Enthusiasm among young voters is at an all-time low. They rallied behind change in 2008 but have since steadily dropped off. But who can blame them? After enduring five long years of an anemic economy and lackluster economy many have seen their lives change for the worse.
A successful strategy to reinvigorate this crucial base would include policies that curb the cost of higher education, create a jobs program and dedicate more funding to programs that serve America’s youth. Such proposals are included in the Congressional Progressive Caucus Better Off Budget.
Rep. Keith Ellison joined Campaign for America’s Future on Wednesday to discuss key elements of the CPC’s budget that will alleviate the economic woes of millennials.
“The Better Off Budget is about making people better off in every way, particularly among young people” said Ellison, who stressed the importance of job creation. “Our budget prioritizes 8.8 million good jobs.”
The CPC’s budget allocates $1.3 trillion over 10 years for job creation programs. This includes repairing America’s crumbling infrastructure, tax credits for the middle class, and state aid. Stimulating the economy while investing in our country “is going to help young people get to work,” said Ellison.
“What has happened to young people getting out of high school, getting out of college, is big debt, low pay, no pay, while 8.8 million jobs will make a very big difference. That’s the top line.”
But that’s just the beginning. The CPC’s budget would also increase Pell Grant funding and provide $100 billion in stimulus for teachers and schools at a time when school funding in most states is flat or falling. This provides desperately needed funding to rehire hundreds of thousands of teachers who have been laid off, and for school construction and modernization.
In comparison, the House GOP’s budget by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would provide no new money for job creation programs. It would cut funding for education and put a wet blanket over the Pell program for 10 years, while doing nothing to curb the cost of college. Basically, the conservative alternative would have America’s youth and economy languish in limbo for the next decade while corporations and fat cats get fatter.
Ellison understands that the House GOP’s budget does not stray far from the power of the purse and is a slap in the face of the American worker and the middle class.
“They believe and they say that the poor and the middle class have too much money and the rich don’t have enough. And if we give the rich people more money they’re going to invest in plant equipment and that’s going to hire the rest of us. A bigger lie has never been told. That doesn’t work. Never has worked, although it makes some people, a very few, very very rich.”
“We can’t let young people believe that nobody cares,” Ellison said, and that’s why the CPC has released the Better Off Budget.
Stand with the interests of the American people and let your member of congress know what your values and beliefs are be pledging to support the Progressive Caucus Better Off Budget budget and reject the Ryan Budget.