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October 07, 2004 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-07

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OP/ED

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 7, 2004 - 5A

DUELING FOR THE PRESIDENCY:. A DEBATE PREVIEW

Beyond boxers and briefs

Sticking with the president

By LIBBY BENTON AND RAMYA RAGHAVAN
In 1994, Tisha Thompson altered the political
credibility of young people everywhere when
she, during an MTV-sponsored town hall meet-
ing, asked the hard-hitting question of President
Bill Clinton, "Boxers or briefs?" Since then, our
generation has been depoliticized to the point that
the American public wonders if the only issue we
care about is whether a particular candidate ever
inhaled
But we do care about more. We care deeply
about the skyrocketing cost of our college tuition.
We care about the chances of getting a job upon
graduation that pays more than the pitiful $5.15
per hour we made at Arby's during high school.
We care about spending the rest of our lives pay-
ing off a five trillion-dollar deficit. And there is
only one party that cares about us - the Demo-
crats. In the year 2000, when Rock the Vote invit-
ed both candidates to speak in the Media Union
on North Campus, only one candidate showed up
and that was Al Gore.
The setup for tomorrow night will be similar
to previous town hall debates: George W Bush
and John Kerry perched on stools, fielding ques-
tions from "soft" Republicans and Democrats
on both domestic and international issues. But
it is pretty unlikely that young people will have
the opportunity to ask all the questions that are
on their minds today. If they could, there is no
doubt that John Kerry would be the clear victor in
tomorrow's debate.
Whether you've seen your TCF account drop
to a critical low point or had to mooch off a friend
to buy a pitcher at Mitch's, most of you know what
it feels like to be strapped for cash. So an extra
$4,000 in your pocket might be awfully nice. If
Kerry is elected, any student will be eligible for
a College Opportunity Tax Credit of $4,000 per
year to offset the cost of college tuition. Further-
more, states will be rewarded for keeping down
the cost of tuition at public universities like ours.
In the past four years, the Bush administration
has slashed Pell Grants, while tuition has risen by
more than 35 percent. The combination of these
factors has financially prohibited 220,000 of our
peers from attending college with us.
In contrast, Kerry and John Edwards will grant
four years of full in-state tuition (or the equivalent if
they choose to go out of state) to 500,000 students
in exchange for two years of community service.
Our generation has distinguished itself through
our passion for helping others, which can be seen
on campus through incredible student organiza-
tions like Dance Marathon and the Detroit Project.
Imagine earning a free ride to college by simply
doing what you already love.
For us upperclassmen, the real world is look-
ing pretty scary right now. Twenty percent of all
manufacturing jobs in Michigan have been lost
over the past four years with the continual out-
sourcing that the present administration supports.
We are witnessing the highest unemployment

rate since the Hoover administrati
enough to make an English majo
Uggs. Kerry and Edwards have a
10 million new jobs by bringing
back to the United States instead
overseas, with tax incentives for A
panies that agree to do so.
Finally, Bush's reckless spec
coupled with trillions of dollars in
the wealthiest 2 percent of Amer
up an enormous deficit. As stude
and credit cards, we know a thing
debt, and we knew you have to ev
off. Bush has lied to us continually
sands of our classmates off to war,
assumption that weapons of ma
were present in Iraq. Bush carrie
a war without the aid of major a
dening the American taxpayer
with the entire cost of war and
reparations, while this money is
needed desperately at home.
We are the ones who will have
to pay off Bush's debts while his
corporate cronies dive Scrooge
McDuck-style into their money
bins and profit off of the war
with massive no-bid contracts
and shady financial schemes.
Kerry's financial plans include
closing corporate loopholes,
reversing the tax cut for the
country's wealthiest people and
using diplomacy to bring our
allies back to the table and invest
the world in stabilizing Iraq.
So tomorrow night, flip on the
television to CNN for an hour
and a half, before you continue
with your regularly scheduled
drunken debauchery, and really
listen to what the candidates
have to say. Try to look beyond
the ambiguous rhetoric and the
repetitive jingoistic catch phrases,
and focus on who has a feasible
plan to get America back on track
in the next four years. While the
students at Washington Univer-
sity in St. Louis might simply
provide a scenic backdrop for
the cameras and toss out a token
question, we urge you, the mem-
bers of our distinguished univer-
sity, to probe deeper. Observe
who is really looking out for your
best interests. The choice will be
clear - John Kerry.
Benton is an LSA junior
and vice chair of the College
Democrats. Raghavan is an LSA
junior and chair of the College
Democrats.

on. Frankly, it's
r quake in her
plan to create
manufacturing
of shipping it
kmerican com-
nding in Iraq
tax breaks for
ica has racked
,nts with loans
g or two about
ventually pay it
, sending thou-
under the false
ass destruction
d America into
llies, thus bur-

BY ALIJSON JACOBS
Tomorrow our president will stand strong
against his opposition, fight through the usual
Democratic rhetoric and encourage the Ameri-
can people to become involved in the active
debate of this year's presidential election. The
town hall debate will resonate well with those
undecided members of our community by means
of its very format - independent individuals or
soft supporters encouraging involvement in the
candidate's basic platforms and principles relat-
ing to all pertinent issues. There will be an equal
number of questions asked regarding foreign
policy and homeland security as there will be
questions pertaining to economic and domestic
policy.
President Bush will re-emphasize the strong
domestic policy decisions
he has made in the past four
years and will delineate his
pro-growth economic plan
that has been instrumen-

tal in reviving our nation's
economy by almost 5 per-
cent in the past year. Figures
such as the low unemploy-
ment rate of 5.4 percent and
creating 1.5 million newjobs
- according to the Bush
campaign website - are
not debatable. He will use
solid evidence to justify the
economic policy that will
be promoted given a second
term in office, such as his six-
point plan to reduce costs to
job creators and his empha-
sis on homeownership. Bush
will show his past successes
with domestic policy, such
as being effective in creating
health insurance tax credits
and prescription drug bene-
fits under Medicare. Finally,
he will outline some goals
for the future, including sup-
plying small business with
the same health care choices
as large corporations and
- for students - increas-
ing Pell Grant funding and
increasing loan limits. Our
President has set aside five
key areas for his platform:
creating jo6s, health care
reforms, emphasizing own-
ership, fighting terrorism
and supporting our com-
munities. Clearly, Bush not
only has viable, but success-
AP PHOTO ful, domestic and economic
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, left, and President Bush shake policy items to present.
hands Sept. 30, at the start of the first presidential debate. Meanwhile, Sen. John

Kerry will continue to revisit the Iraqi Libera-
tion and continue to rebuke his record of voting
for the use of force in Iraq and against the fund-
ing of our troops. Finally the voters will once
again receive a mixed answer regarding whether
or not the Senator currently supports our troops'
efforts. Forced to face domestic and economic
policy questions, Kerry will struggle to establish
himself as a policy maker. This debate will mark
the first time Kerry will be forced to step out
from behind the smokescreen of the Iraq debate
and confront his past voting record. Furthermore,
the Senator will not be able to leave this debate
without finally presenting his flawed domestic
and economic platforms. When Kerry begins
discussion on his domestic policy that includes
emulating the failing Canadian health care sys-
tem, when he proposes an increase in taxes on
those making more than $200,000 - a direct
hindrance to small business growth or when his
record of voting to raise taxes 98 times become a
part of the active debate - all as part of his bleak
domestic and economic policy - the voters will
see that they do not side with the most liberal
member of the U.S. Senate.
The "anybody but Bush" attitude will not
carry Kerry any further in this election. The vot-
ers are conscious that Kerry's constant change of
positions reflects one thing, and one thing only
- his desire to be elected surpasses academic
dispute. Until this point in the election, Kerry
has not had to formulate, nor has he campaigned
on, any clear domestic or economic policies. The
sole focus has been utilizing and channeling the
anger in the electorate over Iraq policy to his ben-
efit. He has shifted his position to accommodate
the electorate. The American voters are search-
ing for a clear platform, whether they agree with
every aspect of it or not.
Tomorrow's debate will be a pivotal moment in
this presidential election. Voters will be forced to
look past the campaign image and to analyze the
evidence presented by both sides. The first of a
series of three presidential debates proved that Bush
has been consistent with his message throughout
his time in office and throughout his campaign.
This debate will continue to showcase that despite
times of political campaigning and conflict, our
president will stand strong with conviction. Bush
will counter rhetoric with evidence and facts, citing
what he has accomplished in the past four years,
and set the course for a clear vision of American
prosperity for the next four.
With it being crucial that anyone planning
to vote becomes knowledgeable about each
candidate's actual platform, voting records
and past successes, the College Republicans
invite you to take one step toward this goal by
viewing the debate. The College Republicans
will be in the Pond Room of the Union at 9
p.m. tomorrow. All are encouraged to attend.
Jacobs is an LSA sophomore and chair of Col-
lege Republicans.

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