Republicans: You spent my generation's tax dollars, and left destruction behind. We are now paying, using the next generation's future tax dollars, for your mess, and mistakes. Stop telling us we're socialists. We're problem solvers. The problems we're solving? Created by you.
We'd love to stop spending the next generation's tax dollars - but we can't pay the debts left by you and fix your mess and run a nation and fight two wars without doing just that, so can you shut up about it and help fix the problem?
I'm not sure when it began. I know that sometime, around the time I was born, Jimmy Carter's administration was ousted after a first term, leaving double digit unemployment. The young and charismatic Ronald Reagan swept into office - making promises of smaller government and lower taxes. To this day, he's held as an icon - perhaps a messiah? - to what pundits like Sean Hannity call a "Reagan Conservative."
The worst promise Reagan made - and the proof we learned nothing from the Great Depression - was deregulation. The free market would regulate everything, he said. Safety, Price, Quality - consumer demand would serve as enough regulation for these companies. In the same breath, while relying on consumer demand to regulate, he initiated supply-side economics. Create conditions so suppliers would create jobs and manufacture offerings, and consumers would follow the supply.
Nevermind that these policies contradicted each other (and failed miserably). Reagan was the new hero of Republicans.
His tax cuts and spending ballooned the deficit. MIT Professor Lester Thurow said, "The epitaph of the Reagan presidency will be: 'When Ronald Reagan became President, the United States was the largest creditor nation. When he left the presidency, we were the world's largest debtor nation." Reagan entered office with a national debt of $907 billion dollars. Eight years later, my generation owed $2.8 trillion dollars.
President Clinton added $1.5 trillion to the debt over eight years. Then came President Bush - inheriting a budget surplus and booming, healthy, economy. Sure, sure, we were in a small recession when he entered office but with a balanced budget and budget surplus, actions could have been taken to fix the recession without doing what he eventually resorted to - adding $5 trillion MORE dollars to the debt.
While doing this, my generation has paid more for education than any other generation. We are less likely to get jobs that offer health insurance. If we do find a job with health insurance, we're paying four times the amount our parents paid at our age. We are less likely to have a pension.We work longer hours and make less money than previous generations. We are competing in an economy with baby boomers, who, can't retire now because they lost their retirement savings in an under-regulated economy, also left by you.
We're fed up.
My generation no longer believes you when you claim all the successes and scapegoat all the failures. Your talking heads lie and spin so much that the most absurd claims are now accepted as the "truth" and your party and it's followers rely on vitriol, hate, and misinformation in your sole pursuit: power. As much as you can get your hands on, and by any means necessary.
We're too busy to get involved in fake astroturf rallies, because we're paying for your debts. We've given you Obama, who's trying to institute health insurance reform without causing more debt - and we'd like you to please help him instead of trying to stonewall him.
We're pretty smart, and you can win us back - but you've got to put up or shut up. We want real solutions, real fiscal conservatism, smart regulation, smart foreign policy, and real tolerance. Denounce the talking heads that would divide us. We want truth - real arguments; not smoke screens and spin. Embrace a real set of principles and win us back by fighting for our interests, and you have a shot at the next generation.
If you don't, it'll be your Waterloo.