Obama's Real Priority is Reelection, Not America's Struggling Youth

If young adults are wondering where they fall in President Obama’s priority list, they can rest assured it isn’t first.

In an exchange between CRNC Chairman Alex Schriver and the Democratic National Committee’s Patrick Gaspard it became clear that campaigning, not governing, is at the top of Obama’s agenda.

“This is a bill in 2007 that then Sen. Obama missed two key votes on,” Schriver said, referring to a bill that reduced interest rates on student loans. “This only comes up in an election year, temporary solution to get him reelected, and that’s what we’ve seen over and over.”

What pressing matter kept Obama from taking these important votes?

“Of course, Sen. Obama, Sen. Clinton, Sen. Biden, and Sen. Dodd all missed that vote in 2007 because they were engaged in that campaign,” said Gaspard.

That’s not an answer that young adults should be willing to accept. Young adults have long needed a champion in Washington. Too often the interests of our age group haven’t been considered in crafting legislation.

The results are tragic. According to a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center younger Americans are becoming increasingly poorer while older generations grow wealthier. Pew’s research shows that in 1984 households headed by people aged 65 and older were worth 10 times the median net worth of households headed by someone 35 and younger. That gap has widened to an astounding 47-to-one.

Despite the enormous and growing wealth gap, Democrats in Washington have remained laser focused on perpetuating the flawed entitlement system that redistributes wealth from younger to older generations. They’ve also recklessly racked up trillions in deficit spending, leaving young adults to shoulder a debt burden that will have to be paid down through higher taxes or reduced government services.

Apparently Obama has been so busy protecting the failed status quo that is has left him no time to push job-creating initiatives. For nearly four years we’ve been waiting for Obama to reduce regulations that are strangling entrepreneurs, reduce taxes to free businesses to hire more workers, and stop government overreach like Obamacare that is scaring potential employers into the shadows.

The lack of jobs has had a tremendous impact on young adults. According to an analysis of government data conducted by the Associated Press 53.6 percent of college graduates, or roughly 1.5 million young adults, were either underemployed or unemployed.

The lack of career prospects out of college has fundamentally reshaped how younger generations live their lives. They are putting off getting married, delaying having kids, moving back in with their parents, and waiting to make big purchases like a house or a car. The American Dream, which was essentially a guarantee for so many generations before, is a questionable proposition for today’s youth.

The lack of jobs is far and away the top concern among young adults. A new Georgetown University poll released last week shows that 74 percent of 18-to-24 year olds cited unemployment as the main problem the face.

Seeking to distract young voters from his disastrous jobs record, President Obama is doing his best to refocus the debate on his support for keeping student loan rates low. But if students are unable to find a job in the Obama economy then student loan rates don’t matter all that much. His plan is clearly too little too late.

In 2007 then-Senator Obama didn’t vote on the College Cost Reduction and Access Act because he was too busy campaigning. Four years later is there any reason to believe that the only reason he’s vocally supporting the bill’s extension is that his campaign demands it? Is he prioritizing the welfare of America’s youth or his reelection campaign?

With the no-show in 2007 as our guide I think it is safe to say the latter. Which is sad; young adults deserve better than a president that cares about them more than three months every four years. We deserve more than papered-over promises of reform. We deserve a future t