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Students’ opinions of presidential candidates mirrors that of a divided nation

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The first presidential debate covering domestic issues is now over, and student have varying opinions on the candidates. David O’Mullan, junior, and Rohan Gupta, junior, each have different perceptions of the presidential race, and the different topics discussed in the debate.

In terms of the economy, O’Mullan believes Romney’s tax plan is superior because of how it handles tax loop-holes. “Romney wants to cut taxes from the 35 percent rate to a 25 percent rate by decreasing the amount of tax breaks and loop-holes that people can use to lower the amount of revenue,” O’Mullan said. “Even if you raise the tax rate like Obama wants to do there will still be loop-holes that will affect how much they pay and how much revenue the government makes.”

The lower tax rates under Governor Romney’s plan, in O’Mullan’s opinion, would also encourage economic growth for small businesses. “Small businesses are taxed at a higher rate. So by lowering that rate, you’re encouraging small businesses,” O’Mullan said.

Gupta, however, argues that cutting loop-holes alone would not be enough to create revenue for the government. “The majority of the people do not exploit the loop-holes. In general, we won’t be able to pay for a tax decrease with just shutting off the loop-holes. It’s a small solution that would create a bigger problem,” Gupta said. “Obama’s plan would produce more revenue than Mitt Romney’s.”

Gupta also believes lowering taxes on small businesses would not help the economy. “In terms of industry, if you have a tax decrease of about 3 percent to 5 percent, you won’t see much growth, but in terms of revenue for the government, keeping tax rates at about 35 percent means seeing a huge increase in revenue,” Gupta said.

The two students also disagree on one of the other main talking points of the presidential debate: healthcare.

“Out of the 30 most prosperous nations, almost all of them have universal healthcare. Even some of the most capitalistic countries like Switzerland, which has a far more capitalistic system than the United States, have universal healthcare,” Gupta said. “This isn’t a question of capitalism versus socialism; it’s a question of common decency.”

While O’Mullan agrees with the idea that universal healthcare provides a positive service, he doesn’t believe it should be something decided by the government. “I believe people should have the right to their own private insurance. By having private health insurance, you promote competition to have better prices, which is a large part of what America stands for,” O’Mullan said.

While Gupta and O’Mullan both have problems with both candidates, Gupta argues President Obama is a better choice, while O’Mullan argues Romney is a better choice. Unfortunately, Gupta nd O’Mullan will have to wait until 2016 to vote.

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Students’ opinions of presidential candidates mirrors that of a divided nation