As I was thinking about President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address that we will all be listening to tonight, I couldn’t help but become a little bit frustrated by what we will all hear after the State of the Union – the spin doctors. It really aggravates me that in 2010 we will have to be subjected to two completely different “fact-based” opinions on what the President said during his Address. What also bothers me is that every single Democrat or left-leaning media person will praise Obama like he’s the Second Coming (like they did during the election cycle) and every single Republican or right-leaning media person will decry his Address saying that he completely missed the point.
Frankly, in 2010 in America – that’s disgusting.
I’ll be watching the speech on FOX News and probably listening to their post-Address wrap up and thoughts. The reason why I choose FOX News is because they will at least bring on both Democrats and Republicans to give their points of view. While their standard slate of commentators (note – commentators) tend to lean to the right on most issues, at least I know that by watching FOX News I’ll be able to hear both sides of the story and that I’ll have a greater chance of getting a news person acting as a fair and impartial arbiter of the discussion. You can’t find that on MSNBC or CNN (though CNN has come a long way).
As for the speech itself, let me turn to the Asbury Park Press which published an article today that said the following:
It has been widely reported that Obama will announce programs aimed at the middle class on issues such as student loans. However, those measures will have limited appeal if unemployment remains high.
“He can do all he wants on college loans. But for those in dire straits, he has to go farther,” Greenberg said.
FYI – David Greenberg is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University. I’m interested to hear what Obama has to say about student loans. Those of you who frequent this blog know that I write about my student loans – a lot (see yesterday’s post). While I have created a plan of my own to repay this debt, by doing so I am effectively taking myself out of the for-sale housing market for the next two years.
Now, a few years ago I would say that I was an extreme example of how student loan debt could possibly hurt and stifle the middle class economy. Today, however, I think there are a lot more people in my situation (albeit at lower dollar amounts) than people may think. Sure, one guy in New Jersey who is handcuffed by six figure student loans is an extreme example of how one person can’t contribute to the economy’s recover…but when you multiply that times let’s say one person in each state, you now have 50 people that aren’t contributing. Then when you consider that there might be 10 people in each state in this situation (a likely figure), now you’re at 500 people that have good paying jobs, but cannot contribute to the economic rebound. Up that to maybe 1,000 people per state (again, not unreasonable when you consider the total population) and now you have 50,000 people not participating.
Simple math: 50,000 people x $250,000 (cost of each person buying one home) = $12,500,000,000 in new home sales
That’s a lot of zeroes, huh? And those are just numbers that I’m pulling out of the air. I’m confident that there are more than 50,000 college graduates who are stifled by their student loan debt and I’m sure that people would be buying more/other things besides new homes – like new cars, clothing, electronics, etc.
Also from the Asbury Park Press:
Recent Republican victories have been attributed in part to economic issues, with unemployment in double digits.
“The challenge is to frame a policy to create jobs, while cutting the deficit,” said Joseph Patten, an associate professor of political science at Monmouth University.
“Traditionally, you stimulate the economy by spending more. It’s difficult to do that when you have a spending freeze,” Patten said.
I had to include Dr. Patten in this entry because he used to be one of my Professors at Monmouth and the guy knows what he’s talking about. I wouldn’t want the task set before President Obama – find a way to generate new jobs while cutting the deficit and still finding a way to appease your ultra-liberal base by spending more money on more programs. Good grief!
Let’s see what Obama has to say tonight.