Jobs, Immigration and Climate Change – Cornell Experts See Challenges for Obama Tonight

Article ID: 599140

Released: 12-Feb-2013 2:50 PM EST

Source Newsroom: Cornell University

Expert Pitch

As President Obama prepares to deliver the first State of the Union address of his second term tonight, White House officials have hinted he will focus on jobs and the economy while touching on immigration policy and the need to address climate change. To provide context to those comments, four Cornell University professors with expertise in those areas are available to speak with members of the media. They are:

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Steven C. Kyle is an expert in macroeconomics and government policy, and a professor of management at Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.

“There are many commentators who are hoping the President will highlight deficit reduction in his State of the Union speech. We should all hope that he doesn't. The best way to promote a healthy fiscal balance is for the economy to grow and turn all of those unemployed workers back into taxpayers. You don't get growth without investment and there are plenty of targets around.

“The President should confront directly those who would pretend that all government spending is wasteful. It isn't, and to pretend that we don’t need to maintain our roads, schools and other infrastructure is simply penny wise and pound foolish.”

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David Wolfe is a professor of plant and soil ecology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the chair of the Climate Change Focus Group at Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

“The mounting bill for taxpayers for Hurricane Sandy cleanup makes it clear that we have reached a point where deficit reduction, economic growth and climate change resilience are intricately linked.

“I hope Obama uses the State of the Union address to energize the American people and our Congress to roll up their sleeves and get to work on this challenge. There is still time to make things happen that will not only benefit our own economic development and national security, but will mobilize global action for a healthier and more prosperous environment for future generations.”

More info at: . . . .Robert C. Hockett, financial regulations expert and professor of law, can provide commentary on the President’s economic policies – and how effective they will be.

“It is virtually certain that the President will address immigration, firearms regulation, inequality and the federal budget, among other things, in tonight's State of the Union address. What is somewhat less certain is whether he will address the nation's still ongoing mortgage debt overhang crisis and crumbling infrastructure problem. These two concerns ought to be front and center, both in the speech and in the President's second term. Not only are they the two most serious challenges still facing the nation, but addressing them will go further than anything else we could do to remedy the fiscal budget and widening inequality situations themselves.” More info

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Stephen Yale-Loehr is a leading authority on U.S. immigration and asylum law and professor of law at Cornell University Law School. Yale-Loehr has written or co-authored more than 200 articles and books, including “Secure Borders, Open Doors: Visa Procedures in the Post-September 11 Era.” He co-authors a column for the New York Law Journal and is the former editor-in-chief of The Cornell International Law Journal.

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