President Obama’s election campaign released a new ad this morning describing how higher education transformed his life.
His ad implies that the president’s policies have made college more affordable for the middle class because of increased federal spending.
Obama has seen his approval among college-age voters decline since they voted for him in 2008 by a nearly 30-percent margin, and this could be an effort by his campaign to re-energize young voters to vote for him again in November.
Interestingly enough however, President Obama fails to highlight a few glaring differences between his situation and that of contemporary college students.
First of all, President Obama got a B.A from Columbia University and a J.D. from Harvard University. Graduating from a law school that is ranked #3 in the country will give one massive advantages in terms of job connections and prestige.
The majority of college graduates will not have multiple degrees from Ivy League schools.
Secondly, when Obama graduated from Harvard in 1991, national debt was just below $4 trillion, compared to the current astounding figure of over $15.7 trillion. In the four years since Obama took office, the president has increased the national debt by $5 trillion dollars, slightly less than the size of the total U.S. national debt in 2001 when Bill Clinton left office.
Increases in national debt result in higher interest rates and higher taxes. Additionally, the interest payments result in lower availability of money for economic stimulus, such as domestic construction projects or tax credits for entrepreneurs.
Barack Obama’s economic policies are not helping today’s youth. The Huffington Post recently reported that in 2011, an astounding 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent of persons under the age of 25 who held a bachelors degree were jobless or unemployed.
Large numbers of college graduates are being forced to resort to jobs that do not require college degrees, such as bartending or being a cashier.
The reality is, today’s college graduates have massive student loans to pay, and many regret spending tens of thousands of dollars getting a college degree just to become a payroll clerk.
It is irresponsible to encourage students to take out massive loans to attend college, when many are unaware of dreadful career prospects that currently face large numbers of college graduates.
In 2011, the rate at which individuals defaulted on their student loans reached an appalling 8.8 percent. Defaulting on one’s student loans can have severe consequences on a person, including loss of tax refunds, federal benefits, wages and can even result in being sued by the government.
This is not the future the American youth desire. In 2008, the American youth put their trust in Barack Obama to create a better future for them after they left college. Today, over 50 percent of recent college grads are jobless or unemployed.