BIGELOW AND MEYER: Young Americans should fire Obama if they want jobs

‘Hope’ won’t pay off student loans

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The only way for young Americans to find jobs is for President Obama to lose his.

That is the argument Gov. Mitt Romney needs to make from now until Election Day, especially on college campuses. During the second presidential debate, the candidates were asked two youth questions — one on jobs, one on student aid — demonstrating that youth unemployment is a key issue in this election. Mr. Romney is capable of winning the youth vote. He just needs to articulate a clear, forceful message over the coming weeks in order to beat Mr. Obama.

No president in recorded history has ever averaged a higher youth unemployment rate than Mr. Obama — 17.5 percent — and young Americans clearly aren’t better off than they were four years ago. In fact, no other demographic has suffered more under this president.

Mr. Obama likes to talk about Americans getting a “fair shot” and a “fair shake,” yet since the president took office, America has lost 397,000 net youth jobs, college tuition has risen 25 percent, average graduating student loan debt has risen 16 percent (now nearing $29,000) and youth health care costs are set to rise 45 percent because of Obamacare’s price mandates.

The cost of living for young Americans has spiked over the past four years while median youth earnings have dropped 6 percent. Young Americans are making less money and incurring higher expenses. Many can’t find work at all.

Mr. Obama’s economic policies have strangled businesses with red tape and have made hiring additional workers — especially young workers — extremely costly. Today, businesses are forced to pay anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000 in regulation costs per new hire each year. For most businesses, hiring a young person isn’t worth that risk.

In the first three years of his presidency, Mr. Obama created 206 regulations costing businesses an additional $46 billion annually. How does this affect job creation? If you divide the $46 billion regulation cost to businesses by the average American salary of $41,000, you get roughly 1 million jobs.

If businesses swallow these regulatory costs and hire additional workers during this economic game of survival, they have their pick from a growing pool of unemployed people with work experience and higher education. Older workers are taking starter jobs, and young Americans fresh out of college are losing out to people with more work experience.

The result of Mr. Obama’s economic policies is that 53 percent of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, and 1 in 3 graduates are living at home with Mom and Dad.

Obamacare will only make young adults — or as Mr. Obama calls them, “kids” — further dependent on parental and governmental handouts.

Under Obamacare regulations, young people are mandated to pay substantially more toward their health care premiums to subsidize the cost of health care for those nearing retirement. Moreover, thanks to the minimum-coverage mandate, cheaper, catastrophic coverage plans are banned.

For young Americans, there is no way to avoid increasing costs. No matter who pays the tab — be it parents, schools, employers or the young people themselves — Mr. Obama’s plan ensures a 45 percent increase on health care premiums for young people.

This increase will only hinder youth job creation. Obamacare requires businesses with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance for their employees or pony up massive fines. Higher insurance premiums for young people make them more of a liability than an asset to business.

Mr. Obama touts the fact that Obamacare allows young Americans to stay on their parents’ health care plans until age 26. You won’t hear the president mention that staying on their parents’ plan until age 26 means that young adults probably will be unemployed or underemployed, and most likely living with their parents — not exactly the American dream.

Mr. Romney should not be afraid of college campuses this election. A CBS/New York Times poll shows Mr. Romney with 45 percent of the youth vote, closing the gap by 25 percent from John McCain’s numbers in 2008. Nothing encourages an open mind like personal, economic misery.

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