During this year’s campaign season, a lot of time has been spent looking back at past successes and failures of the current party, but what really matters is what domestic challenges Obama will face and how the will deal with them
The economy is a key issue for voters. Unemployment is currently at 7.8% and with economic recovery seemingly slowing down, any turbulence in the markets according to leading economists, could quickly turn growth into recession. The potential danger that emanates from Wall St. is the chance of another banking crisis. Many former members of the industry, such as the Bank of America executive Sallie Krawcheck, predict that unless Obama puts in place more regulations, another financial collapse is imminent. One example that people point to is that just one bank alone, Goldman Sachs, has over $44 trillion on derivative trades currently on their books. Should anyone at that bank make a tiny mistake in the numbers, it would not only cripple America financially, but also send the entire global financial system into an unrecoverable position.
The Affordable Care Act in 2010 introduced by Obama created a deep rift between to two major parties. It has been successful in its aim was to decrease the number of uninsured Americans, but some people saw it as unconstitutional. Despite a number of legal challenges, the Supreme Court upholds the Act. With Obama being reelected, he will keep this act in place and may look to expand its influence that that it can help even more uninsured citizens
When asked about healthcare, many Americans see abortion coverage as a key aspect. With religion remaining a highly contentious topic, Obama will have to mull over the Supreme Court’s decision in 1973 of Roe vs. Wade, in which the court ruled that the government lacked the power to restrict abortions. It is highly unlikely that this will be overturned as Obama will likely elect two liberal leaning supreme court justices who will inevitably up hold the decision
Obama will have to try and calm down both the pro-choice and pro-life camps as both in recent years have increased their campaigning to have the court’s decision upheld or overturned respectively.
Possibly the largest problem facing the US healthcare service is obesity, as with over 78 million people in 2010 being classed as obese, the health of the entire nation is seen as a ticking time-bomb. With obese people currently paying on average $1,500 more on healthcare costs than a normal-weight person and obesity levels set to rise to 47.5% by 2018, the projected cost to the US economy is going to be upwards of $343 billion by 2018.
Rise of the third party
With just one in 10 Americans approving of the job Congress is doing – according to polls by both Gallup and Bloomberg – and many other politicians currently being held in low esteem, the opportunity for a third party to become more mainstream in this election was greater than ever. Sadly for them however, they did not seem to achieve much success. The Libertarian Party, the most serious contender of the third parties, was looking to gain 5% of the popular vote. They have fallen well short of this despite their best efforts, achieving only just over 1 million votes nation wide.
Another domestic challenge facing Obama is the fact that at present, America is in debt to the amount of $14.1 trillion with 30% of it being owed to foreigners. This, coupled with an aging population that will cause Medicare and social security costs to soar dramatically, will cause the national debt to soon reach unmanageable levels. Obama will have to get government spending under control and begin to reduce the deficit or risk having the countries credibility rating downgraded even further. When such large numbers are in play, even minor changes to tax rates and subsidy levels could help get the debt under control.
It’s not all doom and gloom at home
According to the World Economic Forum, the US is ranked the world’s seventh most competitive economy, 22 places above China. Research and development in the US is on the increase and with one third of all R&D money spent world wide, being spent in the US, the country is well placed to stay ahead in technology and engineering capabilities as is evident in the fact the country receives 48% of the world’s patents.
No one knows exactly what the future will have in store for America domestically. All that can be said with certainty is that Obama will have the unenviable task of attempting to run the most powerful nation in the world.