“Turning the page”

President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address.

President Barack Obama proposing his ideas at the 2015 State of the Union Address.

Used under fair use from www.whitehouse.gov

President Barack Obama proposing his ideas at the 2015 State of the Union Address.

Emily Grossnicklaus, News writer

Yesterday, President Barack Obama released his proposed budget that prioritized the key points of his sixth annual State of the Union Address, Jan. 20.

The State of the Union address covered several issues the United States is facing at this time and ways the President hopes to resolve them.

The main focuses of the address include the United States’ economic situation, its fight against terrorism, trade and technology.

Here is a summary of the ideas President Obama said he would address in 2015 and ways these initiatives could affect you:

Middle-class economics

President Obama identified something he called Middle-Class Economics.

Know: Middle-Class Economics is Obama’s plan to help middle-class families strive economically.

One idea is to provide free community college tuition to students that meet specific requirements: maintain their grade and graduate in a timely fashion.

President Obama said this proposal could save up to $3,800 per student, helping the 40 percent of American college students who go to community college.

Inform: National Center for Education Statistics supports the President’s claim that 40 percent of American college students go to community college.

Although this would be beneficial to millions of students, Congress feels spending over $60 billion over the course of 10 years may be a bad idea.

President Obama recommended that by paying for these proposals, the top tax rate would have to be increased to 28 percent.

The Republican-packed Congress felt this was a bad idea considering only wealthy Americans could pay this tax, even though it will only be benefiting middle-class families through tax refunds.

Care: This is important because by 2020, approximately 35 percent of job openings will require a bachelors degree, and 30 percent of job openings will require some college or an associate’s degree.

Current high school students could go to community college for free and save two years of college tuition, especially in light of fund cuts to the A+ program.

Job Benefits

President Obama also brought up the idea of the Healthy Families Act.

Know: This act would require companies to offer workers an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work.

Inform: This could be helpful for the 43 million Americans who do not have the chance to go on a paid sick leave, according to the United States Labor Department survey released in September.

President Obama also proposed the idea to increase minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour to help the thousands of people who are living off of minimum wage.

Care: Increasing minimum wage can benefit those who are relying on the money they make from their minimum wage job. If minimum wage is increased by $2.85 an hour, those who work 20 hours a week will potentially be making, weekly, $57 more then before, according to the Congressional Budget Office.


Know: President Obama wants to make childcare more affordable stating there should be a tax cut up to $3,000 per child per year.

With many parents working during this time “we need affordable, high-quality child care more than ever,” President Obama said.

Inform: Eleven million children under the age of five are in childcare, costing approximately $11,666 a year, according to the NACCRRA.

Care: Who doesn’t want more money in their pockets? Parents have plenty of other priorities that the money for childcare could fund. Take college, for example. In-state tuition and room and board at Truman is almost $16,000. In the five years before little Joey goes off to kindergarten, his parents could have saved almost a year’s tuition for college in tax cuts.

National Security

Know: President Obama proposed an idea to encourage military forces against the extremist group ISIS.

Inform: The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is a extremist organization located in Iraq, that have been in charge of several attacks on citizens across Iraq as well as, several US military bases. ISIS recently attempted to overrun the United States Ein al-Asad military base, which holds close to 100 U.S. military advisers. Luckily, the United States, with the help of the Iraqi Army, destroyed the ISIS militants forcing them to retreat.

The most well known case is the beheading of Japanese journalist, Kenji Goto, by several ISIS members that was recorded and released online, early this year.

Care: Even though more military forces would provide safety for citizens, if this problem were to escalate, this could effect teenagers who have relatives in the armed forces. Teenagers who have enlisted could potentially be put at the front lines.


Know: President Obama called Congress to pass his proposed Personal Data and Notification Act.

If passed, the Act will require businesses to send a notification within 30 days that the account has been hacked.

Inform: With security breeches becoming more common, President Obama feels this will help citizen’s financial awareness. Within the past year alone the popular corporation, Apple, was hacked by a Chinese hacking group that accessed Apple’s iCloud, gathering thousands of peoples personal information.

Care: Anyone who buys anything from a sweater at Target to the book “Wild” from Amazon could have their information hacked and their credit ruined.

President Obama believes the US has a “bright future” and it’s time to “turn the page.”