Are middle-class families really free?

Jan. 20 marked our 44th President’s first State of the Union Address (SOTU) in front of a Republican Senate. One of Obama’s main objectives has been to maintain the security and growth of middle-class families. Of course he has been doing so since the start of his term in 2009 with the creation of the American Tax Credit Act, Obamacare Affordable Health plan and much more. However, it is believed that his most recent proposal will help stretch the paychecks of all working-class families and ensure success among our youth.

As an American-born citizen, it is not fair that my chances of being rich are limited due to the fact that I was not born into a wealthy family. Living in a “free” country, everyone should at least be given the opportunity to live the lifestyles seen on television. And as consumers of wealth, it is a common good to help make a system go around by giving back.

“Helping middle-class families feel secure in a world of constant change,” Obama stated in his SOTU Address. “It means helping folks afford childcare, college, healthcare, a home, retirement. And my budget will address each of these issues lowering the taxes of working families and putting thousands of dollars back into their pockets each year.”

According to a 2014 Pew Research Poll, around 40% of Americans considered themselves middle class. This meant a vast majority of U.S. citizens have limits as consumers and do not get to see the longevity of their income with an average of $40,000-$50,000 a year.

If you work hard, you deserve to play hard. And if you make money, you deserve to feed your great grandchildren. But here is the misunderstanding—if a country is for its citizens, why not support its citizens? Since middle-class spending is what balances the economy, why not give them more money to play with?

Although the survival-of-the-fittest theory forbids everyone to eat, why not grant everyone an equal opportunity to reach the pinnacles of financial success?

Living paycheck to paycheck can be stressful and working 40 hours a week just to survive is simply unjust. A major fear as a young adult entering the “real world” after college is having stagnant money by having income that prevents one from furthering their investments.

These days, a college degree can get you ahead, but debt can also put a chokehold on your money. Therefore, I am all for Obama’s proposal to strengthen the middle-class economy so I can have the ability to shop, travel, provide a good education for my children and hopefully, step foot out of the “middle-class” into a higher domain.

As of last week, a few of Obama’s solutions from his $4 trillion proposal is, of course, to raise taxes for the rich, boost tax credits for the poor and working families and to push people to seek post-secondary education by offering two years of free community college.

It is funny how today’s political parties are more concerned with spitefulness and hatred rather than working together to improve the economy as a whole.

In one of Obama’s most unforgettable responses during the SOTU, he said, “I know cause I won both of’em.”

This was for the republican’s vindictive applause when he mentioned his last campaign.

Following his SOTU speech, many social media platforms and reporters seemed to put more focus on his sassy remark and Michelle Obama’s dress rather than his forthcoming policies and budget proposal by attempting to make a mockery out of his address.

The situation goes to show that most issues among parties are more personal rather than political. When these issues go beyond improving the economy, people do not realize who suffers—Americans. Although the standpoint may seem biased, Obama’s initiative is to spread the wealth among the economy. By doing that, he wants to target middle-class education, retirement and overall growth opportunities.



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