Commentary: Udall has Waged a War on Youth

July 14, 2014

In his recent Denver Post article, Sen. Mark Udall declared that Coloradans have the right “to be left alone, to make his or her own choices, and to live life unencumbered.”

Absolutely! If only Udall’s votes in Washington matched his rhetoric.

Instead, Udall’s votes suggest that he is complicit in politicians’ War on Youth.

My generation is entrepreneurial, creative, and constantly looking for ways to change the status quo to make our lives better.

Unfortunately, too many young people in Colorado are putting their dreams on hold and pushing their greatest aspirations to the side because they are busy struggling to foot the bill for expensive government programs that we don’t actually benefit from.

Ten percent of Colorado’s millennials – 18-29 year olds – are unemployed. Many more are struggling to find full-time jobs.

One study suggests only 20 percent of 2014 college graduates had full-time jobs lined up. Fully one-third of our generation has been forced to move back in with our parents.

It isn’t like Udall has been an innocent bystander. He voted for the trillion dollar stimulus bill claiming it would save or create millions of jobs. In reality, it hasn’t created any jobs for my generation.

He voted to raise the debt ceiling multiple times. And he even voted to place a tax on Internet sales – a policy that hits my generation the hardest.

Since Udall took office fifteen years ago, the national debt has skyrocketed to $17 trillion.

The share of federal debt owed by the average 18 year old in Colorado is $800,000. For those who go on to college, tack on another $25,000 for student loan debt. Hard to make unencumbered choices when you’re picking up the previous generation’s tab.

The real killer, though, is Udall’s vote for the Affordable Care Act, which caused more than 250,000 Coloradans to lose their insurance despite promises from Udall that we could keep our health insurance if we liked it.

No wonder young people in the Rocky Mountain State were subjected to the “Brosurance” and other ad campaigns desperately attempting to strong-arm millennials into government healthcare. Even the government recognized it was a very bad deal for my generation.

Young people in Colorado cannot afford faulty government programs, superfluous taxes, or expensive legislation. Our futures are being delayed by record-breaking student debt, a shrinking job market, and a constantly growing government presence in our lives.

We have a better vision for the future: one of independence and creativity, a future where we solve the problems facing our state and our country, a future where politicians vote in the best interests of our generation rather than make unsustainable and expensive promises in exchange for the votes of our parents and grandparents.

It’s time Udall actually voted for our right to be left alone, to make our own choices, and to live life unencumbered by Washington, DC and big government. We recognize this conveniently timed op-ed as disingenuous. And we young people in Colorado are paying attention.

Jonathan Lockwood is the state director of Generation Opportunity, Colorado.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

13 Responses to Commentary: Udall has Waged a War on Youth

  1. Robyn Parker
    July 14, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Great article. I hope your generation will listen to you and be able to discern the empty/shallow/lying words of Udall because his words sound good but his actions to not follow his words.

  2. Chip
    July 14, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Udall is no mystery to anyone familiar with the communist/progressive-liberal movement of the last 100+ years. That movement allows him to embrace Billionaire Climate Changer Tom Steyer and take his campaign donations while telling the “little people,” the peons, they must pay more in electric rates for unsustainable (without taxpayer subsidies) “green” energy for the good of the collective. Udall fancies himself and Steyer as two of the pigs in Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” The pigs, led by Napoleon, lived very well while the other animals worked very hard. Napoleon would say, “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.” That’s Udall.

  3. Val
    July 14, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    In 2010, a 25-year-old male could protect himself against catastrophic medical bills for only $35/month. Now, the lowest premium available is about $300/month. Udall did young people no favors.

  4. Brad
    July 15, 2014 at 12:16 am

    It may get worse before it gets better. The Congressional Budget Office report over immigration reform stated that the reform would suppress wages and increase unemployment country wide until 2025. We may spend a third of our professional lives in a rut if we don’t wake up.

  5. asdfgh
    July 15, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    This is about the most uninformed drivel I’ve ever read. You talk about youth unemployment without acknowledging that youth unemployment would be much higher without the stimulus bill you oppose.

    Really? You think it would be good for millennial if we defaulted on our debt? Debt default would be a national catastrophe that makes the recession that began in 2008 look like childs play.

    Finally the horrible ACA! My god! The horror that young Coloradans might have access to affordable health insurance! Let’s inject some facts into this. As a 28 year old in Denver I can get a bronze level plan for $143 a month before subsidies. Let’s say I make $20,000 a year, that means I should receive a $1,530 a year subsidy. The total cost of my plan at $143 a month is $1,716, minus the subsidy equals $186 a year, divided by 12 months= $15.50 a month. I can get a plan that is considerably better than the catastrophic plan Val talks about for $35 a month. The deal is even better if you make less than $16,104 because you qualify for Medicaid. Now we can debate all day whether rich people should be paying taxes to support the health insurance bills for poorer people, that’s a philosophical question, but the fact is that most millennials are much better off with the ACA than before it. About 25% of millennials in Colorado have incomes low enough to qualify for expanded Medicaid, while 33% don’t qualify for any subsidy at all, the remaining 42% either have coverage through their employer or qualify for a subsidy. So at least be honest that you’re defending the interests of 33% of millennials at the expense of 67% of millennials in Colorado. You can of course argue that those 33% shouldn’t be paying taxes to support the health care of the 67%, but personally, I’d rather live in a society where my neighbor can afford quality health care.

    This entire article (with the exception of the debt limit criticism, failing to raise the debt limit would be good for nobody) is a justification for adopting policies that benefit only a handful of very affluent millenials at the expense of almost all other millenials.

    • asdfgh
      July 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      I misread it, it’s $158 a month pre-subsidy for a bronze level plan, you can’t get a subsidy for a catastrophic plan, so add $15 a month to my hypothetical 28 year old in Denver’s health insurance. It costs him $30.50 a month for a much better plan than Val’s $35 a month 2010 catastrophic plan that doesn’t exist anymore.

      • Bob
        July 16, 2014 at 7:46 am


        great math…. My son has a great Obamacare policy..Eplilepsy Got a forced ambulance ride, even though he declined treatment.. His Obamacare cost out of pock 1800.00 after insurance. The emergency room..with security guard because they would not let him leave. After Obama’s great welfare insurance 4800.00..yeah cheap at any price. 6600.00 bucks yep…and at 480.00 per month and BTW he has met the deductible. I still am not convinced …. lets see how they negotiate this since he can’t pay the bill. I doubt even on a payment plan this will set him further back.

    • Val
      July 16, 2014 at 10:24 am

      The least expensive PPO on ehealth is $229.79 for a $6,100 deductible for a 28-year-old man in Denver. I never check for HMOs because their purpose is to limit care and stifle freedom of choice. The $35 I reference above was for a PPO.

      So with taxpayers’ help, asdfgh can get a premium of $15.50/month. With a little less income, he can have – ta da – welfare medicine. How long asdfgh, do you plan to mooch off the taxpayers? Aren’t you bit embarrassed at not taking care of yourself? At some point, do you realize the taxpayers will be all tapped out?

      • asdfgh
        July 23, 2014 at 11:56 am

        And that is your argument, finally honesty at what you’re actually arguing. I think that we form government to create a society where our collective needs are taken care of. You don’t, fine. Let’s have that debate, but most millennials are benefiting from what you call “welfare medicine,” those who aren’t are a high-income minority. Let’s have that debate instead of assigning nonsensical self-interest arguments that rely on uninformed fears about the ACA. You don’t support taxpayer subsidized insurance, fine, many of us do, let’s have that debate. For what its worth, unless you want people who show up at the emergency room without the ability to pay to die, you’re paying for it anyway, personally I’d rather pay for people to have good health than pay for their emergency care when their bad health catches up to them.

        • bob
          July 25, 2014 at 11:03 am

          ” I’d rather pay for people to have good health than pay for their emergency care when their bad health catches up to them”. ASDFGH that option was always there. And we’ll still pay for those who can’t pay. This is an unsustainable program, that is hoping these younger uninsured will jump on. Guess what ain’t happening. This boondoggle will go to single payer. The Government can’t fix a sandwich, lest be our healthcare provider. But people like you, support a sinking government ship. The states should say we will or will not support overall healthcare. Insurance isn’t cheap and whether you are Union or private are paying for premiums. Been on both sides of this .

          You stated you pay for people to have good health, really YOU and this program are going to force people into good health ? I really doubt it. You have bought into the “If it saves just one, it is worth it.” ACA is a P.O.S. And our great Patti Fountineau just stepped down, after fleecing us for a bonus and pay raise she did not deserve. Yeah lets let the good Dr. Bureaucrat, control our health and welfare benefits. Even our self appointed Surgeon General Dr. BH Obama states we’ll give ya a pain pill. Yeah right … This sucks and pull yer head out.

        • Val
          July 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm

          asdfgh, of course you like it; you’re on the dole. How long do you intend to stay there? We are not a collective. We are individuals. I’m fine helping out disabled people but unless you’re disabled, get off my dime! I’m tapped out.


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