Of the American electorate, Abraham Lincoln said, "If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters." In this election our country, 26% of which is composed of people under the age of 18 according to the U.S. Census bureau, is in danger of reversing four years of progress, and instead sitting on four years of a John Kerry presidency.
During his speech before the Democratic National Convention, Kerry announced plans to eliminate the ten percent tax cut given to this country's top earners. However, he forgets that it is difficult to trigger economic improvement unless the highest spenders (the rich) are encouraged to spend, and instead takes the popular stance that the Bush cuts favor the rich. But according to the U.S. Government, Bush cut the tax rate 33 percent for the lowest income bracket, resulting in an average cut of $650, the equivalent of a week's earnings at $15.00 per hour. The outcome of the tax cuts speaks for its self: according to the Wall Street Journal, hourly wages have increased 2.9 percent since the tax cut, while according to CNN, the third quarter of 2003 saw a 8.2 percent surge in the economy, the largest such increase in over twenty years.
Maybe the most troubling aspect of Kerry's economic plan is his opposition to outsourcing, grounded in the claim that the export of jobs has hurt our economy. In truth, foreign companies have outsourced more than 6.4 million jobs in everything from manufacturing to pharmaceuticals to the United States compared to the estimated 300,000 jobs that have left the U.S. during Bush's term according to the nonpartisan Organization for International Investment. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, in 2003 alone the trade fostered by outsourcing resulted in an additional $131 billion in services sold to foreign countries compared to only $72 billion purchased. Yet Kerry is committed to reversing the economic progress made during Bush's term, which will undoubtedly harm the next generation of American workers and consumers.
As for terrorism, Kerry's attitude towards the subject is best summed up by his assertion at the Minnesota primary debate that he would not consider himself a "war president." For the record, America is at war with terrorism.
In contrast, President Bush has successfully protected this nation since the September 11th attacks. He introduced the Proliferation Security Initiative, a program that was successful in dismantling the international trade of nuclear materials. He ordered the removal of the Taliban, a government that aided the Sept. 11 terrorists, and executed the removal of Saddam Hussein, whose regime, according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report in 2003, provided "a safe haven, transit point, or operational node for groups and individuals who direct violence against the United States, Israel and other allies." Safety is something that we, the next generation of American citizens, are entitled to. And George W. Bush's policies have, for the last three years, been successful in keeping us safe.
Security and the economy are two universal issues, and it benefits people of all ages and backgrounds to live in a safe and prosperous nation. So when a Kerry presidency threatens to undo many of the previous administration's successes in the economy and security, then American voters, and the young people who will inherit a world shaped by the winner of this presidential election must remember: blisters are very painful to sit on.
Armin Rosen. Armin is a Seeeeenyor in the Communication Arts Program. "I am a journalist and, under the modern journalist's code of Olympian objectivity (and total purity of motive), I am absolved of responsibility. We journalists don't have to step on roaches. All we have to do … More »