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Obama's changes will affect daily life

Ross Wasserstrom

Issue date: 2/13/09 Section: Opinion
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Regardless of your political convictions, East Cleveland is a tough neighborhood for a college student. Between the security alerts and the decaying local economy, the past decade seems to have taken a heavy toll on our immediate area, and Northeast Ohio as a whole. Senator Obama became President Obama on a platform of change, and nowhere is it needed more than here. This does not mean that we should expect instant results or that everyone will like every change, but many of the changes will be beneficial. Of course, no one is saying that Obama will single-handedly rebuild the economy, fix healthcare, and save the whales, but with his influence and patient public support, we should expect changes to our standard of living.

Many, if not all, of Obama's campaign promises will affect our daily lives, as did the promises of Bill Clinton and George Bush during their time at the top. Obama has already begun supporting emissions limitations in several states, which will help the Ohio economy as automakers retool and expand the auto parts industry so critical here. He has also pledged to support exactly the clean energy technology upon which Case is already capitalizing with the proposed wind energy turbine at the University Farm. Further, the new president has committed to doubling the federal government's investment in basic science research. Case can only gain from this development considering our heavy emphasis on such research. He has also stated that building and extending existing public transportation systems will become a priority, which would bring better and more extensive RTA coverage around Cleveland.

As always, not all changes benefit everyone equally. If Obama renegotiates the NAFTA treaty, a portion of Ohio's manufacturing industry could be moved to Mexico. In reducing America's soaring trade deficit with China, the price of almost all imported Chinese goods will rise. The price of gasoline is expected to vary between rock bottom and highway robbery, and yes, Obama will certainly be raising taxes. Loopholes will be closed, personal rebates decreased, and, most significant to our area, the sale of many commodities will be taxed more heavily. These might include cigarettes, gasoline, lottery tickets, and across-the-board sales taxes.

What might be the biggest change, however, is the mentality toward our government. Americans have had a standoffish relationship with those who govern them since the days of the 13 Colonies, and only on rare occasions have we trusted our executive leaders without the encouragement of impending disaster. Obama stands to provide methodical and calculated guidance that benefits all of us daily, not just in his (or my) towering rhetoric. Whether you agree with it or not, change is coming. Obama has some lofty goals, and I feel safe in saying that most will not be completed before my time at Case ends. What is on his side, however, is the fact that any change at this point is better than nothing, and he has already created an atmosphere of efficiency and benevolence in the White House. Obama might prove to us that the government is occasionally helpful, no strings attached.

Ross Wasserstrom is a third-year political science major and is a little short to be a stormtrooper.
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    George Patsourakos

    posted 2/14/09 @ 11:55 AM EST

    For Case Western Reserve University students to think that President Obama's changes will renew the Cleveland area is probably unrealistic. I believe that President Obama's primary goal is to help to create some four million jobs for unemployed Americans in our slumping economy. (Continued…)

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