Speaker: Millennials shouldn’t carry load

Ilsa Matthes | Daily Press Opinion columnist and contributor to multiple media outlets Tom Rogan speaks to the Bay Area Economic Club Wednesday.

ESCANABA — Tom Rogan, a conservative political columnist, panelist, and contributor for multiple major news outlets, was in Escanaba Wednesday to speak to the Bay Area Economic Club about what he believes a Trump administration means for Americans, filtering fake news, and the challenges facing millennials.

Rogan, who is an American citizen that was raised and educated in England, started the discussion with his predictions about the ongoing efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as “Obamacare.” Despite Trump and many other Republican candidates promising a replacement for Obama’s controversial landmark legislation, replacing the bill has been problematic.

The Republicans’ first attempt at replacing the law was the “American Health Care Act,” which was marketed as the beginning of a three-phase plan to replace the ACA. Waning support for the bill caused the House of Representatives to delay a vote and eventually withdraw the bill completely. Rogan believes that in the future, Republicans will be better prepared with well-supported legislation.

“I think health care is something that is definitely brewing below the surface. I think the president wants to get it done. I think you will see when that legislation is again presented, the Republican party — in a unifying sense, if they present it — will be very confident that they have the votes to get it though…,” said Rogan.

While health care may be center-stage for many, Rogan highlighted a series of possible tax reform changes that could have a significant impact on individuals and families across the United States.

“As I understand it at present, the tax reform process is leaning much more towards major simplification and reduction of rates rather than somewhat simplification and reduction of rates, and by that I mean that the White House is strongly leaning towards getting rid of deductions that are quite popular,” said Rogan, adding the mortgage interest rate deduction could be on the chopping block.

Rogan also noted that businesses would probably not see the same kinds of deduction cuts that individuals may be facing in the near future, as Trump has made working with businesses a key part of his presidency. In addition to deregulating many industries, that focus on businesses can be seen in his multiple meetings with CEOs from large businesses, which Rogan says have a different tone than similar meetings held by President Barack Obama.

Shifting gears, Rogan addressed the issue of “fake news.” While he told guests of the luncheon that there was no doubt there is bias in media, Trump’s use of the phrase has a different meaning.

“From my perspective, when the president says ‘this is fake news’ that is his way of trying to distract against criticism of himself,” he said.

To arm against fake news or the effects of biases held by individual news agencies or reporters, Rogan believes it is important for individuals to read about issues from multiple sources. He recommends using Google’s news search to aggregate articles about a single topic and read a few of them. Facts, quotes, and other information that is shared between multiple news sources is more likely to be true than facts stated by a single media outlet.

He also recommended becoming familiar with the work of individual reporters to learn which journalists are reputable or express the least bias in their work. According to Rogan, even within the same news agency, individual reporters can offer drastically different levels of reporting.

Rogan wrapped up his presentation by commenting on the struggles facing the millennial generation when it comes to funding entitlement programs and health care or gaining the skills necessary to become gainfully employed.

When it comes to entitlement programs and health care, Rogan believes that the current system of taking money from millennials — either through taxes or proportionally higher insurance costs — to offset programs and health care for the elderly is unsustainable and unfair. Not only does he think that programs like Medicare won’t be available for millennials when they are old enough to use them, but he feels that the system puts an unnecessary burden on individuals who are just beginning their careers.

When it comes to choosing those careers, Rogan noted that it is important for millennials to chose educational paths that fit with reasonable career goals, and that as a society, it is important to reduce the stigma against trade jobs.

“We have an economy where far too few graduates of college, or graduates of high school more in particular, have the skills that they need to be able to enter a sustainably good employment future. A path toward good wages and productive output for their employers,” he said.

The next Bay Area Economic Club session is scheduled to take place sometime this fall. For more information about the events call 906-786-2192.


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