Monday, November 3, 2008

Cast Your Ballot for a Package

The day before the election and all my people (the folks that will admit that they are my friends, colleagues, and associates) are not breathing, they are panting with anxiety. Perhaps government officials will have to pump Prozac through the water system to just get people out of bed and to the polls and work.

Why are people in such a frenzy? Well, the economy crashed into a deep underwater recession which means job security is under siege and our retirements disappeared along with many people’s homes. Top this off with the balance statement of the war (both lives loss and the dollar amount) and our country finds it self in a downward spiral.

I have read and hear some say that they are going to vote for a candidate because they have talked more about autism and I say don’t vote for one issue, cast your ballot for a package that will in the long-run help your family and your community. As much as all of us in the autism community want more funding for research to find a cure for autism, let’s be realistic whomever gets the Oval Office will not be spending much time or resources on autism until workers are back on the job and home foreclosures reduce (some are families affected by ASD).

The United States needs a leader that will act quickly to restore and strengthen our economy, but also one that will build-up the people including people diagnosed with autism. Talking about funding more autism research is just one piece, what about upholding the federal government agreement to help fund special education or increasing the budget for Head Start programs?

If the federal government coughed-up the money they agreed to pay for special education (about 40% of the bill instead of just under 20%) not only will our children be gaining but our towns in lower educational taxes. Think of all the issues that impact your family from job security to healthcare to education and then mark your ballot.

Remember Barack Obama voted to increase the funding for special education and Head Start (S.Amdt. 2292 to H.R. 3010, Vote 273, 10/26/08; AFT Voting Record for 109th Congress, accessed 7/1/08) and to insure millions of children through the SCHIP program (H.R. 976, Vote 307, 8/2/07; S.Con.Res. 21, Vote 172, 5/17/07) while his opponent John McCain voted against families (S.Amdt. 2254 to H.R. 3010, Vote 272, 10/26/05; S.C.R. 23, Vote 86, 3/25/03; H.R. 2660, Vote 333, 9/9/03; H.R. 1836, Vote 154, 5/22/01).

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