How Millennials Can Lead Washington By Example — and Save the Nation

It's easy — and reasonable — to blame the budget crisis on the federal government's partisanship and irresponsibility. Millennials are particularly inclined to notice and condemn Washington's mulishness as we anticipate our inheritance of the exponentially accumulating national debt. While most millennials are old enough to vote and, with the aid of social media and other media, are able to vocalize our concerns, we are still in a position of inaction relative to older generations.

The vast majority of money and tangible influence is garnered by generation X. Eventually, millennials will inherit this power and responsibility, but that day is not here yet. Millennials therefore cannot rely solely on the general democratic influence we are allotted in order to enact effective change in the budget debacle. We rather must embody the principles we believe should be embodied by our government — act with prudence and pragmatism, think dynamically and innovatively, and define our generation, and ultimately our nation, as a collective body of citizens united by our devotion to integrity and progress.

Each day that the government operates without a budget, the challenges that millennials will face intensify. In our private lives, aside from whatever budget deal Washington concocts, we must function as members of society whose lifestyles improve, not worsen, the national situation. We need to be independent and cannot include ourselves in the government's entitlement burden.

Perpetuating the innovative spirit that has thus far defined the millennial generation, we must detach ourselves from dependence upon our elders. Instead of decrying the anemic job market and indignantly living off of our parents or government aid, we must be proactive.

The nation cannot afford for millennials to reciprocate Washington's reckless spending and stubborn inaction. As the most vastly educated generation in our nation's history, millennials have no excuse to repeat the irresponsible choices that have led to the United States' deficit woes. Instead, we millennials should live within our means and provide our characteristic creativity and drive to the national dynamic.

Millennials should not engage in the entitlement culture. We need to get jobs. If it is impossible to find a job — which is all too common in our economy today — then we need to make our own jobs, or work relentlessly until we can convince someone to give us one.

It is through proactive attitudes and self-accountability that millennials can offer greatest help to the nation in light of the budget crisis. The influence that millennials effect on the business and culture of the nation is ever increasing. If we millennials commit ourselves today to acting in our daily lives in ways that reflect the fundamental values we yearn for Washington to reflect, especially when crafting a federal budget and ensuring that America is fiscally capable of enduring, then we will be doing our part to return American culture to the state at which it first thrived.

A government derived from the consent of the governed ought to embody the spirit of its citizenry. Millennials must show Washington, through our lifestyles, that we demand responsible governing and that we are willing to share in sacrifice to seek a better future. Soon enough, millennials will be the legislatures crafting a budget on Capitol Hill. Despite the mountain of debt we will likely inherit, millennials will be ready to work in order to ensure a better America for generations to come. And, in a country whose government seems to lack a commitment to that principle, millennials are challenged with an opportunity to prove that we are worthy of one day returning the nation to fiscal responsibility and then leading it to even greater heights.