On Tuesday night, President Obama came to speak at The George Washington University. Dismayed by the university’s willingness to host such a liberal speaker, I rallied with students from the GW Chapter of Young America’s Foundation and expressed our dismay as young voters and college students. We were there to protest the university’s blatant disrespect for the conservative viewpoint and a free expression of ideas as well as to object to big government policies that have put our country and our generation in this economic mess.
For Tuesday’s event, the university closed down the Student Center, “rescheduling or relocating” all student organizations in the building, to the detriment of on-campus programming. The purpose? To host the President for an event coordinated by the Democratic National Committee to encourage people to vote in the midterm election. It cannot even be argued that this event could have enriched the general campus community because only 20 members of the GWU community were allowed to attend the event, and they were all pre-selected. On the contrary, this event detracted from campus life in every way, merely to further the progressive agenda.
The university’s bias towards liberal viewpoints has been apparent for years, but has recently been cause for even greater concern. The general trends are astonishing. During the past ten commencements, only one speaker has been a Republican or conservative, President George H.W. Bush. The university routinely hosts the like of Larry King and Al Gore on campus, while barely making time for Republicans like Dana Perino.
Recently it has gotten worse. Over the past two years, GWU has become a popular spot for officials from the Obama Administration. Joe Biden stopped on campus last year to unveil a new administration proposal. Rahm Emanuel and Michelle Obama have been the past two commencement speakers.
But as I graduate college and head out into the professional world, I found Obama’s analysis of the economic trends at the town hall even more disturbing. The President’s quote that “My first job was to stop the slide, and we did” shows his naiveté on the issue. My generation will be the most burdened by debt in the history of this nation. Despite the fact that the President spent a trillion dollars in stimulus (money my generation, and our children will just begin to start paying back), unemployment rose, and is still at 9.6%. This year the debt approaches $13 trillion, and there is still no end to the spending in sight.
And while the present situation is dreary the entitlement future only looks bleaker. Medicare, a program many of us have paid into during our teen and college years is expected to be bankrupt by 2017. As payroll taxes and the minimum age of retirement are increasing, Social Security benefits will be decreasing, to the tune of 24% over the next 30 years. At the current rate, Social Security will not even exist by 2040.
Lastly, our generation will have to deal with the greatest specter of all the issues: Obamacare. While the President claims that this new program will increase coverage and decrease costs while reducing the deficit, this all cannot be true. It has never been mathematically possible to give more people a service without raising costs. Since the federal government will be the primary insurer, the debt will once again fall upon us, the new generation of young professionals. For this program we are looking at a reduced quality of healthcare, and an increased liability of $2.5 trillion in increased debt over the next ten years.
Many students on campus ask why we want to protest the President; the current status of our nation was the impetus. Our generation simply cannot afford the increased burdens the President wants to impose on our county. It is not just about campus bias, (although that is an issue that needs correction), but the cost of our government. It used to be exciting to graduate from school, earn a reputable job, and settle into a rewarding career. Our generation has none of those luxuries. Instead, young people in the workforce today are faced with the difficulty of finding employment and are forced to pay high taxes for government programs we don’t want to be a part of.
Unfortunately, as the university fails to provide an open discussion of the issues, by forbidding conservatives to speak and spread the ideas of free markets and limited government, progressives are pushing my peers and me towards being a “debt generation.”