Youth Vote: GOP Can Win Over Millennials On Economic Issues

Subsequent to this past election, it is becoming clearer to both parties that millennial votes are crucial to future success. Data from Center For Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) shows the role we played in this past election, and our role will only continue to grow.

That said, the data also shows Democrats' domination in this demographic, which led to a new hot button political question: How can the GOP win back millennials? Hardly any opine that this will be done through social issues, which leads to the next question: What fiscal stances are common among and appealing to millennials?

To start, here is a list of quick hitter statistics via Generation Opportunity:

-65% of millennials prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals to balance the budget.

-Only 26% prefer raising taxes on individuals to reducing federal spending to balance the budget.

-72% would decrease federal spending if given the opportunity to set America’s fiscal priorities.

-61% would decrease taxes on individuals if given the opportunity to set America’s fiscal priorities.

-Only 30% would increase taxes.

Admittedly, this data is vague in the sense that it doesn't differentiate on things such as tax brackets, sectors to cut spending from, and more; however, what is evident here is that millennials want to reign in our debt. A good place to start, for millennial support, would be entitlement spending. Only 5% of millennials believe that they will receive equal benefits from Social Security when they reach retirement age. Moreover, “millennials actually have a skeptical and even cynical view of Social Security and Medicare.”

This is not to say that millennials support completely dismantling such programs, thus leaving boomers out to dry; but it certainly seems they would favor a restructuring of them.

In addition to entitlement spending, students, a large contingency of millennial voters, overwhelmingly support cutting defense spending. Fifty-two percent prefer defense spending cuts instead of letting the “sequester" cut funding to programs meant to increase college access and affordability.

The second facet the GOP needs to focus on is job creation. 2012 ended with an atrocious 13.7% unemployment rate for millennials. Although there are countless and endless debates on how to best do so, millennials seem to support the entrepreneurial path. A starting point could be Scott Gerber’s, a highly successful millennial, 5 point plan for the government to facilitate job growth through entrepreneurship.

Granted, there are many other areas that need to be politically addressed within the Fiscal scope, but the other thing about millennials is that we’re pragmatic and want the truth. We’re sick of hearing a lot of talk, but seeing no progress. We don’t want empty promises of how they’ll fix the whole country in a day, and to try to address everything at once is infeasible and setting up for failure. Thus, it is better to start small, yet feasible, and work our way up.

*This is not representative of my personal views or ideology, only what I believe to be how the GOP can better engage millennials.*

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Joe Belsterling

Not really sure "what" I am yet, but I'm certainly trying it all out. Currently, I am launching a startup of my own and serve as an advisor to a financial services startup, specifically dealing with their business strategy, legal issues, and investor/advisor/customer solicitation. I just wrapped up serving as interim FInance Director for a Congressional Campaign and co-founder of a hackathon, TribeHacks.com. Past experiences include working for a financial technology startup and working for several political startups/organizations/non-profits. I love anything to do with nature and closely follow Pittsburgh sports, NCAA Basketball, NCAA Lacrosse, and the Stock Market.

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