The National Debt: The Impact on Millennials

By: Alec Wilcox

Throughout these two weeks in Washington DC at The Washington Center, I have gotten the opportunity to become more informed on issues, and have my current views challenged. There is nothing more I could ask for than this. Whether it be discussing race in America or foreign policy, my views on these topics have been informative in some way or another. Today the topic was the economy and specifically, the national debt. I was aware of how large our national debt was, but the impact on my generation is something that I often overlook. I also know that I am not alone in this regard.

James A. Thurber, the man in my featured photo, discussed how this extreme national debt would soon become the millennial’s problem to deal with. This is because the result of increasing national debt will be tax hikes administered to Americans. Unfortunately for the millennial, this generation is soon to be the largest group in the workforce. Therefore, we will be the one’s dealing with the results of the government’s national debt continuing to rise by paying much higher taxes, so that the government can obtain a much needed increase in revenue.

While millennials for the most part do care about economic prosperity, it seems that our generation often overlooks national debt as a large obstacle to economic prosperity. Many consider social issues, job growth, etc. to be most important, while overlooking the negative consequences directed toward these issues by the national debt. Unfortunately the government’s ability to deliver on these issues will somewhat be contingent on the state of our national debt. If it rises to even higher levels, the federal government could have major issues that directly impact citizens.

 Maya MacGuineas was the second speaker of the day, and she had a similar point of view


Maya MacGuineas speaking to a crowd at the Washington Center Photo Credit: Alec Wilcox

regarding the problems millennials will be dealing with because of the extreme national debt. She also mentioned how detrimental the gridlock in Washington was to any progress that could be made in resolving the ever-rising national debt.

Of course the gridlock is what prevents congress from passing a budget, which would be a great first step in dealing with the national debt. This gridlock must end for us to have any hope of dealing with this national debt we find ourselves dealing with.
Where the voter comes in is by becoming more educated on issues such as these, so that politicians are not forced to act in an unhelpful manner, just to get re-elected. If this were to occur the voter would realize, for example, that in economically prosperous times raising taxes would actually do more good than harm, especially in the long run.
The importance of cooperation in Washington is so important, but this can only occur if the voters allow it to happen. Becoming more educated as voters can lead us to see that cooperation in government is the best way to deal with problems such as the national debt. That way the millennials may not have such a giant problem to deal with as we enter into the workforce.

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