Promises Made to a Struggling Nation

Terrance McLeod, Staff Writer
Back when Barack Obama was a senator campaigning for the presidency in 2008, he made a slew of promises, including a $4,000 tax credit for education. He also promised that the federal government would fund college tuition for education majors. Five years later, has he fulfilled these promises?
Besides a little help from financial aid, education majors are still paying for college tuition. Obama did follow through on his promise of a tax credit. Recently the President visited central New York to speak at SUNY Buffalo, Henniger High School in Syracuse and SUNY Binghamton to highlight his plans for education . The President hopes to rate colleges by 2015. These rankings will decide the amount of federal aid that each institution would receive. Obama also disclosed that by 2018 he wants to change how Pell Grants are disbursed. Ohio and Tennessee have already moved toward this type of ranking system and have found it successful so far. He also stated that schools should provide more three year degree programs to offset the rise of college tuition and that a greater emphasis be placed on online courses. It is clear that the President is still pursuing a way to lower the cost of education., a priority that hasn’t changed since 2008.
Regarding issues such as gay marriage, students generally agree with his decision to support same sex marriage. It is important to note that this is an issue completely up to individual state legislatures. While Obama has made progress, states need to take the reigns on this as well. Although the President says he supports gay marriage, he alone can’t do much to change how some states feel about the issue, especially in southern states.
As for the issue of gun control, students tend to support heavier gun laws. In the past couple of years, violence has shown just how easy it is to obtain guns in this country: specifically the tragedies like Columbine and Virginia Tech. SUNY Oneonta sophomore, Ryan Hendrickson offered his opinion on the matter saying, “We have to practice for countless hours and then pass a safety test in order to drive a car; shouldn’t owning something that’s made to kill people be even more strictly controlled?” The extent to which the government can control gun use is very controversial. The debate often brings up arguments based on a gun owners’ constitutional rights. It’s an issue that many students who are fed up with violence on college campuses and in communities around the country, consider of the utmost importance.
Like most sucessfull politicains, it seems that Obama had promised the nation many things. Only time will tell if they will ever be fulfilled.

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