Archived Story

Election 2012: What matters to me

Published 10:17am Saturday, October 27, 2012

I am a student at Benjamin Russell High School. I am a senior this year, and I won’t be able to vote until next election, 2016, because my birthday is late. The reason I am writing this letter is because I am very concerned with the current legislatures that are being addressed in the present election. One in particular is the Social Security reform I am concerned about this one in particular because it affects so many elderly people, including my grandparents.

I don’t understand why people are so eager to take away the things that they worked so hard for. Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare is something that they earned. It’s not a given. Most people in Congress are closer to 65 than not, and most of them have elderly grandparents, and yet they vote to take away their livelihood. Our hardworking parents pay taxes, and because people have become power-hungry and so greedy, they won’t even be able to retire and enjoy the fruits of their labor. My mother works 50 hours a week sometimes and is getting a master’s degree at the same time. She pays more in taxes for Medicaid/Medicare (FICA) than she does federal and state, yet when she turns 65, she won’t see a dime of it.

Most people can’t afford to invest their money, and with the way the economy is, why would I even consider putting my money in the stock market – or a bank, for that matter.

Why is it so hard to make the decisions that are best for the people? As for the people running for president, who chooses you to be a representative of our people? Why is it so hard to stop thinking about your wallets and start thinking about helping the people? In my opinion, the deficit is not hard to fix. I have so many solutions to our problem. Why is it so hard for our government to make one suggestion and stop politicking long enough to think of others?

Everything the president has tried to do to help the economy grow, Republicans have blocked, and then they turn around say he has done nothing to help the economy.

If everyone in Congress and all government officials – including presidents, past presidents, etc. – would give up their earnings fro one year and be given a minimum wage earning salary, they would be able to help the American people, because then and only then would they know what it is to live off a fixed income. They would see why government subsidies such as food stamps, Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare and WIC are needed. The government is hard on people who don’t work, but what about those who work and still can’t hardly survive? My mom has a bachelor’s of social work degree, and because the state has freezes on hiring, she can’t find a job in her field. She’s a certified nursing assistant who makes $9 an hour and has a bachelor’s degree. How is that? Why is that? There are people with no degree who make more than she does. What does that tell me, a college-bound high school senior? Maybe I should rethink my options.

Alabama is at the bottom of the totem pole in so many areas. The main reason is because our Alabama representatives fight against EVERYTHING that is meant to help our economy.

We lived in Mississippi for five years while my dad was stationed in the Navy, and I know how beneficial the lottery and casinos could be for our education and economy. Taxes from those alone could skyrocket the economic growth for our state. Why is it so hard for the government to see this?  Is it because they are getting paid off by rich corporations and other state governments to fight against it? Why do they want our parents and grandparents to suffer? Why do they want our children to suffer? Why can’t they start helping the people in Alabama and stop holding them back?

Johnson is a guest columnist for The Outlook.