Three reasons young Americans should care about the fiscal cliff debate

As Democrats and Republicans bargain over how to address the “fiscal cliff,” young people stand to lose a lot more in the outcome than just a negligible decrease in student loan interest rates and the right to stay on their parents’ health insurance well into their adulthood (both staples of President Obama’s 2012 campaign appeal to college students and recent graduates).

Despite the fact that young people overwhelmingly supported President Obama in 2012, most were probably unaware that they did so against their own long-term self-interest.

Here are three reasons young Americans should be watching the fiscal debate closely:

 

1. Failure to Reform Entitlement Programs Disproportionately Hurts Younger Americans

Although more than half of federal spending in 2012 will go to supporting entitlement programs, Democrats have effectively taken Social Security reform entirely off the table in the fiscal cliff debate. (They claim they will take up the issue at an unspecified time in the future. Yeah, right.)

The 2012 annual report of the Social Security Board of Trustees revealed that under current conditions, the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2033, at which time expected revenues will only be able to fund about 75 percent of scheduled payments.

That means if you’re 18-29 years old today (and retiring between 2049 and 2060), you will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in Social Security taxes over the course of your lifetime and receive less than your contribution in benefits – a negative return on investment!  You’re better of taking your chances in the stock market.

On the other hand, current retirees and baby boomers will receive full benefits paid for by current workers, aka you. Forget shifting wealth from rich to poor; our entitlement programs are really no more than a massive redistribution of wealth from young to old.

 

2. Young Americans Will Be Stuck With the Current National Debt

The President has cleverly shaped the entire deficit debate in terms of raising taxes on the “wealthy,” despite the fact that repealing the Bush tax cuts for top-earners is only expected to raise about $80 billion in 2013 against a current annual deficit of more than $1 trillion.

In order to eventually pay-off the $16.3 trillion national debt while also maintaining spending at levels President Obama and other liberals prefer, taxes will ultimately need to be raised much higher on everyone, not just the reviled “1%.”

Howard Dean admitted this well-concealed fact on MSNBC this week. The non-partisan Government Accountability Office also stated it bluntly in a report released this week: “the federal government is on an unsustainable long-term fiscal path.”

Either federal spending needs to be reduced dramatically or younger Americans of all income levels will ultimately be stuck with the higher taxes necessary to pay down the debt.

Most people would be angry at their parents if they left them with $50,000 in debt to selfishly pay for their own lavish lifestyle, so it’s a wonder that more people don’t get upset with the Federal government for doing the same thing.

 

3. The Youth Unemployment Rate is 50 Percent Higher Than The Overall Unemployment Rate

Youth unemployment (ages 18-29) is currently around 12 percent, while overall unemployment is around 8 percent.  The President has yet to explain how repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy will help the economy or create jobs for young Americans.

To the contrary, in 2009 Obama suggested (correctly) that raising taxes on anyone during a weak economy was bad economic policy.  Britain’s 2010 tax hike on the wealthy also demonstrated the tendency of higher top-marginal tax rates to slow economic growth and hurt job creation.

If the economy faces another downturn, younger, inexperienced workers will be the first to be laid-off, and jobs will be even harder to come by for recent graduates.

Young Americans have more to lose in the outcome of the fiscal cliff debate than just about any other group.

Comments

Polititainment

Stewart talks security at '1600 Jump St'
Jon Stewart brought up the two recent White House security breaches on “The Daily Show” Monday night, seeming both amused and baffled by the entire situation. “Wow! Good thing we don’t treat White House intruders the way we do Cuban refugees because then, when that guy reached the house, put his foot on the ground, […]
Gordon-Levitt eyes Snowden role
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is expected to play Edward Snowden in an Oliver Stone-directed movie about Snowden’s life, Variety reports. “The Snowden Files” would be based on the book about the NSA leaks written by Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, which is considered the closest thing to a documented account of the events. Stone acquired the rights to […]
'Madam Secretary' wants an ideal D.C.
CBS’s new show “Madam Secretary” may be inspired by some of the most polarizing and entrenched political figures in Washington D.C., but the showrunners and cast say they want to portray a less polarizing and negative D.C. on screen. POLITICO’s Playbook Lunch on Friday featured show creator Barbara Hall, executive producers Morgan Freeman and Lori […]
Obama praises Joan Rivers

President Obama must really want to maintain his popularity in Hollywood. Why else would he write a letter to Melissa Rivers praising her mother and late comedian Joan Rivers, the same woman who called him gay and his wife a "tranny" in July?

TDS: Biden hasn't been out of the house

"The Daily Show" had some fun Thursday night with the VP's recent double whammy of off-color remarks.

White House

Republicans face stakes of biblical proportions on immigration, Biden says

Vice-President Joe Biden told a crowd celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month that the GOP's direction on immigration reform is of biblical proportions.

Lois Lerner speaks: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’

Former IRS official Lois Lerner has opened up to the public in a lengthy interview with POLITICO.

Michelle Obama says Americans ‘take for granted’ Obama’s presidency
First Lady Michelle Obama proudly defended her husband during a speech at the opening reception of the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum, telling the audience that people take her husband “for granted.” “Just think about how different our country looks to children growing up today. Think about how our kids take for granted that a […]
Security breaches prompt more White House security
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Secret Service tightened security outside the White House after an embarrassing breach in which a man with a knife scaled a fence, ran across the lawn and made it all the way inside before agents stopped him. Increased surveillance and more officer patrols are among the measures that Secret Service Director Julia Pierson ordered. […]
He gaffes again! Biden praises disgraced former Senator Bob Packwood

Ranking Joe Biden gaffes is like running down the deck of the Titanic -- in the end it's just a race to the bottom and no one ever wins. And yet the vice president continues to provide more candidates for his greatest hits.

Congress

Lawmakers take in $608 per hour for time in D.C.
THE HILL – Congress will be in session for only eight days during a 102-day span between Aug. 1 and Nov. 12, when lawmakers are set to return for a lame-duck session after the elections. Because the annual salary for members of the House is $174,000, their hourly wage for those eight days amounts to $608 […]
House GOP replaces firm handling Obama suit
THE HILL — House Republicans said they’ve hired new counsel to represent them in their lawsuit against President Obama after their previous lawyer backed out of the case over “political pressure.” They inked a contract on Friday with William A. Burck of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart. The New York Times reported that the GOP’s previous attorney, David Rivkin of […]
Convicted felon running for Congress

Edwin W. Edwards recently spent nine years in prison after being convicted for extorting millions of dollars in exchange for riverboat gambling licenses, and now he's running for office.

Rand Paul: Millennials 'aren't as wedded to party'
Sen. Rand Paul (R – Ky.) seems to have the majority of millennials figured out. The presidential hopeful spoke with The Federalist this week about his foreign policy views and the shift toward libertarian views among millennials. “I think the libertarian influence, the libertarian-ish Republican, the libertarian conservatives in many ways is great for the […]
Democrats turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz
POLITICO – Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in a behind-the-scenes struggle with the White House, congressional Democrats and Washington insiders who have lost confidence in her as both a unifying leader and reliable party spokesperson at a time when they need her most. Long-simmering doubts about her have reached a peak after two […]