Pundits on both sides of the political spectrum are finding common ground this morning in their appraisal of last night’s State of the Union address, the first of President Obama’s his second term. In a column titled “Same old, same old Obama,” liberal columnist Kirsten Powers wrote:
If the State of the Union address Tuesday night is any indication, it appears President Obama’s chief speechwriter has been replaced by a cliché-generator circa 1960.
In a similar vein were comments by conservative commentator Victor David Hanson in a piece titled “Déjà vu — you think?”
One group who had a special cause to be disappointed was so-called Millennials. If the group, comprised of 18- to 29-year-olds, learned anything from the speech it is that many of them can look forward to another glorious four years living in their parents’ basement or attic.
According to the latest Millennial Jobs Report published by conservative watchdog group Generation Opportunity, 13.1 percent of Americans in this age range are unemployed. That figure excludes an additional 1.7 million young adults who are not counted in Bureau of Labor Statistics data because they have stopped looking for work. That brings the effective unemployment rate among young people up to 16.2 percent.
Millennials who watched the SOTU last night heard the president wax rhapsodic about the need for continuing “investment” in education and job training. It had to come as a bitter joke to those currently holding fresh diplomas, half of whom can’t find work in the skill areas they are trained in. Some have settled for lower-paying jobs — as waiters, retail clerks, and receptionists — just to pay down student loans. Others wish they could find a job waiting tables.
Evan Feinberg, President of Generation Opportunity, said of the SOTU:
Tonight’s speech indicates that young people will be screwed even more in the next four years than they were in Obama’s first term. When the President talks about ‘investing in the future,’ he really means stealing prosperity from young Americans to pay for a bloated, out-of-control, and unsustainable federal government.
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