This is a post I wrote that ran today on Broadside Books. Please share it with all the young people you know, especially those who don’t understand the massive challenges they are about to inherit.
You have the most incentive of anyone to not only join the Tea Party movement, but become its most passionate leaders.
Stop laughing. Just hear me out.
I’m 35 years old. And though you may think I’m already old enough to draw Social Security, I can assure you that I’m not and can still clearly remember what it’s like to be young(er).
Because of that, I understand why the Tea Party isn’t exactly the coolest thing on campus. Though toga parties seem to remain a winner, I haven’t heard of any where people are sporting knee-length pants, tri-corner hats, and powdered wigs. I’m not really a partygoer myself, but even I would be creeped out by something like that.
But the Tea Party isn’t about being cool (obviously) or social networking or feeling good about oneself; it is primarily about one thing: saving some semblance of freedom for your generation.
I know, it sounds melodramatic—but it’s true. There are many examples of how your freedoms are being rapidly stripped from you in ways you likely don’t even see, but for the purposes of this article, I will focus on the one I believe to be the biggest.
The national debt.
While this topic may seem well suited for a crowded lecture hall where you normally catch up on sleep, believe me, it’s hard to overstate its impact on your future. Consider that the national debt is roughly $15.5 trillion. That is real money our nation owes to real people who expect us to pay it back. And the payments must come from the taxes we forfeit from our own wallets.
It may be difficult to conceptualize what the total debt means to you personally, but all you have to do is divide it by the 320 million people living in America, and you discover that your share of the load is $48,437. If that weren’t bad enough, America’s unfunded liabilities (future debt for which no money has been set aside) are estimated to be anywhere from $60 to $118 trillion. Let’s be conservative and take the low number, adding it to the $15.5 trillion, and round down what we collectively owe to an even $75 trillion. That increases your individual share to $234,375. And this doesn’t even include any student loans for those of you that have—or will have—them.
Is this getting real to you yet?
Now—answer this: Which demographic is suffering the highest employment in America?
You got it: young people. In fact, the Associated Press just reported that more than half of four-year college grads under 25 are either unemployed or underemployed.
The staggering national debt and high unemployment rate, especially among young people, are a direct result of the Big-Government policies our nation is advancing. It took America roughly 200 years to accumulate its first trillion in debt, but President Obama has accumulated five trillion in three years alone. We’re borrowing at a rate of 333 times as fast as we did over our first two centuries of existence. And this is done by the same person who when he was Senator Obama less than four years ago said, “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents—number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back—$30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic” (emphasis added).
I would add staggeringly immoral to that assessment, for he was exactly right: to fund our government’s reckless spending we were (are) borrowing from nations like China and foisting the debt on future generations (you) who had no say in the matter. In fact, most had no idea it was (is) even happening. Furthermore, we have also inflated our money supply at an unprecedented level, making our dollar worth far less than it used to be.
So to summarize: you have been saddled with an enormous debt without your permission, you face a terrible job market to try to make some money to actually pay off the debt, and the little money that you do have holds ever-diminishing purchasing power. Oh, and by the way, the $75 trillion America owes is more than the combined money supply of the entire world. There is simply no way to pay it off. Which means that your generation as inheritors of this debt is facing blinding taxes, resulting in far greater unemployment and a loss of freedom you probably can’t even imagine.
Okay, let me stop here and say that I’m not trying to depress you. Honestly. I’m simply illustrating the fruits of Big Government … and offering you a real solution.
The Tea Party.
Our support for limited government and fiscal responsibility are your best shot at hanging on to some semblance of freedom and not spending the rest of your life working for the government to pay off all the money they borrowed in your name. If you want to have any ability to provide a good living for yourself (and possibly a family someday), you will join with us in demanding an immediate and dramatic reduction in government spending across the board and a balanced budget to start getting our debt under control. And to jumpstart our dying economy, you will help us push for a simplification of the tax code and massive reductions in regulations and taxes on businesses, which would help them grow and create jobs and bring many back that have been shipped overseas.
Believe me, I know that declaring yourself a member of the Tea Party may treat you to some strange looks or snickering at your upcoming social gatherings, but in the long run that will seem like a small price to pay for preserving your freedom. So join with us in protecting your future by helping your local Tea Party—or starting one of your own, especially if you’re on a college campus—to find and support those political candidates who will advance the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility. Plenty of them will be running. And if we elect enough of them this November (and beyond), your generation may help prevent an economic catastrophe for all of us, but especially for you.
What could be cooler than that?