by Jennifer Coots
assistant perspectives editor
While the Presidential Campaign of 2000 is coming to an end on Nov. 7, there is still time for those who are undecided and uninformed to help their country determine who will be the first president of the new millennium by doing some last minute voting.
Although there are several individuals fighting for the presidential spot, Democrat Al Gore and Republican George Bush are the primary candidates. Both parties have several clashing agendas, which will not only affect the entire nation, but college students as well.
Working equals taxes and since many students work and will acquire jobs upon completion of college, taxation is serious issue.
Our tax system works on a progressive scale, which means the higher the income, the higher the taxation. Wealthy people provide a majority of the income, which is used to fund programs for the disadvantaged. Currently, there is a surplus of income tax money that the government must decide how to handle. Gore wants to give tax relief to the poverty-stricken. Whatever is left over from government use will then be given back to the lowest income people, leaving the wealthy folks with no relief.
Bush believes that the money belongs to the people and not the government. He wants to reimburse the money in equal proportion to everyone who paid. Wealthy people will then get a large percentage of money back that they first initially paid.
Education majors, take heed. There is also going to be major changes in the requirements of obtaining and in some cases maintaining teaching positions. Gore wants to rigorously test middle and high school teachers on teaching skills and their subjects. If they do not meet the requirements, they are pulled from the school. However, Gore also wants to raise the pay of teachers. He also wants to offer a $10,000 tax deduction on tuition each year for students attending colleges and universities.
Bush is siding with math and science majors who teach in needy schools by nearly tripling their loan allowance. For all college students, Bush is increasing the Pell Grant, money students receive from the government, to first year and low income students. Bush is also giving money to historically black colleges.
Money makes the world go around. People work their entire lives so when it’s time to retire one can kick back, relax and enjoy freedom while happily cashing in their social security check each month. However, what if today’s college students had to work longer before retiring, receive less benefits or were forced to pay higher taxes, not for their own retirement, but for the retirement of the baby boomer generation? One or all of these factors may come into play, depending on which candidate is elected and their future actions concerning social security.
Gore wants to maintain the current government control of social security.
Instead of focusing on the governmental aspect of the social security problem, Bush is suggesting people take a certain percentage out of each paycheck and place it in government approved investment programs comprised of stocks and bonds. The rest of the money will then be placed in the current social security trust fund, which only makes two-percent interest annually. Under both plans, the money will still run out and the issue of social security is a work in progress concerning both candidates.