North Texas Daily

Students debate Obama’s first term

Students debate Obama’s first term

January 27
00:00 2010

By Krystle Cantu / Staff Writer –

Obama’s once soaring popularity has decreased in the national polls, and some UNT students are among the numbers of Americans feeling disenchanted.

In a recent online poll from pollingreport.com, 54 percent of Americans are still in favor of Obama and 44 percent aren’t in favor. His numbers had gone down from 64 percent favorability in a poll taken in November of 2008.

“I think he has good intentions for the nation and UNT students, but I feel he has failed to do what he has promised,” Savannah Loftus, an international studies senior said.

Max Fulton, a political science junior, and Loftus, interned in Washington D.C. with the NTDC program.

“He had intended to get us out of debt, and I think he has done nothing but increase spending,” Loftus said.

Not only does she feel promises weren’t met on an economic level, but Loftus also feels that problems with national security still continue to surface, as seen with the potential Christmas bombing that almost took place.

“That was just a failure on all levels,” Loftus said.

She also mentioned that there still hasn‘t been an official closing of Guantanamo Bay, as promised.

Loftus said she doesn’t think there have been any significant changes made toward education or healthcare.

“Nothing has happened or been passed yet,” she said. “I just don’t feel like there has been any improvement or change, which is what he really promised. I feel like it was all negative.”

Fulton and Loftus both disagreed with the government spending and the stimulus.

“It’s like they could just go and spend the money however they wanted,” Loftus said.

Fulton said the stimulus bill has little oversight and regulation for government spending.

“There is no timeline, no interest, and at the end of five years it’s up to Congress to pass any regulation to collect any funds that have not been returned,” he said.

However, both agreed with the decision not to freeze the spending on defense, Medicaid and Medicare.

Glen Garber, an accounting and finance senior, said he doesn’t think things have gotten worse, and that he thinks that Obama has helped the economy, especially with unemployment.

“I think the economy is slowly showing some improvement … as far as unemployment, numbers aren’t as great as they used to be,” Garber said.

However, he agrees that Obama’s popularity has decreased because of the healthcare debate.

“I think a lot of the healthcare debate has dwindled his ratings,” Garber said. “UNT has always had a tendency to be rather liberal with its politics, but I think that even some of the moderate democrats may have grown frustrated with him.”

Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha, an assistant political science professor, thinks it will take time before we can really judge Obama’s accomplishments.

“I think Obama has had a mixed year overall, but that’s one reason why presidents have several years,” Eshbaugh-Soha said.

He also thinks it will take a while before the stimulus proves its full effect.

“The economic stimulus package, whether it’s good or bad, is a question that remains to be answered,” Eshbaugh-Soha said. “I’d leave that open for a year or so, to then see what the economy looks like.”

He also said that some of the money used in the stimulus used for higher education and research. He also mentioned that the bank bailouts were helpful in terms of providing help for student loans.

“Presidents have little control over the economy, and a lot of presidents can do some minor things,” Eshbaugh-Soha said. “They can provide incentives, but usually economic recoveries take a while to get going. People are certainly willing to blame the president, whether he can do something about it or not.”

D.J. Smith, a kinesiology senior, still tries to give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

“I think that there is definitely a strong possibility … that he is going to go through with everything that he said, but as of right now I haven’t really seen it, but I want to believe that he is going to do it,” Smith said. “I’m still trying to hold on, but everything I’ve seen is the opposite. Instead of pulling troops back, they’re sending troops in.”

Jamaal Sanders, Student Government Association vice president, said he continues to support Obama as a president.

“He’s done what he can do,” Sanders said. “I don’t necessarily agree with everything he has done, but he’s my president, so it’s going to happen one way or another, and I’ll support him.”

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