Even without student loans, the Class of 2014 enters the “real world” already saddled with debt, their portion of the federal debt. The $17.5 trillion federal IOU boils down to nearly $55,000 for every man, woman and child in America. Before landing their first job after high school, these graduates have inherited an expensive tab.
However, the debt burden is not the only reason this generation will struggle to get a foothold in the economy.
Economic growth hasn’t kept pace and the result is shrinking opportunities and dreams for would-be entrepreneurs, job creators and workers struggling to find full-time employment. The labor force participation rate is the worst in four decades and entry-level job applicants find themselves competing with over-qualified candidates for work.
Tax, spend and borrow policies in Washington are driving up debt instead of recharging what drives U.S. economic growth. Rather than giving the green light to job-creating policies, such as simplifying the tax code, making the corporate tax burden more competitive in the global economy, fighting for trade promotion authority, approving the Keystone XL pipeline and going after homegrown energy whole hog, allies of Big Government support forcing small businesses to give raises they can’t afford, controlling the delivery of health care in America and dictating regulatory burdens that make it harder for businesses to grow, hire, expand and invest.
Overpromising, overreaching and overspending occur at the expense of future generations. Policies that push wealth redistribution and unsustainable entitlements are unraveling the merits of America’s success story handed down for generations: That big dreams, hard work, sacrifice and ambition would be rewarded with unlimited opportunity. The heavy-handed levers of government-knows-best are uprooting America’s “sky’s the limit” mindset. Fostering a culture of dependence and entitlement instead of self-sufficiency and hard work goes against America’s grain.