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Public Statements

Congress Newsletter - April 25, 2012


Location: Unknown

Dear Friends,

A college education is one of the most important investments a person can make. As a former educator, I know the positive impact education can have on an individual. It opens doors and equips young people with the tools needed to pursue their goals. Unfortunately, our current economic crisis is leaving many young college graduates unemployed or underemployed in positions that do not fully utilize their skills or their knowledge. We must do better and our leaders must enact economic policies that will stimulate our economy, strengthen the job market and provide the opportunities that these young people deserve.

Young adults with bachelor's degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs. After years of hard work pursuing their college degree, these young people are entering a job market where they face limited employment options. Many doubt their efforts in obtaining a degree are going to pay off. According to the Associated Press, about 1.5 million bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed. An alarming number of young people are beginning to lose hope and many more are rethinking their plans to obtain a college degree. Increasing tuition and student loan debt is also compounding the problem.

This is unacceptable. A college education is the silver bullet that has helped countless Americans escape the cycles of poverty and inequality. It is a fundamental part of why America is seen as a land of opportunity and a place where a person can go as far as their talents take them. We must not allow a generation of young people to view a college education as a mistake. Our first priority is to get our economy going again. We must encourage private-sector growth and enlarge our beleaguered job market. This will not be done with top-down government-centered policies that are predicated on tax increases. Government must remove burdensome regulations on job creators and small businesses. Our ballooning debt and deficit must be reigned in and our budget must reflect fiscal reality rather than fantasy. Our children and grandchildren deserve to inherit a prosperous nation. While they do their part by going to college, we must do our part to ensure that a college education is both affordable and financially attractive.


Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Member of Congress

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