Young Oliver Twist Voters

Thursday, June 25, 2009

As many young voters laud Obama and his policies with complete reverence and adulation, I am reminded of a book written by Charles Dickens. The outcry from the young for Obama health care and cap and trade is almost the equivalent of Oliver Twist’s famous quote, “please sir, I’d like some more.”

I have long been confused by polling numbers regarding Obama support by age demographic. The Washington Post and ABC recently came out with a new poll regarding Obama’s approval rating. Now, this poll is wrong and heavily skewed to favor Obama. However, I doubt that an honest poll would show much difference as far as which age demographics support Obama the most. According to the poll, 71% of those polled between the ages of 18-29 approve of Obama and 66% of those between the ages of 30-39 approve of Obama. These two age demographics represented the largest amount of support for Obama. The real question is why are younger voters out of their minds?

In truth, Obama policies are going to place a large burden on the younger generations. Let me rephrase, Obama policies are going to squeeze the younger generations so tight that they will never enjoy the lifestyle or financial securities that their parents enjoyed. My progressive friends keep telling me I’m not looking at the “long term” benefits to Obama’s vision. However, I seriously doubt they’ve considered the reality of what Obama policies will bring in the “long term.”

To understand the idea of generational theft, you must understand the promises made, the promises being made, and the sacrifices you will be forced to make (I’m talking your average guy, NOT JUST THE RICH). You also need to understand the economies that each generation has/is facing and what that means. My point in this post is not to say we need to cut the older generations off, but that we need to be careful about programs we are reforming and ensure that great new promises aren’t going to bankrupt the young.

Currently, we the people have promised to provide assistance to retirees in the form of income. We also have promised health care assistance to the elderly and poor. Previous generations, especially the Greatest Generation, have and will benefit greatly from this while you pick up the tab. Please remember that those of the Greatest Generation have enjoyed many perks to employment such as pensions, free health care, and full retirement benefits under social security. Baby Boomers have been seeing these benefits paired back as they look to retire, but most people in the generation have enjoyed at least some or all of these benefits at sometime in their working lives. Add the fact that these generations worked at a time of US economic dominance and it is no wonder most are able to retire before the age of 60.

As the ranks of retirees begin to swell with the Baby Boomer generation, we in the generations remaining in the work force are on the hook to support these promises made. Why? Because we are taxed on our income and to earn income you generally have to be working. We are left following through on the promises that were made by a congress that voted long before we were born. As it stands, social security and Medicare/Medicaide are broke. To add to the Gen X and Millenial working woes, these two generations will never see the job perks of the past. Pensions and employer paid health care are a thing of the past. Our only retirement plan is simply, save everything you can.

Now Obama and the progressives are on the scene and they argue that not enough promises are being made. He wants to promise to cover everyone’s health care and reduce the average temperature of the planet by .5 degrees Celsius. The young people of this country cheer. Finally, they have a candidate that speaks for them or do they? What is that one question they all answer “the rich?” It happens to be, “who is going to pay for all of these promises?”

Well my young friends, below is a graph of Obama’s policies. It shows totals over the next ten years. First is the amount of revenue generated by implementing Obama’s tax on the rich. The second is the deficit of Obama’s health care by itself. The third is the deficit incurred by the entire Obama budget. Data was pulled off of the OMB and NY Times.

To the young readers of this post:

To believe that the rich are going to pay for you to live your wildest dreams is naïve. If health care costs spiral out of control, you are going to pay them and you will pay them for the next 30 years. The funny thing is that you will not even need to use the health care you are paying for. The Baby Boomers will thank you for all the hard work you are doing so that they can have cheaper health care. Cap and trade is coming out of your retirement fund. I hope that the .5 degrees Celsius is worth it.

The next question would have to be: how will government fix these failing programs by the time you want to retire? The favorite for social security is increasing the retirement age from 65-75. This won’t start until after the Baby Boomers. How are you going to finance 10 extra years of income on your own? Surely, you aren’t thinking that you are going to make more money over the next 30 years to pay for it? Not while you pay for retiree’s health care and global temperature reduction? I wish I had an answer for you.


Anonymous said...

Let's be honest - neither party has given one rat's ass about the huge liabilities being passed on to us young people. Not surpising as it would be political suicide.

Nonetheless, nice post! Always nice to see another young person is aware of the severe ram job we're going to be receiving if we aren't careful.

Better we start getting passed our little differences and join together on this problem ASAP. Too bad the majority of our 'allies' are completely oblivious.

June 25, 2009 at 11:50 PM
The Law said...

So what is the solution? You highlight concerns, and they are indeed legitmate. But how do we solve the problem in a way that doesn't send America to the poor house?

June 26, 2009 at 12:25 AM

The Law - many of the solutions are as simple as being the precise opposite of that which they are doing right now. Also the precise opposite of most of what the Bush administration did in the waning years as well. It's as simple as that.

June 26, 2009 at 5:52 PM

CG - Great post too BTW.

June 26, 2009 at 5:53 PM


To true! Job one should be clean up Washington! That means both parties.


I'm with LCR as far as a common sense approach. The approach to dealing with too many promises is to work on relieving those promises, not committing to grander bigger ones. I have mentioned many possibilities over the last few months.

Although, Bush rarely had it right, his social security fix is a good example. Those retiring, age 55, had an option for having 1/3 of their SS privately funded. If they wanted the full amount, they could have it, no private option forced. However, for us younger one's, we could invest 1/3 in a private option, the rest of the 2/3 were put into the old system. Not as secure, but we at least had a very good shot of getting the exact amount as our parents, while diminishing the burden over time. As it stands, we are looking to totally fund older generations and receiving none in return. I generally don't like to take risks, but I think this is one worth taking, given the alternative.

If you hate the example, that's fine. However, we should be looking at solutions that are equitable to the older generations, but also relieves, overtime, some of the liabilities that we are stuck with.

June 26, 2009 at 6:54 PM

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