The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

Obama will find his campaign promises difficult to fund

Elizabeth Doyon

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

It has been a little over two months since 2008’s historic presidential election, and Americans have been keeping a close eye on President-elect Barack Obama. With the continuously sinking economy, how will Obama fund everything that he promised during his campaign?

One of Obama’s main platforms included increasing the research and funding for environmental causes. His goal is to create a “greener” America. This would include funding research for new cars, fuel-alternatives, and new energy savers and producers. Another platform Obama has focused on is education. He has planned to invest money in the public school systems from pre-kindergartens to community colleges.

Obama is also seeking an increase in the number of United States ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 marines. Funding for training, building of facilities, and purchasing new equipments necessary to this plan would be astronomical.

The federal budget deficit is at a record high, and it is only growing larger. Obama has said that he is committed to finding ways to save in the federal budget. However, Obama’s main campaign promise was that he would bring change to the United States–these changes cost money. Big spending increases will be necessary to cover the programs he promised. Finding ways to pay for these increases will be difficult.

In order for Obama to receive the funding he needs, he must first cut national spending. In this kind of situation, anyone would be stuck. There are few expenses that can be cut without problems.

Nationwide programs, especially benefits such as health care, are politically dangerous to cut. Health care needs improvement, not budget cuts.

A controversial area is the $657 billion budget for the Pentagon. Obama believes that this budget is full of wasteful spending, especially in areas such as weapons systems. He has said that this is a good place to start cutting.

This money, however, is important to the United States military. Cutting the budget on weapons in time of war would be dangerous, especially considering Obama’s lack of national security experience. Until matters calm down overseas, this may not be a smart place to cut.

A combination of domestic programs such as education aid, housing, welfare, farming, and highway construction are all in line to receive cuts. However, Obama’s Democratic allies in Congress have been trying to protect these domestic programs from cuts made by President George W. Bush over his two terms in the White House.

Obama also identified millions in overpayment to wealthy farmers as an area that needs cutting. Programs that educate about abstinence, favored by Republicans, also face a budget cut and a possible termination. However, these millions saved by potential cuts are hardly a drop in the bucket compared to the cuts that must be made in order to accommodate Obama’s new plans.

Social Security cost $658 billion in 2008, but this is yet another dangerous area to cut. Social Security has always been seen as an area that is better to leave alone. Health care for the elderly, Medicare, has also been regarded in a similar manner. Politicians have been reluctant to make cuts on these two programs in recent years.

Many suggest that the only way to cut spending is to meticulously reexamine the budget. Yet the current Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, examined the budget earlier this year only to conclude that the United States needs a $57 billion increase in its budget.

Current economic conditions suggest that Obama will have an exceptionally difficult time finding areas to reduce federal spending. This will bring unimaginable difficulties to Obama in funding his numerous campaign promises.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


3 Responses to “Obama will find his campaign promises difficult to fund”

  1. nobama? on January 15th, 2009 8:21 AM

    I think these are fair concerns. i’m an obama supporter, but I’ve found myself asking many of these same questions lately. Obama has made what I would call questionable choices since the election, including choosing a vocally anti-gay minister to swear him into office. But these continued promises of a new and better America seem a bit crazy looking at our financial state, and it makes me wonder if we’re signing up for another 4 years of the same lies and mismanagement. i’m still hopeful, it’s hard not to be after George Bush’s reign (hope seems to be all that’s left after that), but I’d really like to hear some clear cut plans once Obama’s in office. I want to see him start honoring his campaign promises, or at least trying.


  2. Ben Schattenburg on January 15th, 2009 9:21 AM

    Pop quiz Liz!
    Which party has held the White House for the last 8 years and both the house and the senate for 6 of those years?
    If your going to talk about problems balancing the budget you should first look at the fiscal catastrophe that was the bush presidency. The republican party, once so proud of its fiscal hawkishness, cut taxes on the wealthiest one percent, lead us into two horribly mismanaged,bloody and costly wars, bringing the U.S debt to $10.6 trillion. This and despite repeatedly cutting or under funding social programs. Yes Liz that’s trillion with a “t”.

    We also have this wonderful little nugget of insight here
    “This money, however, is important to the United States military. Cutting the budget on weapons in time of war would be dangerous, especially considering Obama’s lack of national security experience. Until matters calm down overseas, this may not be a smart place to cut.”

    It may have been a good idea to, you know, check out the defense budget before you make assertions about it. If you type it in on wikipedea you would have found out that the United States is number one in the world in military spending and if you combined the defense budgets of the top 2 through top 10 highest spending budgets in the world they still would not equal America’s. We already spend way to much on the military to fund project we don’t even need. Cutting the military budget wouldn’t be dangerous, so long as we stop policing the globe.
    And liz please tell me, where is this “overseas” place and why are “matters” so turbulent there? I can think of Iraq of being a place were matters should calm down, if that’s what you referring to. So here is a suggestion for your on your next article, instead of talking about how foolish Obama is for trying to make good on his campaign promises and get this county out of the gaping hole its found its self in, why don’t you think about who dug the whole first. I will give you a hint it rhymes with “beorge gush”

    P.s There is still a lot of stuff in your commentary that I take issue with and would honestly love to debate you publicly.


  3. nobama? on January 19th, 2009 9:32 PM

    Ben I think you’re out of line with your comments. When trying to make a political point, it’s helpful to use some tact. Taking out you’re anger on Liz because she supports some republican views is incredibly unfair. Republican or Democrat (or other) we’re all Americans. We need to stop fighting each other, and start working together.

    The Bush presidency was, as you put it a “catastrophe,” but considering his pathetically low approval rating, I think its safe to say that there are republicans that don’t support his actions. As for “overseas” I think a number of situations including the escalating Israeli/Palestinian conflict, our presence in Iraq, and our presence in Afghanistan more than constitute her use of “turbulent.”

    Obama is NOT some silver bullet solution to our countries problems, and George Bush isn’t the only source of the problems. EVERYONE got lazy, EVERYONE did things wrong. The President, the American consumer, Wall Street, Republicans, and Democrats. Please don’t throw partisan stones inside a multi-party glass house, it’s just counter productive.


If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

The student news site of Wayland High School
Obama will find his campaign promises difficult to fund