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Op−ed | Scott Brown is the wrong choice for Massachusetts

Published: Monday, November 5, 2012

Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 06:11

On Oct. 25, an op−ed in these pages urged Tufts students to vote for Scott Brown. I am writing to ask students to look critically at the statements and actions of both Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren before voting.

According to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Elizabeth Warren’s deficit−cutting proposal would reduce the national debt by 67% more than Scott Brown’s proposal over 10 years.

Taxing top earners according to the Buffett Rule, ending oil subsidies and raising estate taxes, would accomplish this. In fact, Warren is in support of simplifying regulation for small businesses and applauds Congress’ Small Business Innovation Research Program and Small Business Technology Transfer Program. She wants to move forward to eliminate more regulations for small businesses.

Scott Brown has consistently voted in favor of subsidies to oil companies and against closing corporate loopholes. He has made it clear that he wants to focus on tax cuts for the wealthy and a bipartisan effort for fiscal reform, consistently avoiding the fact that any bipartisan measure will surely include taxation. The truly balanced approach comes from Warren, who acknowledges the need for taxes on wealthy Americans and large corporations as well as large spending cuts.

While the economic strategies of Brown and Warren may be up for debate, their social policies are not, and this is where voters must be especially careful.

Although Brown claims to support LGBT rights, he has consistently voted to give states’ rights precedence. He has not taken a stand against the Defense of Marriage Act and does not support the Employment Non−Discrimination Act, which would ban hiring discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Warren, however, has been consistently committed to equal rights for all and says she would work for a more fully inclusive Employee Non−Discrimination Act and to change school environments to be more welcoming to LGBT youth.

Even more troubling is the fact that Brown has been calling himself pro−choice. He is not. Brown co−sponsored the Woman’s Right to Know Act, which forces a woman to wait a full day before obtaining an abortion and compels her to review ultrasound pictures and information regarding the fetus. Despite this, Brown continues to label himself pro−choice and apparently hopes that his words will speak louder than his actions.

Women should be wary of accepting his recent attempts to appeal to them. Brown has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying that states should choose the plan that is the best fit for them. This means that states that consider womanhood to be a pre−existing condition can make obtaining affordable healthcare difficult. He also co−sponsored the Blunt Amendment, which would allow employers to deny health care coverage such as contraception to employees for moral or religious reasons. Although Brown claims to support Planned Parenthood funding, he voted for H.R.1 in 2011, which would have eliminated Title X and thus removed funding for low−income clinics and funding for Planned Parenthood.

Deception has been prevalent during this election season, and unfortunately it is often impossible to rely on a candidate’s stated platform. The pro−Brown op−ed lauded Brown for prioritizing evidence over ideology. Voters should heed this prioritization tomorrow; vote for Elizabeth Warren.

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Joyce Harduvel is a freshman who has not yet declared a major. She can be reached at Joyce.Harduvel@tufts.edu. 

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