Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

The Case for Barack Obama

Why should Barack Obama be reelected? The president of Furman’s College Democrats makes the argument.
Courtesy of Furman Athletics

Elections are about values. Who cares about us and empathizes with others? We know Mitt Romney’s values. He says he’s “not concerned about the very poor,” even though nearly one in four children lives in poverty. He characterizes 47 percent of Americans as victims and says it’s not his job to worry about them.

Mitt Romney has called Paul Ryan’s budget “marvelous,” and said he would sign it. This speaks directly to his values. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities finds that 62 percent of Ryan’s budget cuts target low-income programs, such as Pell grants.

The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics says Ryan’s Medicaid plan, which cuts the program by 34 percent, would mean fewer children with health coverage. According to the Congressional Budget Office, our parents would pay $6,000 more under Ryan’s Medicare voucher program.

It doesn’t stop there. The Ryan budget cuts non-entitlement spending from 12.5 percent to 3.75 percent of GDP by 2050. While Romney says he’s won’t cut education, you can’t make that dramatic reduction without significant cuts to education. Romney’s tax plan endorses these harsh values. According to the Tax Policy Center, middle-class families with children would face a $2,000 tax increase, while millionaires would enjoy an $87,000 tax cut.

President Obama and the Democratic Party offer a more hopeful vision. We believe government provides us with the opportunity to achieve our full potential. Based on our shared values, government allows us to accomplish those things that we can’t do on our own.

President Obama believes we can “live within our means, while still investing in the future.” He believes in an America where “everyone makes sacrifices, but no one bears all the burden.” Shared responsibility and common purpose drive his vision for the future.

First, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act “for his daughters and all those that will come after us,” so that women will receive equal pay for equal work. After a century of failed attempts, he made health care reform a reality. Because of Obamacare, people with pre-existing conditions may no longer be denied coverage; insurers may no longer place annual or lifetime limits on coverage; and 3.1 million more young adults now have health insurance. His student loan reforms have made college more affordable by capping federal loan repayments at ten percent of income.

Additionally, President Obama shares our generation’s social values. He believes same-sex couples are as equal as any family and deserve the right to marry. He says love of country is more important than sexual orientation, so he repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He also believes being a woman is not a pre-existing condition; thanks to Obamacare, he has made birth control more affordable for all women.

President Obama has also made the United States more secure and respected. Last year all combat troops returned home from Iraq. President Obama refocused our efforts on Afghanistan, and all surge troops are now home. Under his leadership, CIA drone strikes have eliminated 15 of Al Qaeda’s top officials. He led a multilateral effort to remove Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Most importantly, President Obama ordered a successful mission to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice.

Moving forward, President Obama calls for $4 trillion in deficit reduction balanced by strategic spending cuts, fair revenue increases, and reforms to Medicare and Medicaid that preserve the programs and lower spending by “reducing the cost of health care itself.”

President Obama cares about deficit reduction because he knows interest on the debt will crowd out needed investments in education, science, and technology. As someone who relied on student loans, he knows that opportunity isn’t free; we must invest in it to grow the economy.

Our generation has lived through the tragedy of 9/11, the perils of two wars, and the economic hardship of the Great Recession. As young Americans, we share a common purpose.

So if you believe, like I do, that we do better when we’re all in this together, including those of us in the 47 percent – our classmates, our loved ones coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, our brothers and sisters with disabilities, our grandparents, and our friends and family who work hard everyday to reach the middle class – then you have a clear choice in this election. If you believe in our shared values, join me in re-electing President Barack Obama.

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