Editorial: The Student Voice of Palm Beach State College

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Beachcomber staff. Photo by Frank Medina

It seems as if everyone is neglecting the most important piece of our society, personal responsibility.  In Washington D.C., there have been threats by Congress of shutting down the government, unless the Affordable Care Act, which is now law, is not defunded.  A law, that Congress has tried to repeal more than 40 times.  If the shutdown happens, as the majority of House Republicans voted on, Representatives will still receive pay, even though other federal employees will be furloughed, National Parks will be closed, etc.

This is after the House of Representatives pushed a bill through to reduce the amount of food stamp benefits people can receive.  Congress wants the American people to take personal responsibility, get off the couch and get a job.  And who can blame them?  Their answer as to what ails this country–a lack of personal responsibility.

We are living in tough times, times where going out and getting a job isn’t what it used to be.  According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistic, the unemployment rate is at 7.3 percent, while the involuntary part-time workers are 7.9 million.  That is not lack of personal responsibility that is lack of jobs.

President Obama has put forth many plans to try and get this economy moving, but the Congress has taken a position of direct opposition to what the President wants.  That is not leadership; that is a toddler throwing a tantrum.  When we elect our members of Congress, it is so they can represent our interests in Washington and make this a better nation.  Digging in your heels and just saying no represents no one.

It was heartening to see Congressman Schock (R), IL and Congresswoman Gabbard (D), HI, on Moring Joe, telling everyone how they are working together and do not want the government shutdown.  They are taking the responsibility they were tasked with by their electorates seriously.  Hopefully, the rest of Congress will follow suit.

Too many people believe their vote doesn’t count.  If that were the case, then why are they making it harder to do so?  With the Supreme Court decision to reduce the strength of the Voting Rights Act, and States enacting Voter ID laws, the right to vote is slowing being taken away from We the People.

Start to question why that is, and remember, the only way to make change is to do it from the inside.  When you drop out of the system, you do not hurt the system, you hurt your community and yourself.

As for us college students, we must take personal responsibility to the next level.  We should strive for the A, not settle for the C.  We should pay attention to what Congress is doing, because their decisions effect our education, through requirements and financial aid.  We should vote for our Representatives and make sure they represent our interests, not their own.