The votes are in, the polls are closed, and America remains with the same president who is faced with dealing with the same economical issues. Has President Obama proved to us that things have changed for the better in America in the last four years? That is definitely up for discussion. However, the concerns of all Americans now is whether or not we will be seeing positive changes in the next four years and what the President's second term in office will bring for the economy.
We are in Debt
While Democrats stay in control of the Senate in Washington, D.C., the Republicans stay in control of the house...So where does that leave Americans? With all the temporary tax cuts set to expire, the country is bound to never see the end of this long lasting recession. The United States is still in a significant amount of debt. If we delay this issue, it will only get worse.
The Healthcare Situation
In the long term, the biggest driver of federal debt is healthcare, especially the governmental costs of Medicare. This issue brings fear to millions of people who can't afford the best healthcare and/or people who have preexisting conditions. And what about the elderly? How will this effect them? With “ObamaCare” in the works, it is hard to say how this change will affect the system and the economy. We will just have to wait it out and see how it unfolds.
Falling off the Fiscal Cliff
In his victory speech Obama addressed the people saying, “You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.” Statistics show that unemployment is declining and that the country is growing at an annual rate of 2%. In 2012, businesses have given out new paychecks totaling a monthly average of 157,000. But this doesn't mean the country's economy is completely out of the water.
Danger lurks in the amount of $607 billion automatic spending cuts and tax increases known as the “fiscal cliff”. This will start affecting the country in early 2013. If we fall off this cliff, the impact on the economy could be devastating. While higher taxes and spending cuts would reduce the deficit by approximately $560 billion, it is guessed that it would cut gross domestic product 4% by 2013, sending the economy into a worse recession than what we've been witnessing. In addition, unemployment would increase by 1%, with about two million jobs lost.
We Can't Forget about the Housing Crisis
The truth is that there are more people renting now than buying because of the housing crisis and foreclosures. Although Obama has put in an effort to bailout homeowners facing foreclosures, his aid program wasn't all that successful. These bailouts and big bank loans are regarded as the primary reasons for the recession and fixing this issue is crucial to the recovery of our country. Obama believes that the government should assist only responsible borrowers and his administration offered aid to less than half of the country facing foreclosures. As of May 2011, 4.3 million people had applied for aid, but only one million had received government-sponsored modifications. One third of those people who were turned away, lost their homes and filed for bankruptcy.
So here we are, facing another term with president Obama. In the last four years, these detrimental issues have not went away and our economy has been strained. We have yet to see a glimpse of a positive outlook. Will these next four years be any better? The time is now for change but how long will we have to wait for that change to come?