This will be the third consecutive year that college graduates enter the workforce facing a high unemployment rate. (Half of those who graduated in the last five years are working in jobs that don't require college degrees, according to a Rutgers University survey.) Student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt--the national average per student is $22,900. And experts say that 85 percent of college grads will move back in with their parents.
If that isn't depressing enough, there's the small matter of the national debt ceiling and Medicare. Both of these issues will impact those freshly-minted graduates more than the Baby Boom professors who educated them. But you wouldn't know that to listen to the fevered pitch rumbling out of Capital Hill.
The rhetoric culminated in the recent special election in New York, in which both candidates accused each other of trying to destroy Medicare.
But, the fact is (and most people actually know this), as Medicare currently promises more benefits than it will ultimately be able to deliver. We say "ultimately" because the tax hike that would be required to come through with all the benefits will not be palatable to Americans, or perhaps even possible. This is why reporter David von Drehle points out change is coming, no matter what the political rhetoric. The signposts: "ObamaCare envisions change within the existing structure of the health care industry, while Republican Paul Ryan’s proposal would impose change by having elderly patients buy their own coverage, using government vouchers. Both of these represent huge departures from the status quo."
Here was our take on the opening salvo of the Medicare debate by Rep. Paul Ryan last year (sadly, not much has changed since):