crisp's presidential youth debate


Throughout this election, we've seen two very different visions of how to lead our country into the 21st century. Do we work together, to make sure every young person in America has the tools to make the most of their own lives? Or do we leave people to fend for themselves? Do we build a bridge to a brighter future -- or a bridge to the past?

Your vote will decide whether we balance the budget, to keep the economy growing and create jobs -- and do it while protecting Medicare, Medicaid, education, and the environment.

Your vote will decide whether we give every young American the education that is the key to opportunity, and higher-paying jobs.

Whether we help every child learn to read independently by the third grade, by mobilizing 30,000 reading tutors nationwide, whether we connect every classroom in America to the Internet, making computers as common as blackboards in our schools; whether we make sure everyone has the chance to go to college, by cutting taxes to make the first two years of college as universal as high school.

Your vote will decide whether we even have a Department of Education, because my opponent voted for and still proposes eliminating it entirely. Just think about it: as we move into the 21st century, at his cabinet meetings, there would be no one to stand up and fight for our children's education.

Your vote will decide whether we do more to protect the environment that all of us depend on -- protecting our air and drinking water from pollution; saving millions of acres of national parks ands deserts; and cleaning up toxic waste dumps -- so children grow up next to parks, not poison.

Your vote will decide whether we make our families stronger -- with better, more affordable health care; and young people that grow up free from gangs, guns, drugs, and tobacco.

Your vote will decide whether we keep the Brady Bill, and keep guns out of the hands of felons, fugitives, and stalkers. Whether we keep the ban on deadly assault weapons -- and keep putting 100,000 police on our streets, all across America.

Every one of these actions, these beliefs, are going to shape how America grows into the next decade, the next century, and beyond. This is the last presidential election of the 20th century. But in many ways, it is our first discussion of how we move forward, into the 21st century -- how we help you make the most of your future. I believe more than ever before that our best days are ahead of us. And if we work together -- if you make sure to vote in this Tuesday's election -- we can build that bridge to the 21st century, and give every young person a chance at the American dream.

When I speak of a "bridge to the 21st century" in terms of the next four years, I am speaking of the construction phase. A bridge is not erected over night, and the programs America needs cannot be implemented overnight. It is imperative to build a solid structure. The result will be a bridge that can lasts for many decades if properly maintained.

The pylons of my bridge are my economic plan and Supreme Court nominations. By passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution and implementing a 15% across the board tax cut, Americans will possess more of their money now and in the succeeding decades. More capital will be available, thereby providing more opportunities for Americans to start their own businesses. Additionally, by allowing all Americans to set up tax-free Medical Saving Accounts free of Washington red tape, they are providing for their own future health coverage. The other pylon of our bridge is our Constitution. By appointing individuals who subscribe to the original intent of our founders, we can ensure our liberties are preserved.