How Can We Finance the Future When We’re Paying for the Past?

By: Meghan Meehan-Draper
By: Meghan Meehan-Draper

Turn on any television news talk show and you will inevitably hear one or more of the talking heads say, “Our children and grandchildren are going to have to pay for this economic crisis.” I know exactly what they are talking about. I am one of those children.

Turn on any television news talk show and you will inevitably hear one or more of the talking heads say, “Our children and grandchildren are going to have to pay for this economic crisis.” I know exactly what they are talking about. I am one of those children.

As a recent college graduate who excelled in high school and college, I find myself looking and not finding gainful employment. I graduated from college with big dreams of how I could make a contribution to my community through working for effective change in politics and government. Now I am beginning to understand that, in addition to finding a job, I will also be helping to pay for the mistakes made by those in the past. As a result, my options are truly limited because of those same mistakes.

Here is an excerpt from a September 2000 press release from the White House: “President Clinton announced Wednesday that the federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history and topping last year's record surplus of $122.7 billion.”

Now here is another excerpt from a CBS news story from September 2008, eight years after Clinton left office: “The latest number from the Treasury Department shows the national debt now stands at more than $9.849 trillion. That is a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush's watch.”

As I embark on what I hope will be a productive and successful career, I am facing an unsettling reality: my future as a taxpayer, as a consumer, and as an earner has been permanently influenced by this crisis. It will be my generation’s responsibility to clean up the mess that we have had little part in creating. Today’s workforce newcomers will inherit an enormous deficit and will ultimately be the ones who have to pay off the debt. The numbers are so daunting and so abstract it’s overwhelming.

So how can we finance the future when we’re paying for the past?

Young people like me need to create a real and genuine vision on how to get out of this mess. It’s time to quit whining, roll up our sleeves, and put on our thinking caps. We would love to have the people in Washington solve this problem for us, but right now we have been given the responsibility of picking up the tab. So we better figure out how.
Read More Blogs
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability