Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, April 9, 2013
“When I’m retired…I want [America’s youth] to pay out-of-the-nose for anything I need. Some of you young people in the room are going to pay my senior benefits, so I welcome that,” newly-minted Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint quipped during Tuesday’s weekly bloggers meeting.
While he may have been joking with the bloggers in the room, he was completely serious about the financial impact that the national debt will have on America’s younger generations, noting that those in their twenties now will pay the most for the government’s bloated spending in the future.
“The key is to help young people understand what’s happening to them because they’re the biggest proponents right now of government solutions to everything,” he said. “I think that’s the tendency we all have when we’re young – is to be liberal when we’re young and then as we get a little older, pay more taxes and have a family we realize what we’ve been doing to ourselves.”
Improving the foundation’s outreach among Millennials is a priority for DeMint, who became president of the conservative think tank earlier this month. He plans on having the foundation focus on finding successful ways to reach out to Millennials and “communicate the situation to them in a way that seems relevant,” educating them on key issues like the national debt and youth unemployment.
DeMint also wants the Heritage Foundation to prioritize improving its grassroots and communications programs to better promote its well-known policy development work. ”Communication’s a big part of what I want to do at Heritage, and a big part of why I came to Heritage,” he said.
He plans on using the foundation’s sister organization, Heritage Action for America, to boost the foundation’s outreach with ordinary Americans and to make sure that lawmakers in Washington are in sync with the wants and needs of the American people. He also wants the foundation to look at “success stories” from states around the country for inspiration on the federal level.
“One thing we do know is that the lawmakers are not going to carry conservative ideas into policies if the folks around the country don’t understand or support them,” DeMint said. ”Learning to communicate these stories to Americans in a way that makes sense is important.”
“We’re not changing what we’ve done, we’re just building on it,” he added.