Letters to the Editor

Millennials are concerned about tax bill, national debt

The Republican sweeping tax-cut bill is expected to lower the top individual tax rate to 37 percent and set the corporate tax rate at 21 percent. The bill will also cap the popular mortgage interest deduction at $750,000, a midpoint compromise between the Senate and House bills.

Although they have not yet released analysis of the current bill, in November, the Congressional Budget Office confirmed that the proposed GOP tax bill would add more than $1 trillion to the national debt over the course of a decade, and increase the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio by 5.9 percent.

With our national debt already at $20 trillion, my generation has a lot to gain or lose based on how we address our fiscal challenges. The national debt is unique in that it is a bipartisan priority for Americans, with overwhelming majorities of Democrats, Independents and Republicans agreeing that the issue should be one of the top three priorities for the president and Congress. If the U.S. fails to address the long-term debt, the federal government will have a much harder time investing in other priorities that young Americans are passionate about — like education, infrastructure or climate change.

As young Americans, millennials have an important role to play in civic engagement. Millennials should engage their networks, friends, and family to share their views and concerns about America’s long-term fiscal outlook and how it will impact our future economic opportunities. It is important for citizens to take action and show our legislators that we are holding them accountable and paying attention to the policies they are crafting.

A way I stay active is by participating in the Up to Us Competition. Amid high-profile debates over jobs and the economy, social mobility, healthcare, and tax reform, Up to Us is the only nationwide campus-based campaign focused on building a sustainable economic and fiscal future for America’s next generation. Up to Us doesn’t just educate and engage – it empowers, providing emerging leaders a platform for facilitating a collaborative dialogue on the country’s most vexing challenges.

It is up to us to help change the unsustainable fiscal trajectory we are on. I urge you to share the significance of this issue with your peers. Engage your networks, friends and family to share your views and let them know you’re concerned about America’s long-term fiscal outlook and how it will impact your future economic opportunities. But, more importantly, be part of the solution.

Fiorella Riccobono,