Political Analyst Charlie Cook apparently decided to drop the “analyst” part from his title when wrote his most recent National Journal column. He claims the way to the heart of my generation is by cutting Social Security, despite this being something Millennials oppose. From Cook:
For liberals, Democrats, and others to argue that Social Security and Medicare should not be touched in any way sends the message that we are just going to run up the tab and send the bill to the millennial and subsequent generations. Given the size of baby-boom generation—the so-called pig in the python, whose leading edge began turning 65 in 2010—this is a very big tab for the smaller generations that will follow. [...]
Given the central role younger voters play for the Democratic Party, it’s ironic that so many congressional Democrats are taking this view on entitlements. These Democrats are basically taking the side of a generation who voted against them rather than that of the younger generation that strongly supports the party. As Brownstein puts it, “they are favoring the predominantly white senior population, which cast about three-fifths of its votes for Republicans in last year’s presidential and congressional elections, over the diverse millennial generation, which voted about three-fifths Democratic on both fronts.”
To begin with this so-called pig in the python line is completely inaccurate. The Millennial generation is as large or larger than the Baby Boomers. It is not smaller.
More importantly, Cook is implying without any evidence that cutting Social Security is something my generation wants. If only there was a way for political analysts to survey people to find out their positions. Oh wait there is.
Poll shows young people do not want to cut entitlements. The Politico-George Washington poll from last year found young people oppose raising the Social Security retirement age as much as the general population. A Pew poll from 2011 found 56 percent of people under 35 think it is most important to keep Social Security benefits as they are while only 39 percent said deficit reduction was more important. Similarly a poll for the The Hill conducted just two months ago, found 60 percent of people under 40 would oppose cutting Medicare and Social Security to reduce the deficit. Only 28 percent of this age group thought cuts were acceptable.
If Democrats actually want to appeal to young people they should supporting marijuana legalization. At least that is an issue the polling has found my generation actually supports and economic analysis has even found it would save/generate in revenue almost as much as Obama’s proposed cut to Social Security to reduce the deficit.
Photo by SalFalko released under Creative Commons License