Donald Trump - Der Trumpenführer on this blog - and his Republican sycophants are waging war on many elements of society that range from women, to gays, to racial minorities to non-Christians, with Muslims bear much of the brunt in the latter category. But, as a column in the Washington Post argues, the Trump/GOP policies are also waging war on Millennials. The weapons range from tax plans that will shift billions in tax cuts to older, wealthy citizens, to allowing loan shark like student loan lenders to again rapaciously prey on college students, to trashing the environment in ways that will long haunt younger Americans which will be stuck with a more polluted, less healthy country. Like so much of the Trump/GOP agenda, the war on Millennials is short sighted and hopefully will convince Millennial voters that they need to truly get out and vote in force to remove hostile Republicans from office. Staying home on election day only enables your enemies. Here are column highlights:
Trumpcare is, on the whole, terrible. But if you’re a millennial, it does have one thing going for it: It’s virtually the only piece of the Trump platform that advantages the young at the expense of the old.
The rest of the Trump agenda could be broadly characterized as full-on generational warfare against the young. If enacted, it will rob millennials and subsequent generations of earnings, benefits, consumer protections and even — if you look far enough into the future — a habitable place to live.
Let’s start with the Trump tax plan.
But based on proposals President Trump released during the campaign, and comments made in recent weeks by both administration officials and Republican legislators, the coming overhaul will almost certainly be heavily weighted toward the wealthy. An earlier version of the plan directed about half the value of tax cuts to the top 1 percent of earners, according to a Tax Policy Center analysis.
These tax cuts also look likely to add trillions to the debt, again based on analyses of earlier plan versions. (Despite administration promises, virtually no serious economistsbelieve the plan would “pay for itself” through additional economic growth.)
All this amounts to a massive intergenerational transfer of wealth, one that hits millennials in at least two ways. The first has to do with who benefits most from a top-heavy tax cut.
A marginal rate cut is most valuable when you’re in your peak earning years, which tend to come around middle age. That’s because when your income is highest, so is your tax liability.
Millennials are at the beginning of their careers, and both their wages and taxes are low relative to what they will earn, and remit to Uncle Sam, as they gain work experience. All this means that a tax cut today, particularly one tilted toward the highest earners, would not help young people as much as it would mid-career people in their 40s and 50s.
The second is that an unfunded tax cut — like anything else that increases the federal debt — is not free. Eventually someone has to pay for it.
[Y]ounger Americans will pick up the tab, through higher taxes, fewer government services or both. Already millennials worry that their entitlements have been irreparably endangered by fiscal profligacy; a 2014 Pew Research Center survey found that half believe there won’t be anything left in the Social Security system by the time they retire.
Taxes are hardly the only way the Trump administration is giving millennials the shaft. A host of changes to the student lending industry are doing the same.
But perhaps the Trump agenda plank that harms the largest swath of millennials is the administration’s climate change policy. Or lack thereof.
The White House is weighing whether to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, which requires the United States to sharply reduce its carbon output by 2025. In the meantime, the Trump administration has already been undermining climate policy by disappearing public data, firing academic scientistsand rewriting rules designed to curb emissions.
If you take the long view, even the Trumpcare proposal doesn’t truly promote millennials’ interests. Yes, it allows insurers to vary their premiums by a factor of 5 to 1 due to age, which helps today’s young (at least, today’s young and healthy). But it doesn’t shield us from rate hikes as we ourselves age.
Not voting has serious negative consequences as Millennials are hopefully coming to realize. You may not have a dream candidate to support, but you need to always vote for the less toxic candidate no matter what. That did not happen in 2016 and we are all now paying the price.