“Government should do for people what they can’t do for themselves and no more.” This quote by Abraham Lincoln is a cornerstone for what the role of government should be in the United States. As an American, this quote stands out to me like “Yes, I can” and “I have a dream.”
You can get into college. You can get a good job. You can even invent an iPod or Facebook or anything you can think of. One of the major advantages of being an American is that you can say without hesitation “I can.”
A black man is president and there are still people who do not believe in the potential I have witnessed with my own two eyes. There have always been those who do not believe that if you take pride in and polish your craft, anything is possible. Since November 2008, there have been more friends and professors who say “We can’t.” They would have you believe that government is the key to success and equality is no longer good enough.
Equality is still effective. Imposing a tax on the wealthiest of us (or increasing the tax rate for high income earners) will generate tax revenue; however, you do this by imposing an inequality in the form of a tax. Our tax code is already progressive. High-income earners pay as high as a 30 percent tax rate right now and this will go up as of January 2013.
Our president’s policy will increase this rate even further; only imposing the increase on a certain group of people who make more than $250,000 per year. It’s difficult to process because the same gays and blacks, who largely support the president, while fighting tooth and nail for equality, are now supporting this unequal tax on small business owners and successful people. Where does it stop and should the government take half of what you make?
Government is not the key to success, so don’t believe the hype. I love people who say that the only reason we have a black president is because Barack Obama benefited from affirmative action programs while he was applying to college. I also love people who tell me that affirmative action programs, as well as food stamps, unemployment and social welfare, have helped inner-city blacks to the point that they owe their success to handouts and entitlements.
These people are so wrong it hurts. If any of this were true, then the people I know who live in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx who get loads of government support should be keeping up with the Joneses. In other words, success should be raining down on inner-city minorities because they are the people often on food stamps, welfare, unemployment and benefiting from affirmative action programs. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Inner-city minorities who take advantage of these programs tend to stay on these programs. This perpetuates generations of poverty in a cycle which has become almost impossible to break. Many of these people will vote for Obama regardless of what he says or does because he advocates for the programs some people live off of. It stinks not having the luxury of choosing your candidate based on who is better in debates, but when you have a family to feed the choice is easy.
People ask me all the time: Why are you a black man voting for Romney and the Republican ticket? I usually answer like this: I will continue to fight for those who don’t have the luxury of choosing. I will use my vote to speak up for values of equality. No man will control my vote through handouts and entitlements. I will seek the best candidate over the best party. Forget me as a black man or as a Republican. These things make us all American. These values unite us.
– Johnathan Josephs, junior political science major