On January 27, two days before the Erindale College Council passed increases on student expenses, President Obama announced at his first State of Union address to Congress that he intends to provide citizens with the opportunity to obtain a world class education without the fear of incurring great debt.
Obama appealed to the Senate to pass a bill similar to the one put through the House of Representatives, which will improve community colleges.
He proposed an end to subsidies given to banks by taxpayers for student loans to provide a $10, 000 tax credit to families for four years of college. In addition, Obama included an increase in Pell Grants, a post-secondary education program sponsored by the federal government. He went on to declare that students should only be required to pay 10% of their income toward student debt and that any remainder should be forgiven after 20 years.
And by the way, it’s time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs because they, too, have a responsibility to help solve this problem, said Obama.
Obama addressed the condition of the nation and discussed many other legislative items on his administrations agenda. He reminded Congress that in the past year, citizens have seen more than 25 tax cuts that allowed for greater spending to help boost the economy. The President declared that job creation is of the utmost importance as many families still struggle with unemployment.
He discussed his intentions to continue with health care reform and environmental initiatives, to implement policies to reduce the increasing deficit without impacting social programs and to seek the most comprehensive nuclear arms proliferation treaty yet.
To a round of loud applause from Congress, Obama spoke of equality and the right of homosexuals to serve in the military. He hopes to work with Congress to repeal the Dont ask, dont tell law, which prohibits homosexuals and bisexuals from disclosing their sexual orientation or from engaging in sexual activity while serving in the military.
Obama reaffirmed his intentions to bring the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to a close. The US will aid both states in transitioning to stability and progress.
I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I could do it alone, said Obama. Democracy in a nation of 300 million people can be noisy and messy and complicated. And when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy. That’s just how it is .