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Question 7

Has your vision for the future changed because of the economy?

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.

Four years ago, Samantha was an avid Obama supporter. She’s holding the “O.”

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?


  1. Thomas Noble at 1:12 pm, November 5, 2012

    Your argument for voting Romney is extremely short sighted. The republican economic policies that Romney espouses are the principle reason that our national debt is as big as it is. Obama has done everything in his power to shrink it. When he is re-elected, he will do even more.

  2. Anonymous at 1:32 pm, November 5, 2012

    “This time around, I’m voting for Mitt Romney because I want my fair shot at the American Dream.” You truly believe that? Sad. Also, I could not vote for someone who does not believe in equal rights, who HATES gay people, who wants to refuse women rights. I couldn’t live with myself. It’s sad you will vote for someone who will deny basic rights to half of our population. Shame on you.

  3. Adam at 2:25 pm, November 5, 2012

    This is spot on.

  4. anonymous1 at 2:55 pm, November 5, 2012

    I give you a complete tip of the hat for putting your opinion out like that. Although a comment below charges you with moral indignity, an honest critique of the election and an open mind shall always receive applause.

  5. SMM at 4:39 pm, November 5, 2012

    While it’s absolutely true that this administration has seen a sharp increase in government spending, you forgot to point out that a large chunk of that spending was due to TWO wars that we were involved in as a nation. In times of war, costs increase, and no president, republican or democrat, can change that, unless they pull out of the war, which Barack Obama did (as promised) in Iraq.

  6. Anonymous at 8:52 pm, November 5, 2012

    Everything in his power… you mean like a stimulus package? You mean like raising the debt ceiling? You mean like increasing healthcare spending? You mean like saw our country give up its triple A status? He has not done enough on the debt. He has had good policies (cash for clunkers, great success) he has had bad policies (Keystone, and admitted failure). We need to focus on our economy We need to help it be resilient always. And you, My friend, should pick up a newspaper every now and again.

  7. rmdesro at 10:11 pm, November 5, 2012

    I agree- and as a working Mom I fear what will be left for myself in my “golden years” ( despite paying in since I was 16) – and more importantly what will be out there for my children. Government is to big for it’s britches. It needs to be reeled into a super-tight budget- like all of middle America has had to do these last 3 years!

  8. Rob at 10:25 pm, November 5, 2012

    Are you sure you want to say “everything in his power to shrink it”? But like really, I’ll let you take that one back. For real.

    *Does a quick Google search on the national debt growth in the last 4 years*

    Ok, yeah. Thought so.

  9. Big Daddy at 12:19 am, November 6, 2012

    Thanks for your well thought out and well written opinion. I have children in the “stuck” generation and, like you, voted for Obama in 2008 with the hope that he could lead the country through the economic and financial disaster that existed at that time. A disaster overseen by a President who was a past Governor, a successful businessman, and a believer in trickledown economics (sound familiar) and big businesses that operated in a fashion that benefited only themselves. President Obama has led the nation though this challenge, stabilizing the economy and establishing a platform onto which a strong economic recovery can be built.

  10. rdl114 at 9:54 am, November 6, 2012

    While I respect your right to give your opinions, your generalizations would earn a D in the colleges my kids attend. Which over-regulation? What shoddy stimulus programs? New York City, for instance, is in the middle of one of the biggest series of infrastructure expansion and improvement in American history. All are on budget and on time. Do you know that the Republican governor of NJ canceled another huge interstate infrastructure project (a rail tunnel) between NY?NJ? Seven extensive port infrastructure projects are going on right now – Port of Miami and Port of Jacksonville, Fla.; Port of Savannah, Ga.; Port of New York and New Jersey; and Port of Charleston, S.C.

    Do you know it is the Republican governor and legislature of Nebraska that has blocked XL? Do you know that we now produce more oil at home than any other time? On one hand you speak about domestic oil production, on the other, you speak about exporting it? What the heck? Does Congress not share a good portion of responsibility for problems? The President isn’t a sort of elected dictator, you know. Do you know that taxes have gone down, not up in the last 4 years? Have you considered that we are under-taxed and not overtaxed? And surely you don’t really think someone is going to come to your home some day and “collect” your share of the national debt, do you? How would YOU re-inflate a deflated economy? Cutting taxes for the rich isn’t a proven strategy. It’s a failed philosophy. Get some facts under your belt. You must go to some shabby school to have not done any research for this article. Don’t TELL me. SHOW me. You should have learned that in grammar school. Maybe you’re stuck because you’re lazy or can’t be bothered thinking clearly?

  11. Nick at 12:47 pm, November 6, 2012

    While there are so many things I want to say in response to this, I’m going to say just one. Because I don’t have time for you but this made me mad. Do you know why Nebraska Gov. didn’t back the pipeline? Because it was originally planned to go threw drinking water. GOOD! HE SHOULDN’T HAVE BACKED IT! It was within the state’s rights to say no. Since then, TransCanada has offered many alternative routs and has taken all health concerns into considerations. Samantha did a good job remaining nonpartisan. She clearly clears about the future of the country, but doesn’t believe government should be able to stop business when it has no right to be doing so. When it is NOT in America’s best interest.