We ourselves are dealing with huge amounts of debt (over 18 trillion dollars' worth), and finding ways to combat that while still paying for essential services and programs will continue to be a challenge. The new president will have some difficult cuts to make. It doesn't help that the economy is tied to a world market full of countries that are having a rough time of it, and whose positions don't seem to be improving for the most part. And with U.S. territory Puerto Rico defaulting for the first time on loans, our debt isn't getting any smaller. Speaking of which . . .
Obama has said that the executive office will make no move to bail out Puerto Rico financially, which stands in contrast to the many times in the past that presidents have supported businesses and holdings that have gone bankrupt or defaulted. Many economists and analysts like Dawn Bennett have been against such moves, believing that these bailouts create unnatural market conditions that lead people to invest where they shouldn't. This results in a system in which inflation is high, recessions become more likely, and wages do not increase. According to Bennett and like-minded people, a free market would eliminate the worst of these effects. The new president will have to make similar decisions about bailouts, which will directly affect the economic health of the country.
Minimum wage is a contentious issue. Setting a minimum wage is seen as unnaturally influencing the market by many economists, but others question whether wages would be fair in a free market. However, some experts claim that leaving the market to do its work would result in more opportunity, better growth in the right markets, and thus more jobs with better pay. At present, the system is guaranteeing a certain wage, so companies do their best to get around paying too much by only hiring employees at base pay for part-time work. These now make up the majority of the job growth we've seen in recent months, while skilled workers aren't seeing those numbers. Any new president that the country gets will have to contend with this question the next time raising the federal minimum wage goes to a vote.