Articles

The Bottom 47%

In Uncategorized on September 19, 2012 by David

My name is David, and I am a third year medical student. Being in school, I am one of the 47% of Americans who did not pay federal income tax last year.

As a medical student, I am proud of my future profession. I am proud of a future of taking care of people in times of need and am still inspired daily by the tremendous impact physicians have on patients.  Working with world class teachers and doctors, I recognize my time in medical school is truly precious. I feel blessed for this opportunity to learn and grow – one day, I hope to provide the best possible care of my patients. Even with supportive parents, school is expensive. I take out loans to pay for my education, and I believe in an America where everyone is afforded the opportunity to invest in the future. Because of my investment into my future, I did not earn an income last year. I am one of the 47% of Americans who did not pay federal income tax.

I am proud of the work I put in to get where I am today. I have worked long hours and spent many long nights in the library to reach my ambitions. However, even though I work hard, I do not believe I got where I am alone. I am here because of supportive parents, who drove me to the library during summer vacations and picked me from after school activities. I am here because of a school system that prioritized math and science education, even when budgets are tight and tough decisions need to be made. I am here because I am American, and our country supports education and promotes opportunity.

As a medical student, I have seen firsthand how broken our medical system can be. I hate how physicians and hospitals have to shape care to the whims and desires of insurance companies. I have seen patients suffer as we wait for permission to perform life saving surgery and radiation therapy. After working in the hospital, I can no longer believe in a world where healthcare is not a human right, nor do I want to live in a world where insurance companies decide patients’ fates.  Although I do not agree with all parts of healthcare reform, I am proud of a president that attempt to tackle difficult questions facing America.

I am a Christian. I believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and in a God who loves those who do not deserve his love. I do not believe these core principles are consistent with a president who will not care for the most vulnerable half of America. Although I did not pay income tax last year, I do not believe I am “lazy”, “entitled”, or “without responsibility”. I do not believe a man who can characterize half the nation in such broad strokes embodies my ideals, beliefs, or hopes, nor does such a man look out and see the same America I see.

I am usually not political. I did not vote in 2008. I try to hide my views during discussions. However, recent remarks have solidified my views of this election. I agree with Mitt Romney that this election is a competition between two divergent visions for the nation. But after seeing the contrast between the two perspectives, I believe in Barack Obama’s vision of the future. I have seen firsthand how this land of opportunity let me reach for my dreams, and I want to keep the American dream alive for many more after me.

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