The growing national debt demands immediate attention and real solutions from America’s elected leadership.
That was the message delivered yesterday by a group of young Americans at a press conference with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).
“The greatest dysfunction of all is the fact that these young people standing here are facing a diminished future, no matter how you slice it,” said Ryan. “This isn’t a Republican issue. It’s not a Democrat issue. It’s a math issue.”
“Sixteen trillion dollars is a huge number, and individually, if you do the math, each of us are over a hundred thousand dollars in debt,” said Sohaani Perera, an attendee from College Park,Maryland.
“I’ve never even seen that much money in my life, and the idea of being that much in debt for something I’m not even responsible for – I feel penalized, and so does the rest of my generation,” she said.
The conference followed House Republicans’ inaugural “Millennial Meetup” roundtable, where lawmakers met with young leaders from The Can Kicks Back group and National Campus Leadership Council.
Representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Aaron Schock (R-IL) also spoke at the press conference, which was sponsored by the House Republican Conference, chaired by McMorris Rogers.
“I think it’s unfair of us now to ask that once [young people] become—once they have families, once they’re out in the workplace, that we ask them to bear the national debt because of our out-of-control spending,” said Kinzinger.
Other students worried about whether or not the entitlements they are paying for would be there when they retired.
“My other concerns are that when I do reach the age where I will be able to collect Medicare and Medicaid, that it’s not going to be there,” said Katelyn Williams of Hempstead, New York.
That’s right. Without real reforms, these programs will not be there for these students. They must be reformed.
The debt issue is one of basic responsibility, said John Pendleton ofRichmond,Virginia.
“I feel like I’ve been fiscally responsibly in saving money, so I expect the government to do the same,” he said.