Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Minnesotans’ Economic Reality

This year's campaign season is all about the economy. As former Bill Clinton said, "It's all about the Economy, Stupid!" It is clear in my mind that Senator Barack Obama is better at the economy than his opponent. A graduate of Colombia University's international economics program and a law degree from Harvard University, Minnesotan's should recognize that Sen. Obama has what it takes to understand intrinsically complex issues like our economy.

First and foremost, Sen. Obama will NOT raise taxes for anyone making less than $250,000 a year. He will end tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas. Obama promises to create a new “Making Work Pay” tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family. He will encourage working families to afford college for their children by providing tax credits for tuition payments. Sen. Obama understands what many Minnesotans’ reality with the State’s shrinking budget, the lack of economic development and the overwhelming poverty in the rural areas.

Kids, like me, grow up knowing their parents have to pay fuel and electric bills over the cold winters before they can buy food for the family. Beginning each month, discount shopping centers are bustling because welfare checks have just been sent out. To underscore the economic conditions near Bemidji and in the North Country, just a few years ago, over 1,000 people applied for 300 minimal wage jobs when Wal-Mart opened its first store in the area. The 40 percent poverty rate is higher than in some developing nations.

Born in Bemidji, I am currently a graduate student at Florida International University in Miami, Fla. I recently began the doctoral program after spending eight years in Washington, DC working for the Federal government. I feel that Senator Barack Obama knows our issues and is able to Help American Workers Compete in the Global Economy. Sen. Obama will fight for a trade policy that opens up foreign markets to support American jobs. He will make long-term investments in education, training, and workforce development and use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards. This is precisely what my future dissertation will be about. Please join me, and vote for Senator Obama this November 4.

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