Posted: 09/26/14 10:26
by Dave Mindeman
Hey. All you students, young people, millenials. Drop that iPad or iPhone; Take off those earbuds, headphones, and that bluetooth for just a second.
We need to talk.
Its time you confronted the GOP War on all of you. Yeah, I know the term war gets overused. It almost blends into the scenery these days. Its a war on everything. But you are seriously at risk.
While you study for that exam or check out the new clothes at the mall, the GOP is stealing your future.
Let's look at the list:
1) Student Debt
. While you work hard to prepare yourself for a career, the money you earn in the future is being eroded. The amount of student debt that is piling up is nothing short of catastrophic. Cumulatively, it hit $1.2 trillion this year. That is money you need in the future. But Republicans and especially Congressman John Kline are financing the present against that future debt load. Gosh, even the Star Tribune Editorial Board
is figuring it out:It's about time that politicians -- and other Americans -- recognize that a debt load that heavy does not burden recent college grads alone. The whole economy is affected when the purchasing power of that many aspiring young adults is pinched. That consequence should have been discussed more widely as governments in Washington, St. Paul and other state capitols squeezed higher ed funding in the past decade.
Trouble is, we are not addressing this problem. Congressman John Kline has even raised the student loan rates and mortgaged more of your future earnings. And in addition, he has subjected many of you to the predatory practices of For Profit College institutions by protecting their recruitment of students and the resulting defaults - which is skyrocketing as we speak. All of this in return for campaign finance donations from these colleges to his campaign. It is shameful.
2) Climate Change
. You know this is happening. You are not denying the science. You get it. But many Republicans refuse to acknowledge it because it would cause too much economic change. You see, the current GOP and their billionaire donors want to keep making big money in the short term. Climate change is your problem. It is not going to affect them. So they intend to make you deal with it. For short term gain, they are going to risk your entire future. Not just monetarily, but your entire way of life.
3) National Debt
. This current generation could eliminate its debt. The money is there. It's in Exxon's tax protected profits. It's in Medtronic's tax evasive Irish ploy. It's in the Cayman Islands. It's in those unnecessary oil and gas subsidies. It is all there, but the people controlling that money do not want to pay for the debt that is accumulating because it would mean using those protected finances. Again, it is your problem. Our debt is borrowed money from your future. So, we are going to make you deal with our debt as well as your own.
Let's look at a Minnesota example. Polymet. Republicans think that the jobs (a few hundred) involved in approval of this mining operation (skip the EPA regulations) are enough short term gain to offset the decades long clean up that is acknowledged by all parties. Jobs now - clean up later. And of course, "later" means your problem. You get to deal with the water contamination. You get to deal with effects on the BWCA. You get to pay for the aftermath. It is simple for the Republican thought proces because they only think about right now. The future is your problem.
You should know that the Democratic Party is doing their best to look out for you. They have proposed fixes and help. The MN House Democrats have proposed another tuition freeze if they are re-elected. And the MN House Democrats are proposing something else; from the Star Tribune:House DFLers also floated an intriguing policy idea -- partial loan forgiveness for some Minnesota college grads. The idea, touted by Speaker Paul Thissen as he campaigned on campuses this week, would write down debt amounts of up to $3,000 per year for grads in two categories -- those who take jobs in "vital fields" in Greater Minnesota, and those who spend a year in community service through ServeMinnesota, the state's AmeriCorps program.
Some people call it a "reverse GI bill". That could help business as well.
Senate Democrats proposed a student refinancing bill which would lower the current interest rate, but it was blocked by a GOP filibuster.
Democrats have repeatedly tried to put Climate Change higher on the agenda....but again, filibusters and the House Republican majority have stood in the way.
The GOP complains incessantly about the National Debt but won't increase taxes on this generation and wants to keep cutting programs that help your generation and stimulate the economy. Unfortunately, Congressman John Kline thinks that making $51 billion off of your student loan problem is part of the answer.
And, of course, the opening of the Polymet mine in Minnesota, right now, full speed ahead, damn the regulations, is the MN Republican answer to Minnesota's future. Your future. And your future liability.
That is what is at stake in this election. And, yes, there is an election this year - 2014. And it is up to you to begin the process of letting your voice be heard. One of the reasons that Republicans can exploit your future is that they are convinced you are not a threat. They say that you won't vote. You won't have an impact.
Well, its time that you end that assumption. After all, it is your future that is affected by all of these issues. And your voice will never rise above the din of Republican largesse, unless you VOTE.
Your future....your time....your voice. Do it.