Graduation

We Could Be The Change

The Future of Our Country Belongs in College Graduate’s Hands

By: Chermo Toure

Taking part in civic duties, such as voting, allows your voice to be heard. (Credit: gettyimages.com)

With the political situation in the United States at a boiling point, it is hard to overlook and be indifferent towards politics, especially now that the real world is approaching.

Within the last ten years, many topics have become politicized. Things like Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP), to even broader topics like science, have since turned into political issues.

For instance, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a solid 97% of scientists believe that climate change is man made and will have catastrophic effects on humans and the planet in the near future.

Yet our political leaders have not passed any substantial policy to combat climate change.

Especially due to our political leaders taking “campaign contributions” from political action committees (PACs) that represent the oil industry, the chances that there will be something done about climate change on a federal level is very unlikely.

Our political leaders are not just ignoring scientists, they are also ignoring the clamor of the people they hold a fiduciary responsible to.

In a Princeton University study on who really impacts public policy, scholars found that our political leaders barely pass laws that the vast majority of the people want. Instead, our political leaders follow their PACs and what other special interest groups want.

Furthermore, with the census, an extensive survey done by the population of the United States every 10 years, coming up soon, it is very crucial to be active and utilize your political voice in the upcoming election years.

When the census is taken, the district maps will be redrawn. This would allow our political leaders to gerrymander (a process of manipulating constituencies in favor of a political party or class) the district maps.

While gerrymandering a district based on the racial makeup of that district is illegal, partisan or political gerrymandering is completely legal.

Another political issue that our nation faces, is the tax system, which heavily favors corporations. Included in the recent tax cuts, which President Trump signed into law in December 2017, the corporate tax rate went from thirty-five percent to twenty-one percent, and this is permanent.

Although there were tax cuts for middle and lower class people, those tax cuts have a “sunset” provision attached to them. After the tax cuts for the middle and lower class ends, their taxes increase.

With corporations getting tax cuts through President Trump’s tax bill, corporations also get an additional tax cut through “tax repatriation.”

According to Fortune Magazine, an estimated $2.6 trillion dollars of corporate taxes lay idle in foreign banks. Corporations are demanding to pay less taxes on that $2.6 trillion.

If an ordinary citizen was to try this, they would be in jail for tax evasion. However, large corporations can get away with it.

The military also has become a serious problem in the United States. According to National Priorities Project, the FY 2019 federal discretionary spending ($1.19 trillion) had over fifty percent of the federal budget going to the military.

According to Forbes, the Pentagon and the Housing and Urban Development could not account for $21 trillion that had been spent. Furthermore, the Pentagon also could not account for $8.5 trillion that had been appropriated to the Pentagon since 1996, according to Yahoo Finance.

Time Magazine reports that the government spent up to $1.45 trillion on the F-35 military jet. There was just one problem with the jet: it has problems flying.

Our government has plenty of money to spend on the military, however our political leaders usually tell us that we’re not able to afford tuition-free colleges.

According to USA Today, Senator Bernie Sanders’s tuition-free college program would cost up to $70 billion, far less than what our government spends on the military.

Minimum wage increase is much needed in the United States. According to the Economic Policy Institute, productivity from American workers has skyrocketed since the 1970’s. However, hourly compensation for Americans has stagnated.

According to a report written by the Economic Policy Institute about raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10, there would be an estimated net gain of $22.1 billion in the economy, if the federal minimum wage was increased to $10.10. This, in part, would be due to consumers having more money in their pockets to spend.

Also according to this report, there would also be an estimated 85,000 net gain in job creation. This is would also be due, in part, by businesses who would need more workers to service the consumers who have more money to spend.

With all these political issues weighing down, it may seem overwhelming to fix them. However, with more involvement in our civic duty, such as voting and activism, we can fix the situation in the United States.

As former President Barack Obama famously said, “We are the change you seek.”

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