Michael Barone

It also found that majorities believe that the economy grows best when people can create jobs without government interference and that companies would hire more if business profits taxes were reduced.

A Pew Research poll of this Millennial Generation conducted last fall found that Obama's job approval was only 49 percent -- 17 percent below his 2008 support. Only 39 percent of white Millennials approved his performance.

I have long thought that there was a tension between Millennials' former enthusiasm for Obama and the thrust of the Obama Democrats' policies.

This is an iPod/Facebook 21st century generation. Young Americans want to customize their own world. They want to shape their own destinies, not be part of a herd that is shepherded from one pasture to another. They like the advice of Obama appointee Anne-Marie Slaughter: Design your own profession.

The Obama policies are redolent of mid-20th century welfare-state planning. From Obamacare's unaccountable boards determining the care patients get to his affection for high-speed rail that will forever run on the same tracks, choice is limited or eliminated. Central planners determine your future.

It's as if every iPod had an identical play list and every Facebook page were the same.

Romney and the other Republicans can claim that their policies, by providing choices and opening markets to spur innovation that no central authority can plan, will enable young people to choose their futures.

Obama likes to emphasize the Obamacare provision that lets "children" up to age 26 stay on their parents' health insurance. Apparently that polls well with Millennials.

Republicans should counter that they want young people to choose their own health plan, from firms competing for their business. An economy liberated from Obama's taxes and regulations can provide more choices and opportunities.

Romney and the others haven't been speaking to young voters directly yet. They need to get started.


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM


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