Christine Harbin-Hanson

Age

30

Location

University of Wisconsin — BA triple major: Economics, Mathematics, French; University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium, Masters in Business Administration

Twitter

@HarbinHanson

BIO

Christine Harbin Hanson is deputy director of federal affairs for Americans For Prosperity, the country’s largest free market grassroots organization. She oversees national issue campaigns related to energy, budget and spending, taxes, and healthcare issues at the federal and state level. Prior to joining AFP, she held roles at the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Show-Me Institute, and the White House National Economics Council. Christine holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics, Mathematics, and French from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium.

Why is it important that at this particular point in time, right-of-center youth become involved publicly, whether in politics, media, their communities, or in other capacities?

Most of the problems in Washington have a direct impact on young people, yet lawmakers don’t hear enough from them. Now is more important than ever for young people to get involved and make their voices heard. Not only do young people have a difficult time finding jobs in the down economy, they are the ones who will have to pay for Washington’s reckless spending in the future.

What must elected officials and others in positions of leadership do to make a right-of-center message resonate with the Millennial generation?

One-size-fits-all policies don’t work for young people. They prefer having choices that they can customize and control for themselves. Policymakers should keep this in mind when seeking ways to make government work better for millennials. They should look for ways to decentralize power and give people more choice — healthcare solutions that empower patients and their doctors, federal spending solutions that allow states to adapt programs to their unique needs, etc.

Where would you like to see the conservative movement in 10 years — and how can it get there?

Reforming entitlement programs should be priority one. Future federal spending on programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social security pose the biggest threat to our country’s future finances, and millennials will end up shouldering most of the cost. Congress and the White House should seek changes to these programs to make them work better for young people. We can get there by holding our elected officials accountable for their promises to cut spending. We need to encourage lawmakers to make the hard decisions necessary to put entitlement programs on a sustainable path.

Thirty Under Thirty 2015

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