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Hilary A. Doe Headshot

Deficit Hawks Vote "No" on the American Dream

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Latest news from the Senate: In the face of our current recession, Republicans have decided to firmly oppose pursuit of the American dream.

With a vote on the horizon, the sun seems to be setting on Democratic hopes for a Jobs Bill. By opposing this bill, Republicans are overtly denying Americans the ability to put this crushing recession behind them so that we can begin to pull ourselves out of our debt, secure employment, and get back on the track to achieving our American dreams.

Even despite all the cuts to the bill that have certainly weakened its effectiveness, its passage is a crucial step toward recovery. By including state aid, the bill would not only help mitigate devastating budget cuts to state-funded education, preventative care, and other programs that are essential to our future preparedness, it would ensure each dollar in this jobs bill was even more effective than stimulus spending could have been.

With state aid, the money for job creation in this bill can be used to generate new jobs, instead of being used to desperately plug sinking state budgets. State aid puts us on a flatter playing field -- gives people the potential to recover. It gives more Americans the opportunity to be innovative, entrepreneurial, and hard-working contributors to America's recovery.

Further, though deficit hawks like to justify their opposition to smart spending by likening it to theft from future generations, young people in America will likely be the most injured by failure to pass jobs legislation. Unemployment amongst young people has consistently exceeded other age groups, with the unemployment rate for 16-19 year olds at approximately two and a half times the national average over the last few months.

Millennials, like myself, also face crushing student loan debt, leading to credit card debt and an unstable foundation during our first years as wage earners. Finally, over our lifetimes, we have the most to lose. The lower wages that we earn now will follows us for decades.

On the aggregate, we will be poorer, unable to save as much money for retirement, less prepared to our children's education, and less capable of investing in our communities, our ideas, and our futures. My generation -- the largest ever to grow up in America -- is talented, innovative, engaged, community-minded, and struggling. New job opportunities, extended unemployment benefits to finance our ongoing job hunts, and state aid to ensure continued investment in our preparedness is not generational theft. I promise you.

Bottom line: Despite allegations by Republicans and deficit hawks, the jobs bill is simply not a contribution to America's debt. It is a crucial investment in the country's fiscal future. I thought fiscal health was a priority of both parties? What about innovation? An American's ability to pursue the American dream? The right of workers to use their labor to feed their families? Something about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ... ?