Millennials, through no fault of their own, have been hit the hardest over the last decade by the Great Recession, the outrageous price increases of higher education, and failing ObamaCare.
Millennials have seen double-digit unemployment and a 700% increase in the cost of education since the 1990s. In today’s lopsided economy, college degree-worthy jobs have disappeared and minimum-wage and part-time employment have become the norm due to the disastrous Affordable Care Act.
Millennials are left, on average, with $35,000 of student loan debt. And many are often out of work, or they’re working for the minimum wage — in jobs that don’t require the expensive college degrees they were told they must have to succeed — and are living in their parent’s basements.
With the great success of the first six months of the Trump presidency boasting a creation of over a million new American jobs, a stock market hitting record highs, and the commitments of many more companies to build great new manufacturing facilities and employ thousands more workers, millennials finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.
But these achievements alone will not solve the deep financial hardships of the millennial generation and the country as a whole. More pieces of the puzzle need to be put in place in order to pull the largest American generation out of its deep financial despair and into a trajectory of success by providing them with the economic environment necessary to succeed in the 21st century.
Congress must follow the president’s lead on tax cuts and the reform of both the individual and corporate income tax systems in order to provide a more positive economic environment.
By reducing the individual tax rate, millennials will be better able to save money and more quickly pay off their student loan debts. Over a 10-year repayment period at current interest rates, the average borrower will pay back $48,333.
This debt puts a massive strain on the economy because such a large number of young people are stuck paying off student loans instead of getting married, buying houses and starting families.
According to the Government Accountability Office, 25% of student loan borrowers are currently in default, deferment or forbearance, which equates to about $120 billion of the over $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loans.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Treasury Department and Federal Reserve are all warning that student loan debt is as dangerous a threat to the economy as the housing bubble was in 2007.
Millennials simply need tax cuts and higher wages from jobs worthy of their expensive college degrees in order to meet their student loan repayment obligations and prevent another Great Recession.
The corporate tax rate must also be reduced in order to provide the job creators with the right environment and capital to grow, to hire new college graduates and to increase wages.
Millennials in their thirties have been unable to establish careers and find a promotional path up the corporate ladder because of the lack of middle-management job opportunities, especially in manufacturing.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of college graduates will rise to 19 million by 2020 and during that same period the number of jobs requiring a college degree will only rise by 7 million. Corporate tax cuts would bring these high-end jobs back to America and offset this current and projected job-qualification inequality.
Millennials are also the most entrepreneurial generation since that of their great grandparents. Without the genius of millennials there would be no social media and far fewer of the modern conveniences that much of the developed world now enjoys through computer apps.
Tax rate deduction in the corporate world will open up great capital to millennial entrepreneurs so they can create the next big growth markets in tech, hospitality, transportation and much more.
Unfortunately, tax cuts and reform cannot be discussed fully without demanding the complete repeal and replacement of ObamaCare. The taxes and regulations stuffed into this erroneous, poorly thought out and devastating law have crippled many young people financially.
Most young adults find that even the cheapest health plans are costing them around $100 a month, totaling over $1,200 for the year, and are just too expensive. Most millennials must make the tough choice to save a few hundred dollars, take the penalty, and go without insurance.
A recent study by HowMuch.net showed that 51.8% of millennials have less than $1,000 in savings, and this year’s ObamaCare penalty is severely crippling millennials’ ability to handle a medical, automotive or financial crisis. ObamaCare is yet another economic roadblock initiated by Democrats that is setting up millennials for a lifetime of financial hardships.
The pieces of the economic puzzle must be added quickly to ensure that an environment is created to spur a positive economic future for millennials. The Republican-led Congress should support and act promptly on these important agenda items of President Trump — to put an end to this continued economic burden on millennials. After all, it’s largely Congress’ fault that millennials got into this mess.
Congress must rally behind the president, do their jobs and get things done. Period. Because, unlike many Democratic voters, Republican voters will not continue to support or elect do-nothing politicians that do not keep their campaign promises.
- La Mastra, a dentist, is a former National Youth Vote spokesperson for the Trump/Pence campaign. He frequently writes on the issues facing millennials.
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