When I look back to the election of 2008, one of the main things I recall is the excitement on campus for the Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama. Staff and faculty donations for the Democrats outnumbered Republicans 3 to 1. Obama-Biden campaign signs covered the campus, and chants of “Yes We Can” could frequently be heard around the University.
Yet two years later, the enthusiasm is gone. No longer do students speak of Obama as the answer to all their problems. Some even have turned against his ‘progressive’ agenda, in favor of the more conservative approach of Republicans. In spite of recent ‘big’ achievements then, where has the adoration for the President gone?
The answer is simple. College students have realized the ‘change’ promised during the campaign has resulted in nothing more than big government and increased deficits. Instead of managing the financial crisis, Obama decided to pass a trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ loaded with pork projects. To combat rising unemployment, he passed the largest entitlement in the history of our nation (Obamacare) which will result in nothing more then higher taxes and a further encroaching government.
Many proponents of the President’s policies argue the increased Pell grants in the stimulus or the option to remain on parental health care until 26 under Obamacare are the silver lining of these two bills. Yet we as a generation are smarter than this. College students know there is no such thing as a free entitlement. We recognize the hidden costs to these so-called ‘benefits.’ If these two programs are enacted, health care premiums will increase 45% for the 18-24 age group and the Pell Grants will add $1.5 billion to the debt. This is not the change the youth voted for.
According to an AP/MTVU poll Obama’s approval rating in the 16-24 Demographic has dropped from 60% to 44%, nearly a 20 point shift since the start of his term. College students left the liberal camp in droves during the midterm election, and it’s easy to see why. It used to be exciting to graduate from school, earn a reputable job, and settle into a rewarding career. Our generation has none of those luxuries. Instead, young people in the workforce today are faced with the difficulty of finding employment and are forced to pay high taxes for government programs we don’t want to be a part of. The Obama thrill is dead and gone.
Travis Korson is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm