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  • The Student Response to the State of the Union

    1/25/2012 10:45:30 AM Posted by Ron Meyer

    mwilcoxenBy Matts Wilcoxen, YAF Chapter Chairman at Principia Upper School

    American youth have never been more miserable, and apparently the executive branch has never been more out of touch. Young people understand that the state of our union is far from strong; with youth unemployment at one of its highest levels since World War II, an unprecedented number of young people watched the Obama administration vilify personal ambition and champion the message of divisiveness and envy from their parents’ basements.

    Apparently this is just where the administration wants them. The president’s address confirmed the suspicions of many youth today—that this administration’s efforts to increase our generation’s dependence on government and steer us away from the era of personal responsibility is intensifying.

    Is Fairness Rhetoric Fair to Young People?

    The president spoke of the “American value” of fairness, yet this concept of fairness is deeply flawed. How can it be fair for 47% of Americans to pay no income tax at all, while the top 10% pay nearly 70%? How can it be fair to have my generation saddled by reckless spending and insurmountable debt? How can it be fair to steal from the hardest working, most successful Americans to fund the perpetual laziness of others?

    It is evident that the Obama administration does not seek equality of opportunity, but rather equality of outcome. The path to serfdom seeps from the lines of his call to fairness.

    The President insisted that everyone take shared responsibility for the success of the collective citizenry. Clearly personal responsibility is a thing of the past. How can anyone be responsible for anything, when everyone is responsible for everything?

    As the president advocated for responsibility, he also demanded more taxes on the wealthy job-creators and more welfare for the poor. How is it possible that the 47% of Americans who aren’t paying income tax, yet receiving the vast majority of government support, are taking shared responsibility for the success of our nation?

    An Attack on Free Enterprise

    By quickly shifting blame for the 2008 housing crash away from government and onto the backs of the private sector, the Obama administration reinforced its conspicuous suggestion that the Americans must rely on government to prevent the free market from running amok.

    The president went so far as to reveal his belief that new regulations don’t destroy the free market, they “make it better.” The market is unable to operate without the benevolent guidance of the federal government. Neither can we apparently. As Governor Mitch Daniels scoffed, “Left to ourselves, we might pick the wrong health insurance, the wrong mortgage, the wrong school for our kids; why, unless they stop us, we might pick the wrong light bulb!”

    The Obama administration’s first three years have been characterized by an unprecedented level of spending and borrowing on the shoulders of today’s youth. The president’s speech was noticeably deficient in that it lacked hardly a mention of entitlement reform, serious spending cuts, or any semblance of a plan to improve the future for my generation.

    A Disingenuous Nod to Young People

    The Obama administration’s one nod to the young people who propelled him into office, a promise to increase government aid to college students, does nothing more than expand the foreboding financial bubble already on the brink of collapse. Of course, the president will find a way to blame the coming Big Government induced crisis on corporations, universities, and private greed. An administration as benevolent as this one can do no wrong. Such disastrously short-sighted promises are becoming the theme of this administration.

    The President appears to be ignorant or ambivalent to the fate of me and my peers, and this administration seems dedicated to spewing the gospel of class warfare while avoiding any real solutions.

    Matts Wilcoxen is the chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Principia Upper School.

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