College democrats argue for healthcare act, lower unemployment, Pell grants

Members of the College Democrats debated the economy, health care and education in support of re-electing President Barack Obama Thursday night in an event hosted by the University chapter of the NAACP.

Students debating for Democrats were Morgan Holliger, Colleen Ryan and Salem Lahlarr. The format of the debate, moderated by Associate Professor Michael Buttersworth, allowed each side two minutes to answer questions and one minute for a rebuttal.

Salem Lahlarr, a junior philosophy and political science major, responded to the questions regarding education.

Lahlarr’s arguments to the College Republicans was that Obama already has plans for improving education and for what happens to students after college.

“Obama has already implemented a program so that people can be retrained when it’s needed,” Lahlarr said. “Job training programs will not work overnight though. It won’t even work over two nights. It’s going to take some time.”

Morgan Holliger, sophomore, responded for the College Democrats on questions about what policies should be considered regarding the economy, including issues on unemployment, extensions on tax cuts and the annual deficit.

Four years ago the U.S. economy was plummeting with an 8.3 percent unemployment rate, which was a direct result of former President George W. Bush and his tax cuts, Holliger argued.

Five months after Obama came into office, the economy got better, she said. Holliger cited Ohio’s unemployment rate decreasing from 10.6 percent to 7.2 percent from 2009 to 2012 in support of Obama.

“Obama’s plan has been working and continues to do so,” Holliger said.

As far as the tax cuts go, they are heavily skewed to wealthy individuals such as the top five percent of Americans, Holliger said.

“If Romney keeps his promises, public education and green policies will be cut,” Holliger said.

In response to the College Republicans’ stance on the annual deficit, Holliger added that Romney is not serious about the debt and will keep putting it off for us to deal with.

“President Obama has a tangible plan to attack the issue by ending the war, which will reduce the deficit over the course of 10 years,” Holliger said.

Questions regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, included the impact of the health care bill, birth control mandates and Medicare cuts. Ryan argued the Republicans by bringing the situation closer to students’ perspectives.

“We can stay on our parents’ health insurance until the age of 26,” Ryan said. “This allows us to find a stable income before we have to pay for insurance on our own.”

Ryan also commented on Medicare cuts, saying that Obama got rid of wasteful spending and put that money into helping senior citizens.

Holliger then ended the debate with the College Democrats’ closing statement.

Obama cares 100 percent about Americans and is working towards prosperity, she said.

“This country is back on the road to success. President Obama cares about us and fights for us. Now it is our turn to fight for him,” Holliger said.