Guest Columnist

Young people: Protect your rights, vote

Stickers lay on a table for voters in the primary election at the Elks Lodge 251 on 33rd Avenue Southwest in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Stickers lay on a table for voters in the primary election at the Elks Lodge 251 on 33rd Avenue Southwest in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

This is a reminder to young voters, college-aged and millennials. This is your country as well as mine. You must vote to save our country — you are the future leaders of this country and the state of Iowa.

Republican control has hurt our state the past few years. President Donald Trump’s trade policies are hurting Iowa’s farmers as a result of the tariffs that have been imposed on agricultural products and prices are not good either. Our state is a huge producer of food and our educational system and tourism are second to none. Our standing in the world has been diminished greatly in these past two years. SAD!

President Trump likes to take credit for the present economy, but when President Barack Obama came into office the unemployment rate was 10 percent and when he left office the rate had dropped to 4.8 percent. This was because of Obama’s policies as Republicans vowed the day of his inauguration that they would do everything they could to hurt him. In so doing, they hurt you and me and our country.

Republicans passed a “tax cut” that will hurt many Americans. Wait until you do your 2018 income taxes. Senior citizens have lost their personal exemption, which in my case means that rather than getting a tax refund (most of which goes to charity), I will be paying federal income tax. And we don’t know what hurt we will get from the Iowa “tax cut.”

The rich and big corporations quickly gave a few bonus checks to some employees to fool them into voting Republican, but soon after the companies began to buy back their stocks with the windfall. Do you think you should supplement their profits? Corporations could have raised hourly wages, salaries and provided benefits to their employees.

Now, because the federal government is running out of money, our national debt is growing. The debt increased when Obama was in office. Because of the shortage of funds, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan are planning cuts to Social Security and Medicare. They want these programs to go away permanently.

To you voters in your 40s and 50s, is your tax cut enough to help your parents with health care and provide housing to keep them off the street?

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Also Republicans around the country who are running for office say they support the part of Obamacare that protects people with previously diagnosed health problems. Yet, they instead are in court, fighting the part of the law that protects people who otherwise could not access health care insurance. The Republicans don’t want you to have health care if you have diabetes, heart trouble or cancer.

Currently, several people, including two former presidents, are being threatened by a terrorist. Yet the President has not communicated with these former officials who have been threatened. Whenever this President speaks at a rally, he seems to incite violence among his followers. But President Trump blames the media and everyone but himself for his problems and shortcomings.

I urge you to consider what I have said and to vote intelligently. Think of the consequences to our state and country if Republicans continue to control government. Protect your rights. Get registered and vote; it will count. Time is short.

• Jeannette Howell lives in Williamsburg.

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