Everyone remembers four years ago when Barack Obama was swept into the White House by throngs of excited college students.
My generation — the so-called Millennials — were the backbone of his campaign. We were the precinct walkers, phone bankers and the energy behind his grassroots effort. Young people were even responsible for votes that pushed Obama over the top in states like North Carolina and Indiana.
But, four years after the excitement has died down, young people don't have much to look forward to. My generation has been hit especially hard by the recession.
A new report from the Pew Research Center paints a grim picture. The unemployment rate for 18 to 24 year olds is 16.3 percent, nearly double the national average and only 54.3 percent of my generation is employed — the lowest since 1948.
For students just graduating and getting their first real jobs, this economic environment is devastating.
Many of my friends have been forced to take hourly jobs, unpaid internships or, worse yet, move back home with their parents because they've exhausted all other options — all while their student loans are growing by the day.
This week, Jill Biden and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will be visiting multiple community colleges in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, specifically Columbus State, Sinclair, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Bluegrass Community and Technical College and the Tennessee Technology Center as part of their "Community College To Career" bus tour to promote Obama's new proposal to improve the relationship between community colleges and businesses.
We welcome them to the region, but this event is emblematic of Obama's approach to fixing the economy: propose piecemeal reform while ignoring larger economic changes that would put us on a path to recovery (all while standing in the way of job creators).
Obama's signature approach to fixing the economy, the so-called stimulus — has, at best, had lackluster results.
And since then he has taken major steps that hurt the economy. Health care reform has introduced tremendous uncertainty and his regulatory system is stifling job creation.
Furthermore, where was his plan to get our spending under control? He promised he would cut our deficit in half by the end of his first term but he hasn't come close. Obama's done nothing to tackle our mounting debt and has instead doubled down on mortgaging my generation's future.
So, I'm skeptical of this visit. The Community College to Career Fund has an $8 billion dollar price tag and is supposed to train two million workers. But this kind of economic promise sounds all too familiar.
Remember the stimulus? It cost $787 billion, and Obama promised it would keep unemployment below 8 percent, yet it's been above 8 percent for a record 36 straight months.
My generation has no reason to put more trust in a person who's broken his word so many times. It may have taken us four years to realize that Obama could not deliver on his promises, but it is better late than never.
Our country's future is at stake. We can't afford to make the same mistake twice.