Columns / Discourse / October 31, 2012

Debating columnists: Election’s focal issue?

It has become cliché. Political strategists use it too often, but elections have been determined according to the state of the economy for quite some time. James Carville didn’t make this up out of nowhere; it just makes sense. Come Nov. 6, most Americans are going to vote according to their checkbooks.

So look at the economy. Are American families better off because of President Obama’s policies? Have their costs dropped in groceries, gas and/or health care premiums? Has the middle income gone up in the last four years? When it comes to the unemployed, have they found a job? A good paying job that can provide for food on the table and not live bill-by-bill? Are those about to graduate from college finding anything in the job market?

Let’s be clear. The last four years have not been good for this country. That’s not my opinion or Mitt Romney’s or Paul Ryan’s; it’s a fact. Even Vice President Biden told the American people that the last four years haven’t been good when he said that the middle class has “been buried for the last four years.” He’s right.

Middle net worth has dropped to the lowest since 1992. The Wall Street Journal cited an important study conducted by the Pew Research Center that shows middle class and upper incomes dropping to the lowest since the last two decades. That’s why 85 percent of the middle class feels worse off than a decade ago. For good reasons.

Gas prices increased by 103.79 percent, for example. Obama had the most opportune time to decrease prices by approving the Keystone Pipeline, and yet he denied it. Romney says that he will approve it on day one. This project would create about 40,000 jobs and would further our energy independence and lower gas prices.

Premiums are still going up. Just ask your parents and administration officials from Knox College about the increase in costs in health care policies thanks to Obamacare. Parents and students today pay higher tuition costs in order to implement the individual mandate, which forces everyone to have health care. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the law is constitutional only because the mandate is a tax. So how is “taxing” students and families more going to help them with their own family situation?

Our own friends who graduated from Knox can also tell you how hard it is to find a job. About 53.6 percent of bachelor’s degree graduates under the age of 25 are underemployed or unemployed. Their interest rates on loans are increasing and yet they struggle to pay for them. Many of them are probably stuck in their parents’ basements.

It’s not just middle class families. Those who are impoverished haven’t been doing well either. These are Americans who depend on food stamps because they can’t find a job good enough to afford groceries which have gone up in the last four years. When Obama took office, our country had 32 million food stamp recipients, whereas now we have 46.7 million. That’s not a number that should make anyone proud.  We need to reduce that number, and the last four years just haven’t cut it.

That’s the hard truth that this White House doesn’t want to talk about. They don’t want to tell the American people the truth: that we are struggling. It’s not easier than it was four years ago.
When it comes down to it, the American voter will look at their vote in two different ways.  A vote for Obama would mean that they are better off and that the country is headed into the right direction. A vote for Romney will mean the exact opposite. It would mean that the country is headed into financial demise, mediocre economic growth which stands at 2 percent, stagnant employment and economic uncertainty.

That’s why I voted for Romney/Ryan. Our country is not doing well because Obama replicated many of Bush’s fiscal radical policies and has no grasp on job growth. (I can write a whole other article on those policies. …) At least the Massachusetts governor has experience reviving businesses with Bain Capital and a plan that will lower the debt and promote certainty in the markets. That’s what we need.

Tags:  candidate costs economy election obama President romney U.S. unemployed unemployment United States

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Alex Uzarowicz
Alex Uzarowicz has been a weekly conservative political columnist for The Knox Student for three years. He also writes for The College Conservative. Alex will graduate in June 2013 with a degree in political science, after which he will head abroad to begin his Peace Corps service.

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Oct 31, 2012

Interesting read – I think the effect of Superstorm Sandy and Obama’s ‘Presidential’ fortitude over the past few days will do him more good than any campaign event. Romney remains as incoherent and irrelevant on yet another issue, as usual. Check my thoughts:

Nov 01, 2012

Your “analysis” fails to take into consideration that more people became ELIGIBLE for foodstamps under a new law designed to help people, thus the increase. It has nothing to do with more people falling into bad situations.

Likewise, gas prices are controlled by the global petroleum market and have nothing to do with a president. Oil corporations have been making record profits and car corporations continue to make inefficient vehicles. More importantly, Americans BUY these inefficient vehicles and drive everywhere, making too many unnecessary trips while never bothering to walk anywhere. Why have you not addressed this? You’re very quick to be partisan without checking the facts.

You might want to take more than poli-sci 101 before writing these pieces.

Nov 02, 2012

Your byline does not seem very sarcastic and might offend some readers. Also, the paragraph preceding your conclusion seems to counter your goal of supporting Mitt Romney as a candidate.

Nov 07, 2012

Digging more fossil fuels out of the ground is not the answer to our problems. We’re already on the fast lane to a devastated climate, and if we use even one quarter of the fossil fuel stores we know about right now, scientists predict that we’ll be at a point of no return. If you think that 40,000 jobs are worth a ruined future for your children , and possibly even yourself, you are acting foolishly. Take a real conservative viewpoint, and think about the future for our children, and realize that having these extra jobs won’t make up for the loss of a life-sustaining planet.

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