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article imageOp-Ed: Young Americans to pay boomer debt

By Larry Clifton     May 1, 2009 in Politics
Many young Americans have invested their hopes and dreams in Barack Obama. Some follow him blindly, without giving much thought to their future, or the future of their offspring. Others believed in his campaign pledges.
Obama was the youngest in the final campaign for the presidency, and who isn’t proud to see a black man elected as a U.S. President? Europe seems thrilled with Obama, and that pleases many young Americans who are tired of seeing their President and country besmirched by the New York Times and international media.
Mr. Obama promised young people “change,” and no one can say he hasn’t delivered it. However, as many have said, “change” is a generic term, its real meaning derived from specific actions rather than campaign rhetoric. After 100 days in office, Mr. Obama has also delivered on many such actions. However, so far his actions are in stark contrast to his promises of change.
The voters have also installed a veto-proof Democratic Party Congress to complement a handsome young Democratic Party President. The dust has settled from the campaign and laws are being enacted at dazzling speed as government spending explodes into uncharted space under the Obama Administration.
Because young Americans voted for Obama in overwhelming numbers and they will be his long-term partners in assumption of the accumulated national deficits, that he has more than doubled in his first budget, perhaps a few questions about his evolving definition of “change” are in order.
Before submitting a budget with $1.8 trillion in deficit spending for 2009, Mr. Obama also approved a separate $800 billion stimulus bill and requested tens of billions for his escalation of the Afghanistan war. That’s a lot of change, but is extreme deficit spending really the specific change that you voted for? What was the rhetoric that Mr. Obama delivered during his campaign about reducing deficit spending?
If your family had an income of $60,000 but you spent $65,000, you created a deficit. So you borrowed $5,000 to close the deficit but managed your credit cards and loan debt and made all payments. That’s good. Then you learn that your husband charged an additional $500,000 on things he can’t quite explain, and suddenly you are borrowing from loan sharks and hustlers to get through the next year. That’s bad, and it’s exactly where the U.S. stands, economically speaking. The only relief comes in knowing that if you can keep juggling the debt, you can pass your debt along to your children at some point and retire in Florida. Is that fair? Is that the “change" you voted for?
It is fair to question Mr. Obama (who campaigned on deficit reduction and reducing earmark spending) about his brand of change, because the next generation has a lot of stake in where the economy is headed, as do their offspring, born and unborn. So the question is: If a president campaigns on drastically reducing earmark spending (spending indirectly or directly benefiting member’s re-election campaigns) but allows nearly all earmarks to stay in the $800 billion stimulus bill that he signed, is that the kind of “change” that you voted for? Where are the hard choices talked about on the campaign trail?
Obama claimed that ,although the taxes on the 3.2 million individuals and businesses with highest incomes would increase by $300,000 apiece, families earning less than $250,000 per year would see their taxes raised by , “not one single dime.” Doesn’t that make you feel good!
But wait, there’s a problem. Obama’s $646 billion cap-and-trade energy tax will be immediately passed on to all consumers at a cost that will average from $650 to $2000 per household annually. Now look carefully. Can you tell which hand Obama is holding your “change” in?
Young people need to take a real inventory on the state of the Union, and that will require thinking outside of the Beltway box. Tens of millions of your elders are trying to warn you in advance, before you receive so much “change” that it literally buries your future. When one agrees to adding trillions of dollars of deficit spending as far as the eye can see, one must also remember that this will be his or her country in twenty years. Whatever staggering figure that today’s politicians pass along through deficit spending in promoting their ideologies and voter registrations, is on your generation.
Obama campaigned on making “hard choices,” and confronting runaway budgets and earmark spending in Washington. There is no solution in all of this deficit spending for the tremendous costs of maintaining Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits to 77 million baby boomers who are poised to retire. According to the Heritage Foundation, these costs could push income tax rates to over 60 percent, not including tax increases to fund the president’s obvious passion for deficit expenditures.
The Obama Administration’s budget analysis also unrealistically assumes an economic boom will begin next January. This rosy assumption flies in the face of economists who are hoping that we reach bottom by that time. Even so, evidence is growing indicating the Obama Administration will maintain high deficit spending even if the economy returns to full strength.
According to distinguished economist Brian M. Riedle of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies of the Heritage Foundation, President Obama plans to add an additional $48,000 of debt per American household, but most people smarter than a fifth grader realize that government spending always far exceeds projections, after all, isn’t that what we are experiencing. Ironically, young America has dutifully fallen on their economic sword for boomers, leaving their children at risk.
Young Americans will give Mr. Obama and his Administration 4 more years; that is a contract, but they are not required to march lock-step in his army of “change.” They are also entitled to revoke his rubber-stamp Democratic Party Congress. Any young person who does not question government, including if not particularly this government that campaigned on “change” but delivered a hyper-spending version of old Washington, has no reason to complain about taxes when the boomers are setting sail to celebrate their retirement in Tahiti or elsewhere. Meanwhile, today's young Americans and ther children will assume all boomer debt.
Are you getting the change that you bargained for? If so, congratulations – boomers will enjoy spending every dime of it - and you are their hero.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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