The U.S. Congress this week ended the government shutdown and raised the United States’ debt ceiling to avoid a possible debt default.
But the nation’s $16.7-trillion debt and unchecked growth in spending on government programs—especially Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs—pose problems that are potentially much more serious for young people in the Millennial Generation.
That opinion was recently expressed by two of the four nationally renowned business and education speakers who will take part in a panel discussion at Lehigh on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The event, titled “Millennial Generation: Paying the Price for Washington’s Paralysis,” begins at 5 p.m. in the Perella Auditorium of the Rauch Business Center.
The discussion will focus on how the national debt is dimming the hopes and future of the next generation of Americans. Panelists are:
• Ken Langone
, co-founder of The Home Depot
• Geoffrey Canada
, president of Harlem Children’s Zone
• Stanley Druckenmiller
, investor and philanthropist
• Bloomberg TV anchor Stephanie Ruhle ’97
Canada and Druckenmiller and Kevin Warsh, a former governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve, wrote an opinion column in the Feb. 14, 2013, edition of The Wall Street Journal
that was titled “Generational Theft Needs to Be Arrested: A Democrat, an independent and a Republican agree [that] government spending levels are unsustainable.”
“We recognize several hard truths,” the writers said. “Government spending levels are unsustainable. Higher taxes, however advisable or not, fail to come close to solving the problem. Discretionary spending must be reduced but without harming the safety net for our most vulnerable, or sacrificing future growth (e.g., research and education). Defense and homeland security spending should not be immune to reductions.
“Most consequentially, the growth in spending on entitlement programs—Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare—must be curbed. These truths are not born of some zeal for austerity or unkindness, but of arithmetic. The growing debt burden threatens to crush the next generation of Americans.”
The panel discussion
, which is co-sponsored by the Class of 2017, the College Republicans and the College Democrats, will be moderated Ruhle, who earned a B.A. in international business from Lehigh. Ruhle has been called “the most important new face in financial TV” by Business Insider
Panelists will focus on how Millennials can use their voice to avert political stalemate and set the country on a path towards fiscal responsibility. According to some estimates, the unemployment rate among young adults is 16.1 percent—more than twice the rate for the population at large.
A free barbecue networking cookout will follow the discussion and is open to all attendees.