The first Tuesday in November is the most important day of the year for our country. It is the day that we as citizens are able to go to our local polling center and decide how we want our country to be run. We vote for the representative we think will further our interests and reflect our values. This year, that vote will be particularly important.
We are in a time of recovery. Recovery is not easy, and it does not happen overnight. The financial collapse that began in 2008 and rippled into 2009 was the most severe since the Great Depression. But our economy is improving. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job growth has been positive every quarter since December of 2010. The auto industry has been saved. The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.8 percent. Two wars have been draining our resources and our families for nearly a decade, but the Iraq War is over, and President Barack Obama has pledged to have all troops home from Afghanistan by 2014.
Despite the progress that has been made, there is still much work to do. The Republican and Democratic parties take two different approaches to restoring our nation. Gov. Mitt Romney and the Republican party want to take the top-down approach—they want to continue tax cuts to the wealthiest families in America, and then cut another $5 trillion in taxes across the board. We have still not heard any details of their plan to make up for these revenue cuts, other than eliminating funding to Planned Parenthood and PBS. They want to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, which has ensured that many of us college students and those who are under 26-years-old can stay on our parents’ health insurance plans. They want to cut back on funding for Pell Grants which help hard working but low income students get college degrees. This path is not right for America.
The Democratic party takes a different view. We realize that America has to be rebuilt from the middle out. Obama and Congressional Democrats want to end the Bush tax cuts so that the rich are paying their fair share, and transfer that revenue into savings for the middle class. We want to invest in clean energy sources such as wind and solar so that we can decrease our dependency on foreign oil, create jobs, and ensure that we have a clean environment. We want to reform entitlement programs like SNAP and other welfare programs, but not eliminate them.
Progress starts with re-electing Obama, but we also need to elect representatives that are going to do what is best for the country. We need people who will work hard for us and support the middle class.
Above all, and regardless of your party, I urge you to get out and vote on Nov. 6. It is the most important right that you have.
Reach Joyce Trudeau
President, USD College Democrats at Joyce.Trudeau@coyotes.usd.edu