Obama administration tries to assure young people over deficits

Young people are the real losers over the deficits. Given that the Obama administration isn't really putting forward much effort to control spending, it mainly seems to be trying to buy young people's votes with expenditures. Given that these wealth transfers are small compared to the debt being piled up, if young people go for this, they are being very short-sighted.

President Obama on Tuesday told Virginia community college students that unless young people mobilize, special interests in Washington will balance the federal budget by slashing student aid and other education spending.

“I can’t afford to have all of you as bystanders,” Obama told a town-hall meeting at Northern Virginia Community College. "There are powerful voices in Washington; there are powerful lobbies and special interests in Washington. And they’re going to want to reduce the deficit on your backs. And if you are not heard, that’s exactly what’s going to happen."

He told students that Republicans want to cut Pell Grant scholarships with their budget, but that his own budget plan would increase education spending while reducing deficits by $4 trillion over 12 years.

The president got applause when he called for $400 billion in new cuts to the Pentagon and for taxing the wealthy.
“We are going to have to ask everyone to sacrifice, and if we are going to ask community colleges to sacrifice…then we can ask millionaires and billionaires to make a little sacrifice,” he said.

Young voters backed Obama in droves in 2008 and will be important to his reelection effort in 2012. Polls suggest Obama's support is stronger with voters younger than 40 than it is with voters older than 40. . . .

From the Politico:

. . . "A lot of young Americans are concerned about their future," Kalpen Modi, associate director of the White House office of public engagement, told students on the conference call. "They’re worried about the economy, particularly worried about increasing debt that their generation is going to have to shoulder."

Modi, who returned to the White House last year after a brief hiatus to complete the third "Harold and Kumar" movie, also talked with students this week at Florida A&M University. It was one of 100 roundtables the White House is organizing with young voters.

Modi and Austan Goolsbee, the chairman of Obama's council of economic advisers, told students on the conference call they want to bring the concerns of young voters to the president, so they can be included in the broader deficit reduction effort.



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