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Barack Obama is clearly the best choice for young voters and college voters this fall. The Obama campaign has been riding the wave of youth support since its surprise caucus victory in Iowa last winter. Youths and voters of every demographic have been turning out in record numbers to support a presidential candidate who in many ways represents them more than any candidate has in a long time.

When comparing policy, Obama has a lot to say about four key issues confronting young people every day and many more issues, such as healthcare. I’ve assessed how the campaign stacks up on the issues.

Climate Crisis:

Perhaps a sleeper issue this fall, the topic of Global Warming is important to the Obama campaign and to millions of youths. Obama’s plan to tackle the issue includes implementing an economy-wide ‘cap-and-trade’ program and winterizing homes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 and reduce our carbon footprint globally. Barack also hopes to contribute more dialogue to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, and investigate other alternative energy sources and cleaner coal.

Higher Education:

A key part of Barack’s message to young Americans includes making higher education more affordable. Under his plan, full time students would be eligible for a tax credit up to $4,000. The credit covers two-thirds of tuition of the national average for in-state, public schools and is renewable for up to four years. Obama has also prioritized an expansion of the current cap on Federal Pell Grants and the number given.

Tax Reform ‘ the Economy:

Throughout the campaign, conservatives have used the same slogan “Barack will raise your taxes.” This is very true; an Obama presidency will mean higher taxes for many of those in the upper tax brackets (over $250,000 yearly income). The Obama tax plan offers the other 80 percent of us relief. Most youths would fall into the lowest bracket of the plan (incomes between $38,000 and $66,000). The Obama tax plan saves them $1042, which is quite different from the $319 increase the same John McCain plan proposes. Furthermore, Barack Obama will distance America from the failed, reckless economic policies of the Bush Administration. He understands if you put lipstick on a failed economic policy it’s still a failed economic policy.

Foreign Policy ‘ the War on Terror:

Obama also proposes several things on a foreign policy/ international front. A Barack Obama presidency change global perceptions of America overnight. What would it say about Americans if we elect a leader of an ethnic minority and Muslim descent to chase and confront Islamo-fascists and Wahhabists around the globe? An Obama presidency would reopen some lanes of dialogue and diplomacy, which have proved valuable to American interests in the past. He is also devoted to a phased draw-down of US forces and contractors in Iraq and a reinvestment in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Barack Obama is the clear choice for a young voter and has already attracted millions because he resembles the youth. He acts young, and so does his campaign. Who was the last candidate to text message his choice for a running mate? His staffers have listened and formed policy by tuning into the issues young Americans face daily. Barack Obama realizes, as most young Americans do, the need for change. This motif has been central to his campaign since the beginning. The theme was not something half-heartedly picked up during the summer because it polled well. Barack Obama is the embodiment of change in American politics, a change that many young Americans, and Americans of all ages, desperately seek.

If you have any questions about this column or the campaign, or would like to get involved in the campaign, feel free to contact myself (mcclanaham2@nku.edu) or the Obama campaign’s Covington office at (859) 421-0703.

Mike McClanahan

Vice President

NKU College Democrats

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Guest editorial