Voters are faced with the daunting task of sifting through slogans, promises, attacks and statistics to discover the facts. Some will opt to vote for the candidate whose slogans sound most comforting; others will dig beneath the surface for the reality. I suggest researching the facts.
President Bush has proclaimed his "No Child Left Behind" program as the panacea for our education system. It sounds like a plan generated by someone who really cares about our children and wants to help them excel. An examination of the facts makes it apparent that it is simply another slogan being used by someone who wants us to trust him.
Here are the facts: President Bush has not funded his educational programs and promises fully. In Arizona, for example, our schools received $131 million less than Bush promised for this school year. For his 2005 proposed budget, the Payson School District will receive only $542,300 out of the $726,500 promised by Bush. Have you read any recent articles about large class size problems in Payson? About teachers being let go due to budget cuts? These are the hard facts behind the warm, fuzzy slogans.
Senator Kerry pointed out in the last debate that Arizona has 950,000 individuals without health insurance, 223,000 are children. More than 80,000 Arizonans lost their health care coverage during Bush's watch. Although the final debate was in Tempe, President Bush seemed unaware of the facts about the plight of our citizens as they strive to work and care for their families and educate their children.
Finally, be aware that statistics can be used to create a false impression, especially if they are incomplete. Here's the bigger picture concerning Senator Kerry's voting on tax cuts. While Bush says that Kerry voted 98 times to increase taxes, the legislative record shows Kerry supporting lower taxes 640 times.
Don't base your vote on labels for programs that don't live up to their promises. Our country is facing huge deficits created by a president who wants us to believe he has our children's best interests at heart. Read "Running on Empty," a timely book that looks into the huge debt created by the Bush administration. Research the facts, then vote. Our country's future is at stake. If you examine the facts, you'll vote for Senator John Kerry.
Lita Nicholson, Payson