Your Views: Presidential Election Commentary

Obama signifies best hope for U.S.

By the GT College Democrats

For college students, the bright future we hope for is starting to feel like the light at the end of a tunnel. Graduates struggle to find jobs in the worst economy since the Great Depression and those who do find employment can barely afford to live on wages that have fallen below inflation.

For most Tech students, the next four years will determine whether we begin our careers in prosperity or adversity. We cannot afford more failed leadership in Washington or more borrow-and-spend deficits and deregulation that in eight years undercut economic instability and doubled the national debt to China and other foreign powers.

It will be our generation that pays down George W. Bush’s $10.2 trillion national debt. It will be our payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare for our parents because Congress spent instead of saved. It will be our generation that suffers the consequences from decades of inaction on global climate change and it has been members of our generation serving in the military who have paid the price in blood for Republican mismanagement.

We need a president with the vision to see crises ahead of time, the intelligence to act before they are upon us and the leadership to enact realistic solutions by investing in American innovation to create positive outcomes for the future. We need Barack Obama.

Obama has a strong vision. He predicted that invading Iraq would lead to violence unanticipated by the Bush administration. Five months before the March 2003 invasion, he stated at a rally that “even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.” He anticipated the housing crisis, sending a warning letter to the Federal Reserve and the Treasury in March 2007 of a “coming wave of foreclosures.”

Obama has great intelligence. He graduated near the top of his class from Harvard Law School, where he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. During the primary campaign, he refused to use typical Washington double-speak, instead giving speeches that demonstrate a nuance and depth of understanding beyond any other candidate, including the most important speech on race since Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Most of all, Obama has remarkable leadership. He has run a near-perfect national campaign for almost two years now with a consistent message and without the staff infighting that has marred other campaigns. His platform prioritizes the American people through policies that return common sense to politics. He wants to use regulation as a tool to prevent market failures to direct industry towards positive economic outcomes and redirect the federal budget to invest in the American people.

His plan to fix healthcare utilizes market incentives to drive down costs by increasing private sector competition, allowing buy-in to the existing federal plan and a small business health tax credit. He will invest $15 billion a year in the energy sector to accelerate development and commercialization of alternative energy vehicles and renewable or nuclear electricity.

He will use tax incentives to keep jobs in America and reinvest in infrastructure, stimulating $35 billion per year in economic activity and creating millions of new jobs. He wants to secure America’s future by providing $4,000 a year to cover tuition for anyone willing to perform 100 hours of community service.

People are calling this election the most important of our lifetime—the economy is failing, people cannot afford basic expenses like mortgages, gasoline and healthcare and the long-term threats of rising debt, a changing world balance and global warming are looming larger than ever.

If there are ever higher stakes in a presidential election, let’s hope it is not in our lifetime. Then again, “hope” has gotten a lot of attention this election, because only one candidate offers real hope for this country. That man is Barack Obama.

McCain offers proven experience

By Jordan Williams

GT College Republicans

This Nov. 4th, Americans are faced with a decision of monumental significance. One candidate for President wants to lead us down a path of fiscal responsibility and individual freedom to bolster our struggling economy while the other envisions a socialist nanny state of central planners that would hamstring small businesses struggling to get through hard times.

John McCain is a true maverick who has bucked the Republican base when he feels it is the right thing to do. Barack Obama is a man who has never had the courage to deviate from the party line and has no legislative accomplishments to speak of. His policy proposals amount to nothing more than the re-packaging of old 1960s left-wing ideology in the fancy new wrapping paper of “change.”

Let’s begin with healthcare. At present, the employer-sponsored healthcare system is crumbling and most of the 46 million uninsured Americans have fallen through the cracks. McCain’s plan will emphasize consumer choice. He proposes a $5,000 tax credit for every family ($2,500 for individuals), which would encourage and empower individuals, especially those who are unemployed or not covered under employer health insurance, to buy their own insurance.

This plan would drastically reduce insurance premiums and the number of uninsured Americans. Juxtapose this with Obama’s plan of coerced healthcare coverage and exploding federal expenditures.

Obama would penalize small businesses who can’t afford to pay for the healthcare of their employees, and businesses would have to reduce wages, reduce benefits, or lay off workers to survive economically. This is not the American way. In the long run, almost everyone would be better off under McCain’s healthcare plan.

With regard to energy, McCain advocates an “all of the above” approach that embraces an assortment of clean energy solutions. Nevertheless, he recognizes that America will not transform overnight from an oil-dependent nation to one whose energy consumption is carbon neutral.

While Obama reluctantly said he would “consider” opening areas offshore to oil exploration, McCain is a firm believer in offshore drilling. Although America must eventually wean off of oil, this is going to take years of investment in alternative energy. In the meantime, McCain wants to reduce the burden of high gas costs on working families and lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

With regard to nuclear energy, Obama has reluctantly embraced a technology that provides some of the cleanest, safest and most reliable energy available. Opposition to nuclear power is completely irrational in the 21st century. While many liberals invoke horror stories of Chernobyl, American nuclear facilities have always been safe, and are even more so now.

But above all other issues, the contrast between Obama and McCain is starkest with regard to foreign policy. McCain is a military hero who was tortured in Vietnam for five years, refusing to go home ahead of his fellow POWs, which would have handed the communists a propaganda victory. What are Obama’s foreign policy credentials?

As much as we all want our troops to come home from Iraq, we must bring them home with victory and honor. McCain knows what it’s like to lose a war because of a flaky Washington political establishment. America is winning in Iraq, and McCain intends to hold on to that victory while gradually reducing our presence there.

Obama has proposed a precipitous withdrawal and said he would meet without preconditions with anti-American despots who sponsor terrorism against our troops and endanger our allies. Soft power is meaningless unless the military option is left on the table. McCain would use diplomacy in combination with the threat of hard power.

At the end of the day, with all the threats in the world, who is more fitting to lead this country: a distinguished war hero or a community organizer?