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The Emerald

Breaking Down the Election

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For many, politics may seem to only be a distant event, something everyone talks about but not important enough to be thoroughly researched. However, politics is pivotal to our lives. Our generation of students will be the ones most directly affected by the results of this coming election. Although not everyone is eligible to vote, it is still important to keep up with the policies of each presidential candidate. The Republican candidate is Donald Trump and the Democratic candidate is Hillary Clinton. These two individuals have radically different views and opinions about many of the important issues of today such as gun control, health care, taxes, immigration, and energy. Although this isn’t the complete list of issues, we’ll start with some of the most pressing ones. It is vital to break down each candidate’s policies to understand what truly is at stake for our generation. People often describe these policies in depth on a global or national scale, but what does it all mean for high school students? Let’s find out.

 

Taxes

Clinton: Put simply, Clinton wishes to increase taxes on those with high income. She also wishes to introduce new taxes on large corporations. Her plan will really only affect those earning over a million dollars a year. According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, “Nearly all of tax increases would fall on the top 1 percent; the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers would see little to no change in their taxes.” For SHC students who are currently working or will be within a few years, this tax policy would really have a minimal impact on them. It is rather unlikely that people just entering the jobforce will have a starting pay greater than a million dollars.

 

Trump: Donald Trump has released a detailed tax plan in the fall of 2015 but plans to rewrite it later this year.  His 2015 plan involves simplifying the current tax system into four brackets. Trump’s plan will have individuals taxed at 0%, 10%, 20%, or 25% depending on their income. This is a decent reduction from the current system, which would affect everybody. For SHC students who are currently working or will be within a few years, this tax policy would actually reduce the amount of taxes they need to pay. However, many experts speculate that Trump’s plan may not be viable because it will increase the government debt significantly by reducing revenue and in turn actually destroy jobs. Additionally, Trump has not yet launched his new plan so therefore his tax policies are subject to change.

 

Healthcare

Clinton: Clinton wants to retain the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) and build on it with several policies. Her ultimate goal is to lower out-of-pocket healthcare costs and increase the regulation of the health industry. For young adults like us, this would likely mean more health benefits at the expense of slightly increased taxes.

 

Trump: Trump opposes the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) which was passed under President Obama. He vaguely states that he will replace it with “something great.” At this moment, this policy remains rather unclear. In the case that Obamacare is repealed but not replaced the healthcare system would essentially revert to what it was like before the Affordable Healthcare Act. This would force individuals to go to independent sources for their health insurance. Although there are benefits to this, it could also leave those who cannot afford private health insurance uninsured.

 

Gun Control

Clinton: Hillary Clinton believes in having tighter gun control in order to make sure that the “irresponsible and the criminal and the mentally ill don’t get guns.” She wants to impose more background checks and close loopholes that would allow individuals who are not supposed to purchase firearms to purchase them. With Clinton’s agenda, it will become increasingly difficult for young individuals to purchase firearms for recreation, defence, or any other reason. This could make society safer which would be great. However, it would also reduce homeowners’ abilities to defend their homes. If criminals manage to obtain firearms illegally while average people cannot obtain them at all, that would possibly put normal people at greater risk.

 

Trump: Donald Trump has definitely been against tighter gun control. He opposes regulation that would make it difficult for individuals to purchase a firearm. Trump’s agenda would mean that nothing will really change from the current situation with firearms. People will still be able to obtain guns with relative ease. However, this would mean that many loopholes will remain open, allowing people who are not supposed to obtain firearms to obtain them.

 

Energy

Clinton: Hillary Clinton wishes to promote the usage of renewable energy sources, such as solar power. Clinton tends to be more concerned about utilizing resources to minimize the effects of climate change, as opposed to Trump who does not believe in its existence. If Clinton is elected, we can expect to see a boost in the market for renewable energy. This will likely increase the demand for jobs requiring individuals with natural resources and conservation majors.

 

Trump: Trump stated that he wants to create an energy-independent America. He is more in favor of boosting the coal industry and fossil fuels industry rather than focusing on renewable sources. If Trump is elected, expect to see growth in the coal and oil industry, which would probably lead to the revitalization of many mining operations.

 

Immigration

Clinton: Hillary Clinton supports President Obama’s existing immigration agenda which includes offering a path for undocumented or illegal immigrants to have a path towards citizenship. Clinton’s agenda will create a pathway to integrate illegal or undocumented immigrants into American society and keep families together. However, this would still have to pass through Senate before it could possibly happen. Therefore, there is some risk of inaction on immigration reform

 

Trump: Donald Trump has called for the deportation of all illegal immigrants and the building of a wall between the border of America and Mexico to minimize illegal immigration. He has repeatedly mentioned that “Mexico will pay for it [the wall].” Additionally, Trump advocates for a temporary ban on allowing foreign Muslims to enter the United States. These intolerant policies will make it harder for individuals to immigrate to the United States. Additionally, this could  weaken the relationship between the United States and many countries, potentially jeopardizing many international economic opportunities.

 

Conclusion

Although most high school students can’t vote yet, these policies are what will shape the world around us when we graduate. It is important to understand what will happen if each candidate is elected, and whether the effects will be beneficial or detrimental. In this way, we can be better prepared for the years ahead. Stay tuned for Breaking Down the Election Part. 2.

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Sacred Heart Cathedral's student-run newspaper. We've got issues.
Breaking Down the Election