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Four more years for the foremost, forthright President
Presidential elections often become glorified popularity contests, where questions like “Who would I rather have a beer with?” determine who obtains the most important job in the world. However in a country with high unemployment, large national debt, and rising income inequality, this election is likely to come down to who voters think has a stronger plan to move our country forward. I am voting for President Obama because I believe his economic plans will continue to move us in the right direction, and his social views will allow us to protect and expand civil rights over the next four years.
Obama has a superior and substantive plan to solve the unemployment and debt problems which plague our nation. Before we go into specifics, it is important to remember that when the President took office, our country was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs due to the financial crisis. Obama stepped in with a stimulus bill that stopped the negative trend in GDP and job growth. We have added 5.2 million jobs over the past 31 months, and are projected to add 12 million more jobs over the next four years.
Obama’s jobs plan for the next term is multifaceted, but can be best encapsulated by the American Jobs Act which he pushed for—and which Republicans in Congress blocked—last year. The law is predicted to add 2 million jobs over the next two years by using half of the savings from ending the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthiest Americans to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and schools. This policy creates the short-term growth needed to bring down unemployment, while helping to propel our future economic growth so America can keep its competitive edge. It is easy for me to vote for a man whose economic policies will continue to move us forward.
Romney’s agenda could not be more different. Four of the five parts of his plan are much more platitude than policy, as he plans to do things such as champion small business and cut the deficit but provides no details on what that means on a policy level. Furthermore, the central plank of Romney’s plan is to lower all marginal rates by 20 percent and reduce loopholes to make it revenue-neutral.
The problem is that there are not enough loopholes affecting wealthy individuals to offset the loss in revenue of $250,000 per millionaire due to the tax rate cut. This means Romney will either need to increase the deficit or raise taxes on middle-class families through deductions. Romney’s answer to these legitimate questions has been to say his plan louder, in hopes that people forget about the foggy math. If Romney’s plan is so sound, why does he not simply indicate which loopholes he would end and stop the dilemma?
On the deficit there is a similar contrast. Obama has presented a balanced approach to reducing the deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years. His plan includes a mixture of tax raises on the wealthy and necessary reductions in both military and discretionary spending. The plan is feasible and detailed, and provides that people from every class contribute.
On the other hand, Romney wants to reduce the deficit by capping spending at 20 percent of GDP, a cut that is predicted to result in 6 to $7 trillion of spending cuts over the next decade. I would respect Romney for proposing such bold measures if he had actually specified what spending he would cut, but true to form, he has refused to tell the American people the details that actually matter. On both jobs and the deficit, Obama proposes a more effective approach but more importantly an approach that makes and presents tough decisions instead of running from them.
The second reason why I am voting for President Obama is the effect he would have on the Supreme Court. There are currently four justices over the age of 70, and it is widely predicted that the next president will appoint at least one new justice. If Obama wins, the 5-4 balance which currently leans Republican could finally be reversed. This would allow for a repeal of state bans on gay marriage and Citizens United within the next four years. Both of these arguments would then be heard by a liberal-leaning court, resulting in both marriage and democratic equality for all.
If Romney is elected, it is likely he will move the court even further to the right. Romney has publicly shown support for overturning Roe v. Wade. The thought of women having to return to alleyway abortions is frightening, dangerous, and an expression of how extremely conservative Romney is. As a Catholic, I believe that life begins at conception, but I also believe that my views should not be forced upon anyone else. We live in a democracy, not a theocracy.
The last four years have been rocky, but the answer is not to go back to the same policies that led to the recession. With four more years, President Obama can continue to move our country forward and create an America that works for all of us.