Election 2012: You Decide

 

It's election day, so it’s time to get your facts straight and get out to vote.

Yes, polls can seem like a pain, but there is no excuse for not voting.  Here’s a rundown of this year’s hot button issues, what each candidate proposes and why you should care.

 

Economy: Taxes and Jobs

Why it matters: Reality check: 53 percent of college grads are un- or underemployed, according to a recent study by the Associated Press. With many of us on the brink of entering the job market, what the economy will look like for the next four years may just be the most important issue of this election. While the boys on Wall St. may seem a world away from football games, date parties, and lecture halls, no-class-Fridays, they won’t be for long.

Romney

Governor Romney proposes to continue the Bush-era tax cuts for all income brackets in addition to cutting the corporate tax rate by 10 percent. He believes that economic growth comes from allowing private businesses the chance to higher more people by paying lower taxes.

Obama

President Obama’s jobs plan focuses on improving manufacturing jobs here at home, bringing overseas jobs stateside, and supporting educating and training. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current unemployment rate is 7.9 percent – it was 7.8 percent when President Obama took office in January 2009.

 

Health Care

Why it matters: “Obamacare” signed into law in 2010 has received both criticism and praise. This individual mandate was dubbed a tax by the Supreme Court and the parties continue to fight about its future.

Romney

Requiring all citizens to have health insurance is a mandate Romney started in Massachusetts during his time as governor. Though “Obamacare” and “Romneycare” compare very similarly, Gov. Romney maintains that these mandates should be left at the state level and are an overstepping of power at the federal level.

Obama

For supporters, The Affordable Health Care Act, will likely be regarded as one of President Obama’s greatest accomplishments. This set of reforms is aimed at getting more Americans insured. The President has defended the controversial Act against critics since The House of Representatives introduced it in late 2009.

 

Education

Why it matters: Sixty percent of us are carrying around thousands of dollars of debt in student loan baggage, according to American Student Assistance. The average college student at a private for-profit institution today graduates over $30,000 in the red. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports over $900 billion in outstanding student loan debt. Your votes will impact the way future generations pay for college and the way the government looks at ours.

Romney

Romney’s education plan, dubbed “A Chance for Every Child,” focuses on school choice for parents and qualified teachers in the classrooms. He has pledged to extend the low interest rates on student loans.

Obama

The President’s plan awarded states $4.53 billion in grants to focus on math and science curriculum. In July, he signed a bipartisan law that kept interest on student loans from doubling, offering collegians some relief.

 

Abortion

What it matters: Duh, we’re talking about your uterus and what you should do with it. Obama’s healthcare reform has required religious institutions to provide contraception coverage, which as met with strong backlash from social conservatives all adding up to what the media has dubbed the “war on women.”

Romney

Governor Romney originally ran for Governor of Massachusetts as pro-choice, even though he maintained a personal belief in pro-life. He has said that as President he would support an overturn of Roe v. Wade and allow abortion to be decided at the state level.

Obama

President Obama is a supporter of Roe v. Wade, but signed an order banning the use of federal funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape or incest.  The President has maintained that abortion is a woman's right to choose throughout his first term.

 

Same-Sex Marriage

Why it matters: This may be one of the most polarizing issues at the polls, and for many a candidate’s stance on this alone can sway their vote.

Romney

Romney believes that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman and strongly opposes gay marriage. In 2007 he advocated a federal amendment to the constitution defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman only.

Obama

The President reversed what he had expressed before as his personal belief in May of this year in order to publically support of gay marriage.

 

Social Security/Medicare

Why it matters: Retirement may seem like a silly thing to worry about before you’ve even entered the job market, but the decisions being made now will have a major impact on your future and the type of lifestyle you’ll be able to live. Both candidates agree that the huge expense needs reform.

Romney

Romney proposes raising the retirement age and supporting the creation of personal retirement investment accounts for younger workers.

Obama

Obama has pledged not to privatize Social Security and believes that a bipartisan solution must be found to address this massive chunk of the federal budget.

 

To get more in depth, check out the issues page or the OpEds written by both President Obama and Governor Romney at cnn.com and factcheck.org.

And most importantly, VOTE! There are many voting locations on or near campus, like Alice Millar Chapel and Patten, for example, where you can exercise your right to vote.