Published: Friday, November 2, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 03:11
After a campaign that has lasted more than two years and will end up costing more than $6 billion, has seen countless debates, more advertisements than we ever wanted to see, The Daily Barometer editorial board has decided to take a stance on this presidential election and choose the candidate we believe is the right choice for this country.
We are endorsing Barack Obama.
We can talk all day long about why Romney is the wrong choice — and we will get to him — but what we want to focus on is why Obama is our choice.
Let’s start with an issue near and dear to most of our hearts: financial aid and student debt.
From an economics standpoint, students should be filling in Obama’s bubble on the ballot. The average student leaves their university with a debt of $23,300, and there are currently over $1 trillion in outstanding college loans in the U.S. alone.
Obama sought to fix this problem by taking steps, like increasing the funding for Pell Grants by doubling it for more than seven million students.
Now Pell Grants, which affects more than 19,000 students at Oregon public universities, will allocate up to $5,635 per student.
These steps to increase the amount of funding will make these hardships easier on many students trying to get by financially to pursue a goal of earning a degree.
Under both Romney and Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s budget plan, these reforms would be repealed, leaving over a million students without the opportunity to receive Pell Grants.
While we’re discussing ways of bringing down student debt, let’s look at the candidates’ plans for tackling the U.S. national debt, a problem that will need to be looked at in the upcoming four years, if we want to avoid a situation similar to Greece.
Romney’s plan to trim taxes significantly for those in the highest tax brackets will eliminate an estimated $456 billion in federal revenues per year. While there will be tax cuts across the board, the cuts to the wealthier are much more significant. The lowest tax bracket would be lowered by 2 percent, while the highest tax bracket will go down 7 percent (from 35 to 28). His plan will cost at least $5 trillion and that’s before factoring in the extra $2 trillion in defense spending he would add in, financing the military has not asked for, nor needs.
In Obama’s plan, 95 percent of families will pay the same amount of income tax as they currently are. The only changes will take place for those making between $200,000 and $500,000. Starting in 2013, those in that tax bracket will pay $3,300 more in federal income taxes, and those making more than $1 million annually will pay an additional $184,600 per year, on average, according to the Tax Policy Center.
The rates Obama is proposing are similar to those under the Clinton Administration. Last we checked the ‘90s were a pretty good period of economic growth for America, as the country’s economy grew at a staggering rate.
He also has proposed spending cuts across the board and has been open to entitlement reform to bring down the debt as well.
We also believe that character is important, and the comparison between the candidates on this particular matter couldn’t be more different.
If graded on consistently maintaining core values, Romney would receive an “F.” In the past 10 years, between Romney’s campaign to become governor of Massachusetts and his campaign to become the President of the United States, he has flip-flopped on every core value, and has shown no willingness to stand by his previously held positions.
In comparison, though Obama’s stances (pushing for health care reform, advocating for same-sex marriage) may have been unpopular at the time, he stood by them because he believed it was the right thing to do.
We all know Obama’s presidency has not lived up to the lofty expectations everybody wanted and anticipated after his election in 2008. However, we do believe Obama has the country on the right trajectory, and his policies are forward looking with a goal to make America strong in an ever-changing world. Romney, on the other hand, wants to go to back to the past. Obama put it best: Romney has the foreign policies of the 1980s, the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.
Those are policies of the past.
We want to keep moving forward.
Editorial serve as means for Barometer editors to offer commentary and opinions on issues both global and local, grand in scale or diminutive. The views expressed here are a reflection of the editorial board’s majority.