Voices of our Generation: The Debt Debate
by NextGen Journal | Everywhere
In less than one week, the United States of America will reach its debt ceiling. Absent a credible, bipartisan plan to raise the ceiling and reduce the deficit, we face default, a probable downgrading of our credit rating, and possible economic calamity. Negotiations are ongoing, but progress has been limited of late- and time is running out.
Our generation will probably be affected by the outcome of these negotiations more than any other. Our future is on the line- so is the job market we will enter, and so are the deficits we will inherit. And politicians and pundits don’t hesitate to invoke the ‘next generation’ or ‘our children’ when it serves their goals. It happens all too often. Over the last week alone, we’ve seen it from just about every leader in Washington.
But it’s rare to actually see the opinions, thoughts, and priorities of ‘the next generation’- our generation- included in the national conversation. That’s what we aim to do with NextGen Journal- and there’s no more important time than right now.
We’ve collected pieces from some of our Contributors across the country- and we hope you’ll join the conversation as well. Do we agree on everything? Of course not. Hopefully, this series exposes that.
But collectively, we’re ready for a solution. We’re ready for our leaders to lead. And we’re determined to make our voices heard.
Zach Smith- University of Nebraska
I am tired of people saying that they want to take care of my future, to make sure the United States is still around and functioning once they are no longer in power, yet doing the exact opposite of what would help. Compromise helps. Not defaulting helps. Not scaring world markets helps. The rest is worthless. READ MORE
Mike Oplinger- Penn State University
This standoff is exactly what makes people hate politics. It’s the fighting, the blaming, the whining and, most importantly, the lack of any actual accomplishments. Time will tell what our politicians do. But if this debate is a sign of how our government will deal with issues in the future, the system truly is finished. READ MORE
Adrienne Edwards- University of Pennsylvania
The government needs to come to a resolution. As President Obama noted in his address, “We voted for a divided government, not a dysfunctional government.” Soon enough, it will be the millennials that have to make the hard decisions, and we need a good example to follow. READ MORE
Luke Lanciano- Syracuse University
Our generation has been thrown under the bus by both sides. What about the job market? Energy investment? Maintaining student loans? If politicians really cared about the well-being of our generation, there are concrete ways to help us out. But I fear even the best-case political scenario will still result in a sluggish economy. READ MORE
Allan Joseph- University of Notre Dame
I wish I could vote Republican. I admire what the GOP used to stand for. But on issues from global warming to health care, and now the debt ceiling debate, the GOP’s denial and stubbornness has been shameful. Republicans should be afraid that my generation largely agrees with me. READ MORE
Matthew Hurt- Virginia Tech
President Obama continues to show how removed he is from our generation’s fiscal future. All of the economic decisions he makes directly affect what kind of economy we will inherit, and it doesn’t help that every economic decision this man makes is a bad one. READ MORE
Elise Swanson- University of Wisconsin-Madison
To raise the debt ceiling and address the larger debt crisis facing this nation, we need leaders who are willing to make tough compromises. President Obama has proved he is one of those leaders; Speaker Boehner has not. READ MORE
Thomas Grant- University of Notre Dame
I am economically conservative, just as any good libertarian is. If we were to balance the federal budget and use the surplus to begin paying down the national debt, it would be music to my ears. But the idea of this nation defaulting on its debt scares me, just as it should scare any American. READ MORE
Jared Sichel- Tulane University
This “default is disaster” scenario is hysteria. But the crash-and-burn method that a handful of House Republicans prefer is wholly unnecessary. Maybe those Republicans are right, and a mini-crisis the only way to force Democrats to cut spending. But the political and economic risk of such a strategy is too high. READ MORE
Kirsten Jacobsen- University of Iowa
Somewhere, there is a compromise to be reached that will appease House Republicans and Senate Democrats – but that agreement will not be made by Aug. 2. Until that fateful day, the most pertinent action Congress can take is to raise the debt ceiling, keeping American credit ratings in check, and work toward a long-term solution. READ MORE
Connor Toohill- University of Notre Dame
Although our opinions vary, I do think the ‘next generation’ can largely agree about this: We’re tired of our American future being sacrificed for the political futures of those in power. We’re sick of empty rhetoric. We’re done with rampant partisanship and the refusal to compromise. We’re ready for our leaders to lead. READ MORE
We’re just getting rolling. Be sure to join the conversation below- your thoughts matter just as much as the ones included here. Or if you want to include your own perspective, email our Editor-in-Chief at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if it’s your first time here, don’t forget to follow along on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. The next two years will be very important for our generation- and we intend to be along for the ride. Stay tuned.NextGen Journal is the website for the ‘next generation,' run by a nationwide team of college students.