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This post was guest written by Courtney Resnicky, a senior at Wright State University.
The election season always brings “hot button” issues into the limelight, and this year is no different. Although many of the issues are universal, there are a select few that may have a larger impact on college-aged adults in the next four years. According to a “Hot topic” analysis conducted by the LexisNexis Newsdesk media monitoring, the 10 most common issues in the presidential election are: Immigration, Terrorism, Taxes, Racial Issues, Immigration, Gun Control, Energy & Oil, Education, Libya, and Abortion. The issues of Taxes, Terrorism, and Education seem most likely to have the largest impact on college-aged adults. Here is a simple breakdown of the candidates' stances:
Graduating and beginning a career is already a nerve-wracking experience and the inability to feel safe can make this trying time much worse. Terrorism is something that may lurk around us, but feeling protected from attacks will ease the mind of students during an often scary time in their lives. A nation living in fear is also much less likely to operate efficiently. Hillary Clinton’s strategy involves working with allies to target terror, fighting ISIS by supporting local forces, intensifying the air campaign, and pursuing a “diplomatic strategy aimed at resolving Syria’s civil war.” Donald Trump plans to combat terrorism by reopening Guantanamo Bay, increasing home-based defense spending while decreasing the part of the defense budget spent on foreign allies, increasing the size of the military, building safe zones in war-torn countries, and blocking the income supply for terrorist groups like ISIS.
College-aged adults are just starting out in the workplace. As they graduate and move out into the world over the next 4 years, taxes are going to be something that they will have to confront in nearly every aspect of their lives. Income tax and property tax are just two examples of taxes that will have a major impact on college-aged adults who are just starting their careers and buying their first homes. According to his website, Donald Trump plans to lower taxes overall, simplify income tax from “7 brackets to 3 brackets,” end “hidden taxes,” exclude childcare expenses from being taxed, repeal the estate tax, and make business taxation more “fair” by limiting business income tax to 15% while raising graduated taxes on hedge fund managers. Trump also plans to introduce a review on all tax regulations. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s stance on taxes is that “basic fairness” should be restored to the tax code by implementing a “fair share surcharge on multi-millionaires.” Additionally, Clinton wants to close Wall Street tax loopholes, provide tax relief to middle-class families with “excessive” health care costs, and simplify taxes for small businesses.
Education is clearly an issue already affecting college-aged adults. Access to higher education, the ability to pay for a degree, and the worth of the degree earned are all important topics in the education debate. America is a nation that wants to continue moving forward in the world, so it is necessary that we both ensure access to college and ensure that the education students earn at their institution provides the necessary experience for the increasingly competitive job market. The candidates have opposing views on the subject of Education. Donald Trump plans to reform education by ending the Common Core, make education a priority by encouraging competition, implement “comprehensive education” by encouraging a wide variety of subjects to be taught at all levels, and focus on life skills along with individualized curriculum. Trump also wants to stop the federal government from profiting off of student loans. Hillary Clinton would like to implement a program allowing students to refinance their student loans. Clinton plans to invest in K-12 education, provide every student an opportunity to learn computer science, and discourage “overly punitive disciplinary policies” in schools.
No matter who wins the election this November, they will be forced to confront some very hot topic issues when they begin their term in office. How they choose to handle the issues will affect all Americans. However, it is important to remember that college-age adults will be taking some huge steps in their lives over the next 4 years and the changes that take place once the new President is in office can largely influence their decisions about the future. As always, it will be important to listen to the views of each candidate so that we can be informed voters who have a say in the direction of our nation.