Change author to: D. Patrick Brown

In a few short days, our nation will face a decision. We will decide whether to con- tinue on our current path of failed policies, false promises and uncertainty, or whether it is time to make a change by electing a man of principle and dedication who has the ability to return the United States to a position of economic strength and confidence.

It may seem cliche, but this election will have a major impact on the future of our nation, and our generation is fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in this decision.

The driving issue in this election is most certainly the economy. While President Barack Obama has allowed the United States economy to remain stagnant, unem- ployment to hover at 8 percent and the federal debt to rise by $6.5 trillion to more than $16 trillion in total, Mitt Romney has a plan for our economy. This plan, consist- ing of five points, would achieve North American energy independence by 2020 and work to open new markets for trade, while confronting nations, such as China, that take American jobs.

Gov. Romney will also help Americans gain the skills they need for new jobs through improved higher education and job training. His plan will reduce the deficit and the size of the federal government while championing small businesses to stimulate growth at the heart of our economy. This will get the federal debt under control while stimulating economic growth.

An issue of particular importance to us at Elon University is that of higher education and student debt. Under Obama’s presidency, in three and a half years, the cost of a college education has increased by 25 percent and total student debt has reached a record $1 trillion. Mitt Romney will have higher education focus on skills of impor- tance to the growth of our economy, while encouraging private sector participation in education and student loans.