Reince Priebus: Millennials are the future — let’s continue to work to make that future bright

Young Washingtonians in Washington, D.C. this week will gather to discuss politics, entrepreneurship, innovation and to engage in community service — a timely reminder our economic policies ought to be as bright and fresh-faced as America’s future.

Too often we read reports about how this generation is lazy and expects everything to be handed to them but, as this week shows, young Americans are actively engaged in trying to make their communities and country a better place. They are shaping the world around them and changing the way Americans interact with the world.

Millennials around the country, however, are starting the race to their American Dream 50 yards behind the starting line because of the policies of President Barack Obama. Instead of working for the people who put him in office, the commander in chief has ignored the needs of young Americans. His free-spending ways and refusal to tackle tough problems — like saving and strengthening social security, Medicare and Medicaid — are weighing heavily on Millennials.

Too often when speaking with young people, I hear the same refrain: They don’t expect social security to be there for them when they hit retirement and it scares them because they cannot build up the savings they will need for their future.

The Obama economy has left Millennials behind. In April, 484,000 people under the age of 25 left the workforce while 29 percent of Americans between 18 and 34 live at home with their parents. Sadly, none of this is surprising given that 40 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed.

Millennials, according to Pew, are the first generation in the modern era to have higher levels of poverty and unemployment than their parents did at the same age.

The Obama status quo is unacceptable. We need leaders who are invested in our future. We need our elected officials to work at creating an environment where jobs are plentiful and young people can find work that puts them on career track on which they flourish. We need to create a country where our workers can put their education and degrees to work.

New regulations, taxes and Obamacare have increased the cost of every new hire and forced businesses to spend their capital — not on workers — but on the bureaucratic nightmare this administration has created. We need to lessen the amount of money businesses must spend to deal with the government and instead allow businesses to invest that money in workers, the result of which would be more young people getting a shot at putting their diploma to use.

That has been the goal of the Republican-controlled House but the White House and the Democrat-controlled Senate are happy to allow young people to languish just like the dozens of pro-growth House-passed bills the Senate refuses to put to a vote. Government cannot solve the youth-unemployment crisis, but government can work to create an environment where employers are encouraged to hire more workers.

Despite our government blocking youth success, I am still optimistic for the future of the country because of the determination of the Millennial generation — people who have taken it upon themselves to push back against the status quo. Millennials are fighting for a better future because they realize that sitting on the sidelines is not an option.

America is the greatest country in the world because of her strong work ethic and the opportunity she provides for anyone wanting to achieve the American dream. Even in a tough economy, Millennials are fighting — working and building to make a brighter future for the country. That’s why I look forward to hearing the ideas that come out of Millennial week. The future is bright, and it will be brighter when we have a president who works for Millennials, not against them.


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