The Republican War on the Young
Young people find themselves under siege.
Youth unemployment for ages 16 to 24 is at Arab Spring levels - officially 16.5 percent. In public schools, children are being hit with teacher layoffs, increased class size, reduced bus service, fees for sports and other extracurricular activities and reduced course offerings in everything from music to advanced placement courses. Colleges are raising tuitions and shorting aid programs. Student debt now is greater than credit card debt, with Americans owing more than
And even their right to vote is under attack. Millennials outnumber the famous boomer generation. Voters 18 to 25 turned out in large numbers for
And it's getting worse. In July, the interest rate on U.S. government sponsored student loans is scheduled to double to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent. This will add thousands to the debt owed by today's students, and to the cost of repaying that debt over time. Rep.
Republicans are also intent on repealing health care reform. The reform enables young people to be covered under their parents' plans until age 26. Repeal would force many to lose health insurance altogether.
Like the war on women, this war on young people has little popular support. Not surprisingly, large majorities oppose cuts in education spending. We all have a stake in the next generation getting a healthy start, a world-class education and a chance to reach their full potential.
And parents often feel the pain when their children are afflicted. Parents stretch to provide support for their unemployed children, including living space those who can't afford to live separately. Uninsured calamity often becomes a family sacrifice. Parents guarantee many of their children's student loans. Americans over 60 owe a staggering
We can't afford to lose this war on the young.
In fact, we should be moving forward, not retreating. Providing aid to states and localities to rehire teachers would help fuel the recovery and create a million jobs or so. Direct public employment for the young in job corps and green corps would more than pay for itself in reduced crime, increased productivity and reduced incidence of drugs and depression. Providing free tuition for public college would cost an estimated
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The Republican War on the Young | Politics
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