After all the back and forth, all the rhetoric, all the
predictions, what is this election really about for you
and me? For Generation Next?
Answering "the future" always proves cliché,
but to some degree, this is exactly what's at stake. The
policies embarked upon by either party hold significant
consequences, less for today's electorate, and more for
those of us who will shoulder the tax burden and reputation
of our government in the years to come. And, as surreal
as it may be, these years will not prove long in coming.
In the next year, you and I will have both graduated, and
begun looking for jobs. Thankfully, the Bush administration
has displayed the foresight to resist quick fix economic
policies and introduced tax cuts that have directly led
to the economic boom we are now enjoying. Since 2003, 6.8
million new jobs have been created. This bodes well for
our age group in a market where grad schools increasingly
value real life experience in granting admission.
This good fortune, however, is dependent upon the tax cuts
remaining permanent. Charles Rangel and the Democrats would
love nothing more than to repeal
the cuts, and if not, "balance" the deficit
with debilitating spending programs.
Moreover, our generation cannot afford the price tag that
comes with current entitlement programs. If this issue isn't
at the top of our priorities now, it better get there soon.
With no changes, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
will force our generation to choose between three
very depressing alternatives. We would raise taxes by
$11,000 per household, cut every other government spending
program or increase the budget deficit to 500 percent of
United States GDP. Want to make that tough decision? Not
the war against terrorism ought to loom large for our generation,
and we cannot let the focus remain only on Iraq. If we succumb
to our enemies in Iran and North Korea by talking directly
with them, we won't change their plans, only legitimize
them. Surprisingly, it would seem to liberals, the Republicans
are the only ones urging cooperation and accountability
in foreign affairs. By continuing to work
with regional allies to reach a group solution, Republicans
will best answer the threat of global terrorism and nuclear
When it comes to the future for our generation, Republicans
are the ones willing to stand up for a strong United States
- one that will allow Generation Next to prosper.
The most important issue for Generation Next, however,
is simply showing up. Annika, you and I will never see the
important changes we've discussed if our generation continues
to ignore the most fundamental democratic right: voting.
We've spent the past week debating why these parties, and
their policies, are important to Generation Next. On Tuesday,
it will be our turn to prove why "Generation Next"
is important to the parties that govern our nation.