WSU groups debate on current US issues

Talk covered topics like economic policy, healthcare, immigrants

CHERYL AARNIO, Evergreen reporter

Health care, economic policy and immigration were discussed by the Young Democrats, Young Americans for Liberty and College Republicans at a debate hosted by ASWSU at an Issues and Forums event Thursday night.

One of the questions on health care addressed whether all U.S. residents should have to pay for health insurance.

Morgan Hostettler, a member of the Young Democrats, said when everyone pays for health insurance, premiums are kept low and people with pre-existing conditions do not have to pay a higher rate than people without pre-existing conditions.

Young Americans for Liberty disagreed and member Ryan Hoffman said requiring rich people who can afford to pay their medical costs without insurance to buy the insurance is ridiculous.

Along the same lines, he said, a poor person who cannot afford to buy health insurance should not be required to.

The College Republicans agreed and Trent Kenny, technology chair for the club, said poor people should not have to pay for something that is not feasible for them to pay for.

“The very poor, they’re already covered under Medicare,” Hostettler said in his rebuttal.

Hoffman also had his own rebuttal. He referred to a time when he had to share an apartment in Seattle with his friends. They did not have health insurance and had to pay a $600 fine.

The groups also addressed what the best way is for Congress to decrease the national deficit.

“There are a lot of things we could cut before we go after public benefits,” said Brent Nichols, a member of Young Democrats.

He said one solution is a progressive tax.

“As history has shown, there’s a difference between raising tax rates and actually raising revenue,” said Ivan Montoya, member of the College Republicans.

He said what Democrats are proposing means the rich will be encouraged to find ways to make it so their money will not be taxed, such as putting it in offshore bank accounts.

Nichols said the budget could also be changed so that money is not being wasted unnecessarily.

He also said about half of people receiving welfare actually do work. This means they are not being paid enough. He said if they were better able to barter for wages, those people would buy more, thus giving the government more revenue.

“I propose 10 percent tax cuts across the board: military, Social Security, everything,” Montoya said.

Emmaline Adams, member of the Young Americans for Liberty, said it is unfair that the top 10 percent of rich people pay 70 percent of the taxes, especially because they provide jobs.

Debaters were also asked whether President Donald Trump should renew the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or not.

Young Democrats member Connor Buckley said it should be renewed. The people who are affected by DACA are people who have lived their entire lives in the U.S. and have been educated here, he said.

“These are people that we know,” he said, referring to the fact that many of them are college-age.

Nicolas Argon, Young Americans for Liberty president, said it is a flawed program and while he realizes immigrants came in illegally, it was not their fault.

He said he thinks there must be a way for them to get citizenship on their own. Deportation is not a viable option because it would hurt businesses and jobs, he said.

“The term is illegal immigrant. The first part of that is somewhat important, I would hope,” College Republicans President Amir Rezamand said. “Any sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants … does nothing but erode national sovereignty.”