I live and work in a swing state, Iowa. I am a well employed 26 year old male with significant student loans, a failed business based on a failed patent, some very strong faith based values and a serious awareness of a number of "social", environmental and economic issues.
Welcome to a new miniseries I am starting! Election 2012! I will be writing a series of articles, at least three, perhaps one per week until the election. Needless to say I am frustrated with the current political system. And I know I am not the only one.
I watch the movie Inside Job regularly and just when you think the Republicans ruined us, Obama kept them all in office. I was fortunate enough to see Jon Huntsman on CNN Saturday and he mentioned that young people are frustrated with politics, just minutes after my dad and I had been having the same conversation. This topic is such a can of worms that I fear if I start talking about it, I won't stop until I offend someone with the authority to tell Google to shut me down.
In the interest of full disclosure, let me tell you about my political history. (On a tangent, when I made the choice to blog about my life that meant that I would lay it out there. I figured at some point there would be so much information out there about myself that when a few things came up that people did not like or understand, it would for the most part be masked by all of the other things. I fear my "radical" political views are in the scare-people-away category.) In 2004 the first chance I had to vote, I voted for George W. Bush for a second term, and I voted strait Republican. The reason being, I thought that September 11th, 2001 was a big deal and I thought that Bush handled it well. I am also a fan of commitment and consistency and I figured putting a new person in at that point was probably not the best way to deal with Afghanistan and Iraq. In hindsight with regards to Afghanistan and Iraq, I feel Bush did well, despite the weapons of mass destruction debacle. At the moment, some things are better than they were. In 2008, I did not vote. The reasons? I thought Obama had the best economic plans but morally I have convictions based on my Christian faith he does not hold thus I could not vote for him. In 2010, I voted for Russ Feingold and Tom Barrett both Democrats, but aside from that I voted for about half and half Republican and Democrat. I did extensive research because I was unemployed. I am astonished that Russ Feingold was not reelected. He was all over the board, voting on issues as he saw it, not as he was told to vote. Plus, experience in Congress is a big deal. The more you have the more respect you get. (The more stuff you can get done.)
That brings us to 2012. I am just one vote. I can not completely agree with either candidate. What value do I create for myself by voting for something that I do not agree? Will my vote actually change anything? Will any politician out there actually deal with the fiscal cliff? How do you pay off $16 Trillion? Well, let me tell you how, you raise taxes for the most part on high earners, $100K and up but everybody will have to suffer high taxes. Here is the thing, people earning money aren't suffering as much as those unemployed. Those earning six figures certainly aren't suffering much. Tax consumption more, especially energy like gasoline. You cut government spending, including the military, medicare and medicaid and really deal with death panels because healthcare has a cost. Raise the ages of social security so you can't get anything until you are 70 and that would include renegotiating government pensions. Cut out tax loopholes like the mortgage tax rebate because that helps those with larger houses. Alas, that is one take on a sound economic platform.
I am getting ahead of myself. Next episode: Am I Better Off Now than Four Years Ago?