Many decisions ahead for Obama


Editorial Board

Issue: Our nation faces a new frontier of technology and infrastructure. A highly contentious election has also left battle scars among the left and right.

While The Collegian wishes to express its congratulations to the president-elect, Barack Obama, we also want to remind him that he has a lot on his plate come January 20. Here are a few of the issues that will be important and should be addressed in his upcoming term.

Health care: Graduating students face many challenges, not the least of which is finding affordable health care and insurance. Voters 18-29 years old were the demographic that voted the highest for Obama (66 percent). It is also the demographic, according to Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, at the greatest risk of being uninsured, with over one third of this group lacking health insurance in 2007.

Economy: The U.S. bailout seems targeted at helping banks, which is supposed to help the rest of the economy as well. That doesn’t seem to be working. Maybe they should start at the other end by building infrastructure and helping commodity producers and essential services.

Tuition: Today, skyrocketing tuition and other costs are causing graduating students to emerge with thousands of dollars of debt. If you think the government can’t do anything about it, think about this: the Iraq War costs over $340 million per day. The overall cost of the last few years overseas could possibly pay for every U.S. college students’ tuition today.

Energy: Just because gas has dropped doesn’t mean people should all go back to SUVs and gas guzzlers. The U.S. should continue to develop new, cheaper, renewable energies.

South Dakota has plenty of wind and open space to power ourselves out of high fuel prices and help lead the way in renewable energy, but unless the commercial section can produce the funds, the government may need to organize efforts to go green.

Partisan rift: Obama recently told 60 Minutes that he is going to have at least one republican in his cabinet. Perhaps he should think of having a mixed cabinet, with people of different views working together to solve the nation’s problems. Taking time to hear all opinions is a crucial step in healing battle wounds from a contentious election.

Technology: Obama should support and encourage Congress to support technologies of all kinds, including Internet security so that he can use his Blackberry again.

Stance: The many problems the U.S. faces need to be solved. Barack Obama, alone, is not the cure for our country’s ails. President-elect Obama and the nation need to improve our country together.