Honesty IS the Best Policy: By Ryan Robinson
In today’s world, every bit of information is at our fingertips. Want to know the weather? Just go on your i-thing and find out. Want to know any random fact of information? Go to wolframalpha.com. Want to know the truth? Good luck finding it.
Information is all over and with different websites with different opinions and different people saying different things, fact and fiction are hard to tell. With politicians though, this problem appears the most. Let’s just look at our great state of New Jersey. Our governor, Chris Christie is saying that we need to cut spending and stop raising taxes because the state can’t afford it and the citizens can’t afford it.
“We have to stop dancing around our tax problem, stop putting band-aids on and address the structural issues. We can’t increase municipal aid, aid to school districts and property taxes without end. At some point the public’s ability to pay runs out… we’re there.” –Chris Christie
However, according to many unions like the NJEA, Christie’s cuts are just going to ignore the problem, and make state programs disappear and hurt the schools and the public.
“This governor’s priorities are hurting the young, the elderly, the sick, and the middle class, while he protects the corporate interests and the state’s wealthiest taxpayers. Today, the people of New Jersey stood up to this governor, and told the legislature that it’s time to go back to the drawing board to balance the state’s budget.”
So who to believe? Or do both have a point? This is when a fact check needs to come in. Instead of just believing the first thing you hear, dig deeper, look around a bit; not just at one website, but 5. Try 5 different sources. Fox News, CNN, NBC, Reuters, BBC, are all 5 different sources. Don’t just go to liberal or conservative blogs too, just type something in Google and click the first 5 or so you see.
If you don’t do research and still don’t know what to think or believe, someone will always try and convince you. Ads on radio, television, newspaper, and maybe even someone at a workplace or school will try to convince you; but don’t believe them right away. Gather other opinions, get all of the facts, and then decide for yourself what is true.
When I did research on the Christie vs. Unions arguments, I found that taxes are extremely high in NJ (which I was told everyone knows), and that the state is about $30.2 billion (yes with a b) dollars in debt. According to nj.com, “The debt amounts to $3,478 for every man, woman and child in New Jersey…” which shows the need to cut spending and stop raising taxes to pay off our debt. However, on the union’s side, in this case the teachers’ union, the schools in NJ are very good compared to the nation, and cuts in those areas according to them would make our system worse. Also, people point out that families rely on certain services and cutting or limiting them would affect their daily lives drastically.
Back to the governor though, I personally like him for many reasons, but my number one reason is that he just says it like it is. From governor to governor, we have been virtually avoiding our problems and convincing everyone we’re fine, until now. It’s the same way with our country. We’ve been avoiding the facts and ignoring reality and thinking everything is okay, because that’s what we’re told, until the problems are right in front of us. People like other people who appreciate accountability, are polite, kind, eager, and honest. But it’s hard to find a person with at least 2 of those qualities in Washington, D.C. nevertheless in your state or town.
I would like to predict that a candidate, who has at least 2 of those qualities during this upcoming election, will win whichever party they are from. While issues and standings are important, whether the candidate is actually going to stick with them is even more important.
Certain things fade in and out of style, but honesty doesn’t. Honesty IS still the best policy and while you may not be popular for it, there will at least be a few who appreciate you speaking the truth. Be honest, man up, be realistic, and say what needs to be said, not what the people necessarily want to hear. Even if you are wrong, as long as you are honest the truth is on your side.