The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Electing a candidate for change

Lyssa Beyer

The March 31 edition of The Spectator saw a letter to the editor lambasting the College Democrats and Public Relations Director Andy Boden. As a result of this piece of work, I felt it necessary to respond.

First, it is important to understand that as Public Relations Director, it is Mr. Boden’s job to promote our organization and the issues at hand. He has written about multiple issues in the past, and as we progress towards the election of our era, he will write many more. Do not attack him for doing his job, no more than I attack anyone for writing.

Secondly, we must analyze the issues of this political season. Polls across the nation point to the economy, health care and the war in Iraq as the top issues of this election cycle. As a result of this, new ideas that offer real solutions should be argued for. That is what the Democratic Party is offering.

Health care coverage, or the lack thereof, is an issue felt by all people, but mostly the middle and lower class. As a result of this, democratic presidential candidates are pushing for massive reform; national reform. Under both plans, the federal government would act as an arbitrator between citizens and insurance companies. Currently, insurance companies are making record profits because they are not required to serve their clients first, but instead are only worried about their own bottom line.

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State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma), of the 31st District, introduced the Healthy Wisconsin plan the first day she was in Madison in Jan. 2007. This plan would have covered all people in Wisconsin, regardless of financial situation. In addition, the majority of the money for this program would have come in the form of money that is currently given as a tax break to wealthy insurance companies. This plan would have paid for itself, and the money would not under any circumstances be touched by the legislature. Democrats are offering new ideas on health care reform, ideas that help everyone, not just high level donors to campaigns.

Furthermore, the issue of the war in Iraq is one that seems to be a no-brainer. Seventy percent of Americans do not believe we should be in Iraq. In addition, General David Petraeus said the solution to Iraq will not be a military one. And finally, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that we would be in Iraq for the next 100 years.

On the other hand, both Democratic front-runners plan to faze us out of Iraq. Nobody is talking about leaving tomorrow because we all know how impractical and stupid that would be. However, to claim that we are winning in Iraq or that the situation is stabilizing would be ludicrous. Baghdad and Basra were both recently under curfews and there are daily attacks. With over 4,000 American servicemen and women dead, it is time to bring our troops home. And that is what a Democratic president would do.

Finally, the issue of taxes must be tackled. Every election, Democrats are labeled as tax and spend liberals. However, this Republican administration and its previously Republican Congress were not working under a pay-as-you-go system. That system forces those in power to be fiscally responsible. Because they weren’t fiscally responsible, we now have $4 trillion of debt after seven terrible years. And yet, to argue that giving tax breaks to the rich will help the economy is foolish. Next to no economists believe the trickle down theory works. Instead of helping the economy, tax breaks for the top one percent only increase the gap between middle and upper class Americans. The repeal of these tax breaks should be coupled with alterations to the tax brackets, so those who make the most actually pay the most taxes.

The real facts about this election are this: Americans have a choice to make, just as they do every four years. However, this time around there are two markedly different choices to make. On the right, regressive hand, is a continuation of Bush politics, complete with shoddy economic, foreign and domestic policies that only help the wealthy and well-connected. And on the left, progressive hand, is a new direction, one that actually would help Americans of all standing, young, old, poor, rich, educated and uneducated prosper. With real guidance, leadership and cooperation, the new Democratic president can take American down a new road, one that actually leads somewhere, not just into another quagmire.

Johnson is Political Director of the College Democrats and guest columnist for The Spectator.

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