Letter: Burden of the youth

In the Op-Ed “An unfair burden for our young citizens” (The Aspen Times, Nov. 7), the writer offers the notion that “explosive growth of the federal government … is hurting the young.” The writer claims that the growth of government requires an increase in taxes and that it will be today’s young who will have to pay the bill. “It is morally wrong to saddle future generations with that burden.”

Unfortunately, the author has missed a number of significant trends. Partly due to the “sequestration” agreement now restraining federal expenditures, the federal budget is declining in many areas. Budgets have been decreased for Head Start that effectively prepares disadvantaged children to enter the school system. Children’s lunch subsidies have been reduced. Many children have insufficient food at home and count on meals at school. Food-stamp expenditures have been reduced, which means many families will have less food on the table. (Wal-Mart employees, due to their low wages, are some of the biggest users of food stamps.) In part, due to federal government policies that encourage outsourcing, millions of jobs have gone overseas. Where young people traditionally worked the fast-food restaurants, the trend is now to see their parents in these jobs. Due to cutbacks in funds for education, the quality of education in many areas of the country has declined. Kids are struggling to get the education they need. Those kids who do graduate are incurring massive debts to obtain higher education. The interest-rate caps on these debts were increased by federal actions.

In fact, the government is shrinking, in relative terms. The current annual federal budget deficit is lower as a percentage of our gross domestic product than it has been in several years. That change is happening in part because of policies that are actually hurting today’s children. Not getting a good start means having a very tough future. I’d say that is morally wrong. These children will not be paying the future tax “burden;” they won’t be making enough to pay income taxes.

Who will be paying taxes in the future are the offspring of today’s wealthy families. Of course, they would rather not.

Patrick Hunter


Letter to the Editor