Debt deal leaves a deficit of trust

Young people can’t trust their leaders to look out for their interests.

Daily Editorial Board

“DonâÄôt trust anyone over 30.âÄù This phrase, popularized in the âÄô60s as a way to comment on the generational divide, is due for a comeback, and the recent debt debacle in Washington might be just the thing to bring it back.

Even though future generations are already staring down a massive debt, Congress decided once more to pass the buck in its recent deal to raise the debt ceiling.

Make no mistake, raising the debt ceiling to avert a government default was the right thing to do. No one could say for certain what would have happened if an agreement was not reached, but it is reasonable to assume that our badly bruised economy would not have weathered it well.

Nonetheless, the responsible thing would have been to stop piling up deficits. ThereâÄôs no shortage of means. Indeed, there are a number of ripe ideas. Cut defense spending. Reform Medicare and Medicaid. Raise taxes.

Several countries in Europe have attempted to put their governments on more sound fiscal footing. Our government should do the same.

Students and young people have their own meager budgets to balance; they shouldnâÄôt be saddled with the burden that will come from their governmentâÄôs expenses and income being completely out of sync.

But Republicans in Congress have misinterpreted this cry from the public for a responsible government to mean only cuts to domestic spending. To not ask the rich, the Pentagon and large corporations like oil companies to share the sacrifice with young people and the lower and middle classes is just as irresponsible as kicking the deficit can down the road. So can we trust anyone over 30? It sure doesnâÄôt seem like theyâÄôre looking out for us.