As for restoring the economy, Obama has a very sensible strategy, albeit one that will be tough to push through Congress. Obama understands that rebuilding the economy will center around the bulk of the population- the middle class. Therefore, he will attempt to push through lower tax rates on the middle class while continuing to lower the debt by increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Lower tax rates on the middle class will spur spending that will in turn prop up the economy. Back in 2008, in his acceptance speech, Obama said, “I will cut taxes for 95 percent of all working families, because, in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class.”

Romney always opposed raising taxes for the wealthy with the hope that the wealthiest Americans would spend. However, data suggests that the wealthy and corporations aren’t spending or investing the billions they have in reserve. Obama rightfully argues that the wealthy are taxed disproportionately low considering the total income they bring in, and should therefore be taxed at higher rates to bring the debt down.

Within the coming decades, issues such as same sex marriage and the environment will become more important in debates across the country. Earlier this year, Obama said in an interview with ABC news that, “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” Obama’s view on same sex marriage is very progressive, whereas Romney opposes same sex marriage. Romney once said, “I stood up to fight same sex marriage. I was one of the nation’s leading advocates of traditional marriage.”

As for the environment, Obama supports the cap and trade system- where companies would have economic incentives to lower pollution levels. If a company goes over the pollution “cap”, it must pay a fee. He also supports tax cuts for clean-energy manufacturing companies, which would foster a better environment to help business.

Obama’s return to Washington will undoubtedly propel America out of the lackluster economy we have struggled with since 2008. Obama supports progressive concepts that will allow America to shine in the 21st century.  Obama said in his victory speech, “Tonight in this election, you, the American people, remind us while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that the united states of America – the best is yet to come.”

Again, cheers thundered across McCormick Place as the crowd, and the nation, watched the man who would lead America back to greatness.

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