Obama outlines plan for america in State of the union
President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Charles Dharapak/AP via Abaca Press/MCT
On Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama laid out his 2013 plans for millions of Americans during his State of the Union address.
The president mentioned more than a dozen topics of interest; here is a breakdown of a few of his proposals.
1. Raising the minimum wage
Many students are working for minimum wage at $7.25 per hour.
To raise the standard of living in the United States, Obama proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour. A family of four with one parent working full time for the current minimum wage is living below the line of poverty.
The president said this increase could result in a more stable workforce and a boost in the economy because it might reduce worker turnover and give consumers more money to spend.
Republicans cautioned that employers might be discouraged to hire additional workers at higher rates if minimum wage is raised.
“This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families,” Obama said at the address. “It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead.”
2. Repairing roads
Obama has the same idea as Gov. Rick Snyder — it’s time to fix the roads. Both the federal and state government now have made promises to ensure driving over potholes on the way to class will be a thing of the past.
The president announced plans to allocate $50 billion to repair national infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and create a “Fix it First” program to solve the nation’s most urgent infrastructure issues.
He said the projects will be funded by money that would have been spent on the war.
3. Balancing the deficit
Many students soon will be entering the job force of a nation in debt.
The nation is $16 trillion in debt and has reached its borrowing limit. The president acknowledged the series of spending cuts expected to take effect in late February. He said the best way to avert another financial crisis is to balance the deficit.
Obama proposed reducing tax loopholes for the wealthy to generate $600 billion in revenue and $900 billion in spending cuts to appeal to congressional Republicans.
4. Fixing the housing market
After students secure a job after graduation, many begin looking to buy a house. For years Michigan has had an unstable housing market, but Obama proposed plans Tuesday to help people find homes.
The president’s legislative proposals would award benefits to borrowers with loans insured by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, two government-sponsored companies.
He announced he plans to allocate $15 billion to the Project Rebuild program to create construction jobs and rebuild communities.