Republicans could use some political openings and this week two popped up. Both offered the chance to win back lost constituencies and cause the Democrats some grief. And both stemmed from policy overreaching or miscues by the Obama administration.
The first may be with regard to young voters. Michael Barone at CPAC got me thinking about Republicans and young people. He contends that although the youth vote overwhelmingly went in the Democrats’ column, the policies which the Democrats are pursuing, including nationalized health care and abolition of secret ballots in union elections, aren’t very youth-oriented and potentially could turn off younger voters. But it seems that the greatest generational issue has been handed to the Republican Party on a silver platter: the Obama administration is mortgaging their future. They will live less well than their parents as a result.
The deficit is not an abstract issue, at least it shouldn’t be. It is the IOU the Baby Boomers are handing off to the future generations. Those people — young voters now and their kids and grandchildren — are getting a huge chunk of debt. It will have to be paid back eventually. We’re seeing the beginning of the tax grab, but that will get worse as the definition of “rich” is redefined to get needed revenue. And the rate of growth, the engine of jobs and wealth, will slow as a result of the massive debt and the larger share of GDP gobbled up by government.
Explaining that to young people and defending their future chance for success seem key to Republicans’ ability to reconnect with younger voters. The challenge will be in finding articulate spokespeople to boil that down to a comprehensible and attractive message. Perhaps they can start by printing up the bill (i.e., the share of the deficit being generated for each American) by the Obama administration. Hey, if the Social Security Administration sends you a statement why shouldn’t the Treasury?