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Friday, May 24, 2024 — Houston, TX

Who Should America Elect

By Julian Yao and Anthony Lauriello     11/1/12 7:00pm


As Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on the ledge of the United States Capitol on a chilly January morning in 2009, the American economy was crumbling and suffering from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The president inherited an economy that was losing 800,000 jobs a month; in 2008 alone, the U.S. lost 2.6 million jobs. Three and a half years later, despite a do-nothing Congress controlled by the Republican Party, Obama avoided a second Great Depression and led the steady recovery of the economy. Americans have seen 31 straight months of job growth and over 5.2 million new private sector jobs created. The Affordable Care Act is bringing millions of formerly uninsured Americans reliable and affordable health care, and people with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage. Gay and lesbian Americans who defend the U.S. on the front lines of battle can now serve the country without having to suppress their sexual orientation. Women are now legally protected from discriminatory pay in the workplace. Detroit is alive, and Osama Bin Laden is dead. 

While the U.S. is on the path toward recovery, the economy is at risk of falling into another recession if the wrong policies are enacted. Obama has a clear and sensible plan for restoring the economy and has a balanced approach toward reducing the deficit. Obama has laid out a long-term economic plan that focuses on the success of the middle class through investments in education, infrastructure development, small businesses, research, technology and clean energy, all while extending the tax cuts for the middle class and asking the wealthy to pay a little bit more so that millionaires are not paying lower tax rates than secretaries. Asking the wealthy to pay their fair share, controlling spending cuts and ending the war in Afghanistan would responsibly reduce the deficit by $4 trillion in the next decade. Governor Mitt Romney's economic plan, however vague, slashes funding for education, research and technology, all while cutting taxes for millionaires and further burdening the deficit through an unnecessary $2 trillion expansion of the Department of Defense's budget. Romney's plan to permanently extend former President George W. Bush's tax cuts and eliminate long-term capital gains taxes would only boost the welfare of millionaires and exacerbate the income gap. Romney's tax plan will actually increase the debt because he has failed to identify offsets to his increased spending and decreased revenue. The U.S. cannot afford more inequality, particularly on the backs of the country's most financially insecure. 

On Tuesday, you are faced with a clear choice: a choice between a path that would revert us back to the backward and irresponsible policies that led the U.S. to the economic crisis in the first place, or a path that would continue the secure path toward recovery and responsibly move the country forward. America is recovering; we cannot afford to turn back now. 

By Julian Yao


Politics often resemble an exciting football game, with constantly changing scores and surprise plays. However, ignoring the attack ads, the accusations and the spin, it is clear that on Nov. 6 Americans face an important choice of who to pick to lead this country. Choosing the president is never a burden to be taken lightly, but this year's election is especially important. The U.S. is at a crossroads in a changing world, and there are two candidates with different opinions about how big government should be and, more fundamentally, why it should exist. 

After analyzing these questions for some time, it became clear to me that the right choice is Governor Mitt Romney. While there were many reasons for this decision, here are the top three: 

We don't deserve excuses 

It is of no doubt that President Barack Obama inherited difficult circumstances when he came into office. However, he also rose to power on a wave of optimism, strong electoral support and a House and Senate controlled by the Democratic Party. The reason for his landslide victory, in which he won Republican bulwarks such as Indiana, was that Obama promised change. He promised bipartisan solutions and to reach across the aisle to Republicans. The Bush years had divided Americans, and many looked forward to a time when everyone could come together. 

What we got was something altogether different. Obama rammed his healthcare bill through using reconciliation and failed to reach any consensus with Republicans. This created the backlash that gave birth to the Tea Party movement. It is of no doubt that those on the right should have done better at compromising, but Obama's failure at almost every turn, from passing needed immigration reform to the debt ceiling, proved he cannot rise to the challenge of being president. We can sympathize with the problems Obama has, but as our leader it is his job to solve them. Excuses simply do not cut it. 

Romney has a proven track record 

Despite the attempts to paint Romney as an ideologue, the former governor's experience shows he knows the value of bipartisanship and compromise. Romney was elected in one of America's most liberal states and successfully passed a state healthcare exchange by working with the Democratic legislature. Yes, Romney had to veer to the right in order to win the primary, but as the debates have shown, the real Romney is a moderate willing to listen and explore the opposition's ideas. And the U.S. has not had that for four years. 

It's the economy stupid 

In the end, this election really boils down to the economy. Romney understands business because it is what he has been doing for all of his life. Obama may claim that he will change the economy, but the past four years have proven that he is unable to do so. Furthermore, it stretches credulity when Obama claims to support business but, in reality, is universally feared by the business community. It is no secret that almost all business organizations have spent countless dollars to defeat the incumbent. 

Romney will help grow the economy by providing jobs for people, cutting regulation and allowing for the energy industry to flourish. Perhaps most importantly, he will cut the ballooning debt and provide much needed entitlement reform. The U.S. economy cannot be considered sound when the government's debt far exceeds our gross domestic product. 

For these reasons and more, I voted Romney for president this election. I hope you do the same. 

By Anthony Lauriello

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