Twelve 20-somethings chronicle their lives for WBUR. Learn more.
This is a special election-week essay for Generation Stuck. Samantha Bilotta is 23 years old and voting for Mitt Romney. Read also: Emilie Haertsch is 26 years old and voting for President Obama.
In 2008, a picture of me holding a giant letter “O” for Obama appeared on the front page of the Boston Globe. It was the first election I could vote in and I intended to make the most of it.
I was mesmerized by the campaign.
One night, I hopped in a car with some friends and drove over a thousand miles to Des Moines, Iowa, to support Obama at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. A month later, I made my way to Derry, New Hampshire, to help the Obama campaign during the primaries.
I voted for Obama four years ago, but I will not be voting for him this time. I’m 23 years old and my share of the national debt is about $51,717.58. So is yours.
Our federal government has a spending problem. In my short adult life, I have seen an ever-growing national debt, increased federal spending, and fewer American jobs. When Barack Obama was first elected, his administration backed a stimulus package that threw money into shoddy, short-term projects instead of investing in long-term solutions that would have allowed the biggest bang for the buck.
Later into his administration, the President was approached with an opportunity to bring business and jobs to America with the expansion of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Though the President rejected the Romney-backed pipeline, he did not have the authority to prevent states from building within their own borders. Thus, the southern section of the pipeline was built. President Obama later visited this section to declare it a national infrastructure priority and state his belief that domestic oil production is important in moving America forward. As of today, the President still has not offered his approval for the rest of the pipeline to be built.
While I believe renewable energy is vital to American energy independence, it is going to be a long journey getting there. Until that day comes, domestic oil production is a step in the right direction. While regulation is necessary for a safe and secure America, the overregulation put in place by the Obama Administration has stifled domestic growth. Mitt Romney welcomes the potential for trade and domestic job creation and plans to expand our markets, specifically in Latin America where American products and oil can be sold, thereby increasing GDP in the United States.
Increasing spending and raising taxes to keep pace is not the answer to the problems our country faces. When I voted for Obama in 2008, I believed he knew what was needed to protect the American Dream for twenty-somethings like myself. Four years later, I am left wondering if the American Dream even exists anymore.
My generation is trying to find footing in an economy handicapped by overregulation and out-of-date programs. We are being asked to pay into a system of benefits that we will never receive. This isn’t right and it isn’t fair. The way we spend money as a country is in dire need of reform. We need a president who understands that continuing the policies of the past will not lead to a sustainable future.
This election, I’m voting for a more responsible America. I want my money to last and I want it to be invested in projects that will help move the country forward. The problems facing our country today cannot be solved by nearsighted fixes or by a president who only thinks about the short-term. We need a president who can put America on a sustainable trajectory.
Mitt Romney knows that investments in lasting infrastructure, stronger trade policies, and economic reforms will move America forward.
This time around, I’m voting for Mitt Romney because I want my fair shot at the American Dream.
Are you a twenty-something voting for Mitt Romney? What is driving your decision on Election Day?