Author: Ebonie-Marché Jones | Date: 29 September 2011
In 2008, members of the black community showed up in record numbers and voted in support of President Obama. Hopefully, there will be a similar show of support in 2012.
The 2012 election is of great significance because the Office of The Presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives are all up for election. As we have seen, when Congress is divided, it is more difficult to get bills passed and programmes implemented. Hence, 2012 is the year to make your vote count. Although I question some policies on the President's agenda, he is a much better leader than the former President. Most importantly, he has a clearer agenda than the potential presidential candidates i've observed. We all have our flaws, but it's difficult to take Newt Gingrich seriously when he speaks of morals considering his adulterous bed-hopping, two divorces and three marriages. With Gingrich at the podium, I think we over-reacted concerning the Weiner Twitter pictures scandal.
Although most of us won't get involved until late next year, the presidential Primary Debates are well on their way. As expected, debates consist of the same rhetoric, only from the mouths of different candidates. Apart from the usual give the middle-class a break speeches, the propaganda, and the host of vague non-answers; some have actually thought of genius, though confusing, plans to grab attention. For example, Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan proposes to replace the current tax system with a 9% sales tax, a 9% corporate tax, and a 9% income tax. How this plan would actually facilitate stability and growth is a blur, at least to me. However, the candidate whose reasoning is most baffling is Rick Perry's. Perry opposes the federal Dream Act, but supports offering in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants. He reasoned that the Dream Act is amnesty and he doesn't support amnesty.
The Dream Act (Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors, H.R. 1842) makes provisions for immigrants who entered the United States as minors. This particular legislature, if passed, will benefit those who have been living in America, before the age of 16, for at least 5 years, and intend to pursue college or serve in the military. Although there are other provisions pertaining to eligibility, in essence, the bill provides a path to citizenship. My question to Perry: After we've used tax dollars to subsidize education for undocumented immigrants, why not offer them the opportunity to become legal citizens and make meaningful contributions to the country?
Unclear and inconsistent candidates make the political system much more confusing and frustrating. The double speak, vague proposals, and hypocrisy deter and contribute to voter indifference. I think every eligible voter should vote. However, considering the state of American politics, I understand why some don't. Politicians seem to be more concerned with pushing their own (hidden) agenda and blocking presidential proposals, rather than focusing on the needs of the people and the economy.
Gingrich has described President Obama's policies as, "anti-jobs, anti-business, anti-American energy, and a destructive force. Perry stated that the President, "doesn't know how to free up the small business men and women, or for that matter Wall Street. While I try to understand the logic behind Perry's position and comments, Herman Cain's ambiguous 9-9-9 tax plan, and exactly why Gingrich is even a part of these debates, let us all be reminded that President Obama inherited the task of cleaning up the prior president's mess. In addition to dealing with a global financial crisis, a host of natural disasters, and wars on every front, the President has to deal with a contracting economy and a growing deficit.
To address these at-home economic issues, President Obama has proposed the American Jobs Act to stimulate economic growth. This is a proposal to create jobs, increase spending power, and expand the workforce by offering tax breaks to small businesses, investing in infrastructure and human resources, and extending unemployment benefits without adding to the deficit. In addition, the Buffett Rule promises to place millionaires and billionaires into a higher tax bracket because, "people making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay (Obama).
Finally, I urge everyone to be informed, stay current and vote. At least know how issues and policies will affect you, know what you qualify for, get a general idea of the candidates' platform, and be familiar with Senators and Representatives. If you don't vote, you can't complain when the system fails to deliver, because you didn't participate in the process.
For more information on policies mentioned in this article visit the following links:
For information on legislation
Living Within our Means and Investing in the future http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/jointcommitteereport.pdf
The American Jobs Act
Photo Credit To Info Please
Editor-in-Chief's Note: Ebonie Jones is a freelance contributor to MNI Alive