Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reporting on the Debt Ceiling

By Jazmin Vargas (Clifton, NJ)

Walking around Princeton interviewing complete strangers is no easy task, but that is exactly what I had to do to for our feature story. Along with two fellow SJPers, Jessica and Autumn, I walked through the streets of Princeton asking people what they thought about the debt ceiling and the stalemate between the two main political parties in Washington D.C.

To my group’s surprise, a few residents were not knowledgeable about the debt ceiling. It was definitely disappointing to see how poorly many people were informed or how little they actually cared about our nation's economic crisis.

As the evening went on, the answers to our questions were finally being answered. Some told that us the stalemate in Washington was disappointing and embarrassing while others remained positive. Overall, many agreed that in addition to budget cuts there would also need to be tax increases. Even though the answers of various residents were interesting, one in particular caught my interest. Our group was about to call it a day, when Jessica decided to ask two men on the street their thoughts on the debt ceiling. One of the men we met was an Air Force Private who felt that the budget cuts would impact defense spending and ultimately hinder air force training and result in salary cuts. This response made me realize that defense spending was not just lowering the amount spend on weapons but much of the money set aside for defense spending was for salary, healthcare, and training for officers.

From walking on the streets of Princeton interviewing people to meeting a Harvard professor in a café shop, the whole day was a new experience.

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