Things to consider before voting in 2016

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2015

This column will examine issues to consider before deciding a candidate in the 2016 Presidential election. We hope voters will chose to examine their own interests and study the issues, rather than be led by clergy, faith, Fox News or, when all else fails, just press the “R” candidate without knowing why.

Here are the issues offered by Democrats-not in any order of importance. Medicare and Social Security are addressed regularly. The Republican fear machine will have you believe it’s running out of money or it’s increasing the debt. They even go so far as to call it an entitlement program, which we all know is false since most of us contribute and pay our fair share. None of this is true. We wouldn’t discuss this at all if Reagan hadn’t raided the trust fund to make his debt/deficit look good. That’s in the past, now let’s look ahead. The millennial generation (age 18 – 35) has a population almost equal to the baby boomers, so they can maintain the system but changes must be made. Democrats suggest eliminating the cap on Social Security, which allows an exemption earning over $103,000. If you earn it, why shouldn’t you have to pay on it like the rest of us at the lower end of the scale? The other suggestion is to keep Medicare cost down by reviewing ever-increasing orders for tests by doctors and negotiating better prices on drugs. The Republicans have wanted to privatize Social Security and Medicare for years. Remember the “private accounts” which would allow you to take what you would have paid in Social Security and invest it in the financial institutions? Yes, the ones we rescued in 2008. What a disaster that would have been.

Equal pay for equal work is another issue of the Democrats. In the “land of opportunity,” white women earn $0.73 less and than men and African-American women top out at $0.69 less. There is no explanation for this at all. So what does the other side have to say? Nothing, and their silence speaks volumes, or should. Raising the minimum wage is another hot-button issue. No one can live on $7.25 an hour, but far too many must, due to a poor educational background and other reasons. It does not lend itself to independence or improving your situation through education. The Democrats have lobbied for a raise to $10.10 this year with a goal of $15 over the next few years. It’s sad that all states don’t take care of their citizens as a few progressives have. The remaining states, particularly in the South, prove the need for a federal minimum wage. The other side screams loss of jobs or increasing prices. Prices do not have to increase if companies would use some of the bloat at the higher end of the company to give the workers who actually earn that profit for their bosses. Every economist agrees that higher wages means more spending. That statistic means job creation—not loss, as companies must hire to meet the demand for more products or services.

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The remaining issues are just as important and will be discussed at length in the next article. Those issues are the VA Medical Centers, Veterans’ pay/benefits, our crumbling Infrastructure, tweaking the ACA and the hottest topic recently—immigration and the refuge problem. (Which we helped create.)

The presidential primaries will be March 8. If you want to vote, you must register no later than noon, Feb. 6. If you need assistance, contact us at 601-746-6020 or email As always, keep up with our issues on our website or on Facebook at Pearl River Democrats, Picayune Democrats, or Young Democrats of Pearl River County.


By Agnes Dalton.