Archived Story

Don’t vote against your own self interests

Published 12:00am Sunday, November 4, 2012

As the 2012 election is upon us it is necessary to remind the people of Lawrence County not to vote against your own self interest and to cast your ballot for President Barack Obama.

Please hear me out.

Now, I could go into detail about the accomplishments of our President: Keeping student loan rates low, getting unemployment under 8 percent, saving the auto industry, passing the Affordable Care Act and making the decision to kill Osama Bin Laden.

I’m not going to do that.

Instead, I will concentrate my efforts on how this election will affect our area.

First, in regards to government aid, it’s essential that Lawrence County continue to receive the opportunity to participate in government programs that allows us to reinvest in our local economy.

A recent article published in the New York Times showed the amount of government aid given by geographical region.

Lawrence County was on the list with a third of our county on government assistance of some kind (33.31 percent to be exact).

It’s not just the underprivileged who get these benefits. Many middle class people take advantage of several federal programs that include the earned income tax credit, mortgage tax deduction and student loan interest deduction.

If you are one of these people, and many of us are, these deductions may be cut depending on who you cast your vote for this November.

Second, in regards to education, there are two reasons why education is perhaps the single most important issue in this election for Lawrence County. Education is the one thing that can help Lawrence County improve its economic situation. By educating a large, capable workforce, we increase the chance of businesses moving here to take advantage of it.

Also, the education system in our county employs a lot of people. Any cuts to education would be devastating. President Obama is the only candidate who wants to invest in public education, hire more teachers, reduce class sizes, and place a renewed focus on re-training those already out of work.

Of the two candidates, only one joined the side of teachers, nurses, policemen and firefighters in the fight against SB5. President Obama.

Finally, our county has an aging population, and the cuts proposed in Medicare by the Republican nominee are aimed toward senior citizens in our community. While both candidates have proposed cuts to Medicare, there is a distinct difference in where the cuts are made.

President Obama has cut $700 billion from Medicare, but those cuts came from insurance companies and hospitals, not in benefits to seniors.

The Republican candidate wants to take that same $700 billion and give tax cuts to the upper 5 percent in the United States, not to mention his plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system for those of us under 55 years of age.

Because of his stances on federal aid, education and Medicare, it is, in my opinion, in your best interest to cast your vote for President Barack Obama on Nov. 6.

Tanner Heaberlin

Kitts Hill

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