The economy remains a top priority for President and the public

President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union Address reinforces his desire to help the American economy and the American people

By Maddie Benfield

President Obama’s State of the Union Address on January 27th marks the beginning of his second year in office. His top priorities remain the economy and getting the American public back to work. The reception by the American people, however, remains varied.

The day after the speech, some Whiteaker residents thought the President’s goals were unrealistic.

“ Most of the goals he set seemed unreachable,” said Greg Thompson, a member of the Democratic party.

Thompson, who watched part of the Address and reviewed commentary on National Public Radio (NPR), said that one of the President’s goals was to take a trillion dollars off of the national debt. Thompson agreed with NPR findings that this might be unreachable, as this goal could take from 10 to 20 years under Obama’s current administration policies.

Thompson said he felt that President Obama knew these facts but chose to not disclose them to the public. He said that Obama needs to stop “dangling a carrot at the end of a stick.”

However, Thompson said that Obama has become “more political than he once was,” for not disclosing all this information to the public.

Luke, an individual who did not wish to disclose his last name because of his current employment in the local health insurance industry, said that Obama was trying to appeal to a large audience, which might have affected the goals he set out in his speech.

Luke was most interested in President Obama’s health care policies.

“We’ve been trained to think that [socialism] is bad,” said Luke, in reference to Obama’s Health Care Bill. “They’ve created this scare tactic of waiting in long lines. But people will still have their same doctor, it’s the insurance that will be socialized.”

Whether or not the American health care industry will become socialized, Don Bitle believes the issue of health care is extremely important.

“They [Republicans] don’t want heath care, and we need it,” said Bitle. “The Democrats are smart for focusing on health care and getting people back to work.”

Bitle, 63, who is registered as Independent, voted for Obama in last year’s election. Bitle liked Obama’s address because “he said exactly what he’s trying to do. This country needs help.”

“He has some good ideals, like bringing the Republicans and Democrats together to get things done,” Bitle said. Bitle, who is recently unemployed, lost his job of 11 years at ONYX, a semiconductor company in Eugene. Bitle said that it is more important for people to work, people to be employed, than to be educated. He said he believes education will come from the trade or the job a person finds.

Despite mixed reactions, Whiteaker residents agreed that Obama faces quite a challenge.

“We’ve just come out of eight years of nonsense,” said Luke.

Thompson, in the same vein, is still happy he voted for President Obama. He felt that the President was doing much better than “the monkey we had in office before him.”

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