Although the White House blog hinted at President Obama’s anticipated State of the Union address focusing on “opportunity, action and optimism,” MSU students and faculty members are hoping to hear solid plans for the future.
Social relations and policy junior Curtis Audette said he hopes income inequality and issues concerning students are addressed.
Audette said the main reason recent graduates are finding it difficult to obtain a job and buy a house or car is because of surmounting debt.
He hopes that Obama will take on the topics of tackling student debt and cutting the costs of rising tuition, which would help students create futures for themselves and stay in-state after graduation.
Will Staal, chair of MSU College Republicans, said he expects the president to try and convince Americans to “come back and follow his agenda.”
Staal, an interdisciplinary studies in social science senior, said 65 percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track and that the healthcare initiative was handled the wrong way.
He said in the future, he hopes for a leader that can put Americans’ best interests ahead of his or her party’s agenda.
Staal said he believes Gov. Rick Snyder and the state legislature can take most of the credit for Michigan’s economic uptick.
“Michigan is on the path to becoming the great state that it once was,” Staal said. “Those fixes are coming from right down the street in Lansing.”
Matt Grossmann, assistant professor of political science at MSU, said the viewing of the State of the Union address has gone down in numbers in recent years.
“There’s lots of policy changes that would have lots of big effects if they happen,” Grossmann said. “I don’t have a whole lot of faith in the State of the Union to change the outcome.”
Michigan Senator Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he expects Obama to “work very hard to sell Obamacare” in spite of some of his constituents voicing their opposition to it.
Many have found that they will have to pay more money for their insurance with a larger deductible, he said.
“We’ve had many thousands of people lose their insurance,“ Jones said. “I think that the president could call for a change and keep his promise that no one will lose their insurance policy.”
He said he hopes the president will talk about immigration and try to come up with a better way to allow more migrant workers to legally enter the country and would like to see progress in creating a better program for workers to come to Michigan.
“Agriculture is extremely important to Michigan’s economy,” Jones said.