( – promoted by DocHoc)
When I think of the way that campaigns and politicians reached out to young voters this year, I have to say that the GOP doesn’t come to mind as the model group of youth friendly politicos.
Republicans also haven’t been the most friendly when it comes to supporting policies that impact young people. In 2007 when the House worked to take millions from subsidies that went to providers of student loans and instead gave them as a supplement to increase Pell Grants, the President threatened to veto it.
In 2005 when there was a push to increase funding to Pell Grants in a stimulus package and Sen. Arlen Spector (R-PA) said he
“opposes the proposed increase in funding for Pell Grants for College students because it would do little to spur short term economic growth.” CollegeConfidential says.
“While Democrats insist on burdening taxpayers with new spending and higher taxes, House Republicans have presented plans to balance the budget without raising taxes, keep federal spending in check, and let middle-class families keep more of their own money.”
“Plans to balance the budget” is the funny part of that… well… the whole thing is kinda a joke.
Finally, President Bush and many Republican members (along with Democrats) pushed for an $800 billion bailout to financial institutions before the election in November to stop the hemorrhage caused by, among other things, some pretty irresponsible lending practices.
The current stimulus package gives money not to the banks but directly to the people and again gives more money to Pell Grants not to mention money for better equipment in schools, and expanding broadband across the country so rural America can finally have better access to information.
Yet John McCain, in a sudden decision to begin advocating for young people, has described this as “generational theft.”
So giving money to the banks is ok – but giving money to people is theft?
“We are robbing future generations of Americans of their hard-earned dollars because we are laying on them a debt of incredible proportions.”
What was his excuse before? I mean, John McCain quit his Presidential campaign to work on the Banking Bailout …. Where was the fiscal restrain then? Where was this fiscal restraint 8 years ago when Republicans signed a blank check to President Bush for unfunded tax cuts and approved year after year of borrow and spend policies?
Last year during the election I followed US Senate candidate Jim Slattery around on a campus tour he made across Kansas. Slattery pushed a similar higher education plan to then candidate Obama saying that students needed a $5,000 college tuition tax cut. Slattery said young people are owed things like this because under Republican rule they have cut taxes while overspending to such an extent that it amounts to “intergenerational robbery.”
When Slattery describes it – I understood… it made perfect sense. President Bush and the Republican House and Senate in 2001 inherited a budget surplus that they then turned into the worst deficit in American history. Because of Republican spending and irresponsible Republican tax cuts our government is so underfunded and services are so scarce that we now face an economic recession unrivaled since the Great Depression. We have zero global competitiveness, our students remain undereducated compared to our global counterparts, and only now are Republicans saying – we should exorcise restraint when Americans need it most?
The income disparity is the worst that its been in over 100 years and Republicans like John McCain actually want to claim that giving money directly to the people who need it most is theft? A Bank Bailout was ok… but a People’s Bailout is wrong?
To me this just seems like another blaring examples of how Republicans claim to love America but clearly can’t stand supporting Americans. Rather than work in a bi-partisan way and be grown-ups about the whole thing, as Paul Begala says its more “Republican strategy of deny, delay, and do nothing.”
Luckily young voters don’t buy it. National polls overwhelmingly support for the President’s stimulus package with and without changes, and many state reports even in red-state-America like Utah have young voters behind the package and supporting the President.
This leaves me to wonder if the GOP is only pretending to use the concept of future generations because its politically expedient for them to do so, or if there is a real genuine need to reach out to youth and they’re just bungling it so miserably. Either way, this stimulus goes to people who need it – not corporations or the wealthy 2%… this is the change we voted for.