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Opinion: Rising National Debt Threatens Future Generations

National Debt | Debt Burden | Taxes

This is a guest column by University of Tampa student Rajul Mehta. Her opinions do not necessarily reflect those of TB Reporter. TB Reporter accepts guest columns and editorials. If you are interested in writing one, contact us at


The Tampa Bay area is constantly thriving and developing.

Florida was usually considered a place where retirees moved and where people came for vacations, but recently that has changed. According to, Tampa was ranked the No. 1 city people to which moved in 2016. It also ranks as the hottest city for start-ups and the best overall city by Money magazine.

This is true, we have seen an increase in millennials moving to the Tampa Bay area since 2015 and this also has an impact on the economic and physical development of the Tampa bay area.

As a college student and a millennial, I am always thinking about my future. I always knew that the national debt is constantly increasing but never realized that the burden of that debt would lie on my and other millennials’ shoulders. The topic of national debt and its impact on everyday lives of the public is rarely discussed. The current national debt is about 20.63 trillion dollars. That is a daunting number.

What does the long-term debt mean for the Tampa Bay community?

This question is more serious than we all can imagine. With the debt constantly increasing, we the people have the highest stake in it. Two-thirds of the debt is from the people and one-third is intra-governmental. This means that it is our economic future that is on line.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, if we fail to address our rising national debt, a family of four could see its income decrease by an estimated average of $16,000 per year by 2047.

Imagine losing a material part of the income in an economic situation where the federal debt and the interest payments for it are crowding essential investments like healthcare, social security benefits and education. This would decrease our growth and our savings. A country saddled with debt will have less to invest in its own future, which in this case would be the millennials and the younger generation. The growth in our community that we see today will be heavily impacted by the national debt.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that if the current spending is maintained, the federal debt held by the public will climb to 150 percent of the gross domestic product within the next 30 years. That is more than our country’s entire economic output. These dangerously high levels of debt threaten the economy the younger generation of Tampa Bay would inherit.

If our generation and our community do not become educated on the national debt and advocate for change, then who would? We need to stand together and raise our voices regarding the national debt.

I personally am involved by participating in the Up to US campus competition. The competition is a non-partisan campaign and focuses on raising awareness about the fiscal and economic sustainability of our nation.

It is Up to Us to change the course of debt and make a sustainable economic future for our younger generations.

I personally urge you to share your knowledge about the debt with your peers, friends and family. We are a part of the solution and we need to act. You can bring the Up to US movement to your community by being involved with our campus organization at University of Tampa and by signing the pledge at and choosing University of Tampa as the college.

Rajul Mehta is the team leader of University of Tampa’s Up to US team, which is part of a non-partisan campaign whose main focus is to increase awareness about the national debt. Since January, the team has hosted several events at the University of Tampa focusing on the national debt to increase awareness on the campus about the issue and explain the overall impact of the debt. This article is an effort to expand that information to a wider audience. The Up to Us team is competing with 100 other schools nationwide who are also working toward the same goal. The competition is sponsored by the Clinton Foundation, the Peter G Peterson Foundation and Net-Impact.

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