A few more than 100 days have come and gone since Barack Obama, our 44th president, took office. Since then, he has been busy attempting to fix the many issues that plague our nation — domestically and abroad. While Obama has good intentions and is extremely popular, the decisions he has made since his inauguration are causing the country more harm than good. For examples of this, look no further than out of control spending that has inflated the national debt and the foreign policy blunders that are weakening this country’s defenses.
Since entering office, Obama has passed two budgets and a stimulus bill. The federal debt is currently more than $11 trillion and the recently passed budgets will only increase this figure. In order to operate with such high costs, taxes must be increased — taxes that more and more Americans are unable to pay.
Obama’s solution to this problem has been to promise a tax cut for 95 percent of Americans. This means that the tax money must come from only 5 percent of the population. While the rich should definitely pay a fair share, or even a proportional share, they should not have to support the entire nation. The government should not punish those who have been successful and the strain on this one segment of our society is unethical. Our government owes all its citizens, even the wealthy, a sense of equality.
Further spending came in the form of the controversial $787 billion stimulus plan. Much of this money was spent bailing out financial institutions and other programs Obama felt needed to be funded. The $454 million in bonuses that were given to AIG executives after being bailed out were a good example of the many problems that result from the government redistributing wealth amongst private institutions. The bonuses were given out at the taxpayers’ expense, and Obama himself took responsibility for the lack of oversight.
This handling of the taxpayers’ money is disturbing. If the government is going to play fast and loose with our money, Obama should have made sure there were checks in the bailout to prevent money from going to the executives.
In addition to his irresponsible taxation, Obama has made many foreign policy missteps. He visited Europe to apologize for what the U.S. has done in the past. When our president — the man who represents our nation to the world — goes to other countries and apologizes, something is wrong. First of all, the question of whether or not America has anything to apologize for is certainly a debate to be had. But the U.S. has also always been a proud country, and our leaders have always defended it in word and deed. Our new, supposedly more worldly president has taken it upon himself to apologize for the actions of the previous administration.
Those who would seek to harm our nation see these apologies as a sign of weakness. If they believe Obama is too fearful of how the world will react to his actions, these people will attack us. Obama has decided to overlook concerns of national security in favor of international acceptance.
Obama seems to be more concerned with appeasing our so-called allies in Spain, Germany and France than with the nation’s security and defense. Our world image is important — but not at the expense of our dignity or security.
Overall, the first 100 days of a presidency (aside from President Franklin Roosevelt’s) are rarely indicative of the entire term. Obama has shown that he’s willing to make some radical — and hurtful — changes in our nation’s policy right off the bat. And though only 100 days has gone by in his presidency, the problems he has already caused with stay with us far into the future.
Asa Smith is an LSA sophomore.