The Millennial Policy Center in Denver updated its “Restoring Higher Education in America” policy paper this week after the Brookings Institution called student loan defaults a looming crisis in its report last Thursday.
The left-leaning Washington, D.C., think tank alleges that data shows “default rates depend more on student and institutional factors than on average levels of debt. For example, only 4 percent of white graduates who never attended a for-profit defaulted within 12 years of entry, compared to 67 percent of black dropouts who ever attended a for-profit. And while average debt per student has risen over time, defaults are highest among those who borrow relatively small amounts.”
The right-leaning Millennial Policy Center said in its paper last year that the cost of higher education has risen without good reasoning while tracking along with the increased availability of loans. The paper proposed reforms at the state and federal levels.
“Our research shows that the burden of student loans isn’t expanding because college is becoming more expensive,” Millennial Policy Center president and CEO Jimmy Sengenberger said in a statement. “Rather, school is too expensive because of the growth of student loans and grants.
“The fact is that ‘free college’ and student loan forgiveness would greatly exacerbate the cost crisis, not resolve it. It’s essential that any substantial higher education reform measures directly address the main drivers of this nearly $1.5 trillion college calamity by injecting real market forces – especially competition – throughout the system.”
“The Brookings report is a startling reminder that the college cost calamity and student loan bubble are indeed a catastrophe in the making,” Sengenberger said. “It is imperative for students and graduates alike that we address this crisis today, rather than kicking the can down the road.”
Periodic opinion page contributor Jimmy Sengenberger, prez of the right-leaning Millennial Policy Center in Denver, says his organization is weighing in on a California court case with potential landmark implications for guns owners.
The center and attorney Joseph G.S. Greelee, a fellow in constitutional studies and firearms policy at the center, filed a friend-of-the-court brief Monday in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco against a pending California state law that criminalizes possession of 10-round gun magazines and even confiscates the magazines from current owners. The law’s implementation had been halted last year in a lower federal court, and that court’s injunction is now being appealed in by the California attorney general. (Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership and Denver’s Independence Institute are also partnering with the center on the amicus filing in the case, Virginia Duncan, et. al., v. Xavier Becerra.)
Explains Millennial in a press announcement Monday:
…MPC argues vigorously for (the law’s) unconstitutionality. The Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment protects arms “in common use.” Magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds are some of the most common arms in the country: tens of millions of Americans own over 100 million of these magazines nationwide. California’s law is extraordinary because it not only bans these extremely popular arms, but it actually confiscates those arms from law-abiding citizens who already own them.
What’s at stake for Millennials? Says the youthful Sengenberger in the announcement:
“As a group focused on the future and representing the interests of young Americans, the Millennial Policy Center has a keen interest in the long-term viability of the constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms … Ronald Reagan once said that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We take this seriously, and we will engage in policy debates for freedom, including in the courtroom.”
By golly, it is. The youthful policy advocate and talk radio presence is joined by similarly youthful bandmates Jason Dashiell, Josh Loun and Eric Barney in a tribute to the tax cuts now pending in Congress.
The ubiquitous Sengenberger, who regularly makes a right-of-center pitch to today’s twenty- and thirty-somethings while wearing yet another hat as president of the Millennial Policy Center — and whose polemics periodically appear on Colorado Politics’ opinion pages — wails:
“Run, run Congress, Trump’s got tax cuts to sign;
Trump make them hurry, just get everybody in line…”
You get the idea. You won’t hear any denunciation of a “Trump tax heist” from this batch of Millennials; as far as they’re concerned, lawmakers can’t get the pending tax plan to the Oval Office fast enough.
And in case you’re wondering, the Millennial Falcons Blues Band’s retro-rockabilly number, with its forced lyrics, isn’t intended so much as a worthy addition to the Chuck Berry song book as it is simply a self-consciously spoofy way of making a serious political point.
Whether or not you buy their line, it is fun to see Sengenberger go to town on the harmonica. You wouldn’t have thought a baby-faced policy wonk had so much old soul.
The United States House of Representatives gave us an early Christmas present last week when it passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act in a bipartisan 231-198 vote. This vote came the day after the Millennial Policy Center released a white paper that makes the case for concealed carry reciprocity (CCR).
Jimmy Sengenberger asked Colorado’s Sen. Cory Gardner questions about Roy Moore and tax reform on his “Business for Breakfast” show on Denver’s Money Talk 1690 Wednesday morning. While President Trump and the Republican National Committee has gotten behind Moore in the Senate race in Alabama next week, Gardner has not, he said on the radio […]
Tax reform is all the rage right now, just as it should be. We have a complex web called the tax code that is nearly 75,000 pages long, including all the guidelines. At 39.1%, our corporate tax rate – combining federal and state – is the highest in the industrialized world. And our individual tax system is punitive and burdensome. This structure cries out for change.
The Millennial Policy Center, the conservative think tank for a younger conservative demographic, is putting on Blues, Brews & (Policy) Views next Saturday night in Denver.
The center is putting on the “cross-generational” fundraiser from 6 to 8 p.m. at its headquarters at on the second floor at 3443 S. Galena St. in Denver.
The $20 ticket includes “a delicious dinner, engaging conversation” one drink ticket then a cash bar, plus “the groovy musical stylings of the Millennial Falcons Blues Band!” the center said in an announcement. Kids younger than 12 are welcome, and their ticket price is $10.
“Today’s policy debates are incredibly important in the short-term and significant in the long-run, but they can also be divisive and exhausting at times,” Jimmy Sengenberger, the president and CEO of the Millennial Policy Center, told Colorado Politics. “We think it’s time to cut loose a bit, chill out and come together to have some fun. Plus, there’s nothing better to bring people together than a little live Blues, some nice, cold Brews and a respectful exchange of Views.”
Donations to the nonprofit think thank are tax-deductible. The goal is to fund not only research, but social media, videos and other means of publicizing its findings. Besides healthcare, the policy center did laudable and even-handed work on college affordability this year, as well.
“The Millennial Generation is naturally attuned to opportunity and prosperity – the very goals of broad-based tax reform. Millennials are innovative, creative, and inherently inclined to freedom,” Jimmy Sengenberger, the Millennial Policy Center’s president and CEO, told Colorado Politics. “Just think about the unprecedented amount of choices and opportunities that we have before us – Uber and Lyft, and apps and plentiful smartphone options. Innovations like these only come through individual initiative and achievement, which stems directly from being free to think, free to act and free to choose.
“So much of our potential is stifled by government red tape and a complex tax code. If we want to unleash the unlimited potential of each and every individual, we need to cut the red tape and; perhaps more importantly, simplify the code! This is our once-in-a-generation chance to do it, and it’s time for millennials to step up to the challenge and embrace the future.”
Colorado leaders left and right had strong feelings about President Trump’s symbolic withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate accord Thursday.
Here is a digest of what people said.
Gov. John Hickenlooper:
“It is a serious mistake to back out of the Paris Accord. This is a historic global agreement between almost every nation on earth to address the single most pressing issue facing humanity. Abandoning this climate deal is like ripping off your parachute when you should be pulling the ripcord. America’s greatness has always been demonstrated by our moral leadership. Today, we break ranks with 190 nations who are working together to stop the worst effects of climate change, which the scientific community agrees would devastate the global economy and our planet, and the defense community agrees would destabilize vulnerable nations that have served as breeding grounds for international terrorism.
“The U.S. is letting go the reins of world leadership, allowing other countries like Russia, India, and China to take our seat at the international table. Our economic and technological competitiveness will suffer. Isolationism is not leadership. Colorado’s commitment to clean air and clean energy will continue. Clean energy is abundant, home-grown, and creates 21st century jobs for our modern workforce across every part of our state. We renew our commitment to pursue cleaner energy at a lower cost. To do otherwise would be governmental malpractice.”
Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet:
“The President made a catastrophic mistake by putting a misguided campaign promise before the needs of our economy and the credibility of American diplomacy,” Bennet said. “Before this decision, the United States was on track to achieve energy independence, reduce its carbon footprint, and create good-paying jobs in rural communities—with Colorado leading the way. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement attempts to undercut the progress we have made.
“In Colorado, we will continue working to meet the carbon emissions targets set in the Clean Power Plan. The administration should reverse this shortsighted decision and work to protect our planet, economy, and national security.”
State Sen. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction:
“The U.S. is the leader in clean reliable energy, being part of the Paris agreement was symbolic at best. We have a 100 year history using fossil fuels and beyond to better everything from clean water, clean air advanced medical equipment to shoes on our feet, we’ll be just fine without the Paris Agreement.”
“Coloradans value our natural heritage and our lands. Our leaders know it’s not a partisan issue – it’s our collective livelihood. That’s the Colorado way. The Paris Accords are about protecting people. Declining economies and scarce resources are certain outcomes. Marginalized communities in urban and rural Colorado will be hit the hardest.
“And since the White House won’t lead, Colorado will. Tomorrow, I will join my colleagues to create a bipartisan plan to help protect Coloradans from the untold consequences of the president’s failed leadership on this issue.”
Jon Goldin-Dubois, president of Boulder-based Western Resource Advocates:
“President Trump’s decision to back the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord is short-sighted and unwise. Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century, and its effects, like drought and increased wildfires are already being seen here in the American West. As the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide pollution, the U.S. should lead on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“If the President of the United States fails to lead, the American people and leaders in our western States will. Western Resource Advocates will continue to work with elected leaders with our communities, with leaders in the clean energy industry and with investors on smart and economical solutions to reduce carbon pollution.”
Pete Maysmith, executive director of Conservation Colorado:
“This is a disappointing and infuriating day, and the president has shown once again that he is reckless. The power and leadership on clean energy and climate change now shifts to states, cities and the private sector. Whatever Governor Hickenlooper, mayors, county commissioners, and other leaders across our state had been planning to do on climate change – they must now do twice as much. The time for bold action is now.”
Jimmy Sengenberger, president and CEO of the Millennial Policy Center:
“President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change is the right move, for all of the reasons so aptly expressed by the president in his Rose Garden statement this afternoon. The fact remains that former President Obama’s decision to sign on to the accord was unconstitutional in the first place, as a binding treaty requires Senate confirmation. In effect, what President Trump just did was reinstate a fundamental constitutional tenet. As one Millennial Policy Center fellow put it, ‘If you like your unconstitutionally signed, financed, and implemented U.N. treaty, you can keep your unconstitutionally signed, financed and implemented U.N. treaty.’
“… While we agree that humans do impact our climate in some ways, our response must not be disproportionate and come at the expense of the economy and American livelihoods. We applaud President Trump’s decision today and hope that he will take a more thoughtful, measured approach to leading on this important issue moving forward.”
“President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement is wrong and takes our country and Colorado backwards not forward. I’m disappointed and frustrated by this decision. Clearly climate change is a threat to our way of life in Colorado.
“Colorado is a proven leader in developing technologies that reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. I will continue to fight for the progress we’ve made in Colorado and push to reduce the impact of climate change in our communities.”
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy:
“President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement takes our nation backwards. Climate change is the greatest threat to humanity. With or without Washington’s help, Colorado will continue to lead. Scientists and engineers here in Colorado are world leaders in developing, producing and marketing advanced solar and wind technologies. We can keep electricity affordable, reduce carbon pollution and bring new jobs to Colorado, especially in rural Colorado. In 2015, cleantech businesses employed 4,250 workers in eastern Colorado alone. This lays the foundation for economic prosperity for our state for decades to come.
“Colorado should have the cleanest air in the country, and be a model for the nation in using clean, renewable sources of energy. To accomplish this goal, I propose Colorado raise its renewable energy standard from 30% to at least 50%. In 2004 Colorado passed the first in the nation, voter-approved renewable energy standard. We will likely reach this target ahead of time and it’s time we raised it.”
“This president and his administration are on the wrong side of history with this remarkably short-sighted decision. Global climate change is an issue that requires moral and political leadership from the U.S. and energy-rich states like Colorado.
“If our federal government isn’t going to make smart decisions for our environment and economy, it’s time that U.S. cities and states take the lead. Here in Colorado, Pueblo, Boulder and Aspen have committed to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2030; it’s time for leaders across Colorado to act by embracing the future and boldly committing to a sustainable future.”
One of the more interesting and well-focused organizations I’ve seen in awhile, the conservative Millennial Policy Center in Denver, keeps doing things right. Jimmy Sengenberger, the 26-year-old radio host who is the center’s president and CEO, is keeping a clear, consistent drumbeat on higher education.
The center is holding a forum on the subject May 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. at its headquarters in South Denver at 3443 S. Galena St.
A panel will talk about the high cost of higher ed. The Millennial Policy Center’s recent white paper addressed the soaring costs that track with the availability of grants and loans — cost chasing cash. The paradigm leaves millennials buried in debt, Sengenberger contends in the report.
“It’s that time of year again when high school graduates are making that ever-intimidating, all-important decision on where they will go to college. And it’s a stark reminder of the skyrocketing cost of college in America today,” Sengenberger said in a statement. “Our research has found that there are a number of key, dramatic cost-drivers in higher education – and government tends to be at the root of them.”
Krista Kafer, a Colorado Christian University professor and 710 KNUS radio host, will moderate the panel that includes Sengenberger, a 2011 Regis University graduate; University of Colorado Regent-at-Large Heidi Ganahl; and University of Colorado junior Marcus Fotenos, the student body president for external affairs.
Those who attend will be able to ask questions, Sengenberger said.
“With all my heart I believe affordable, quality higher education is the key to keeping the American dream alive,” Ganahl said in the press release. “It’s time to address the issues our colleges face head on, and I’m excited Jimmy and his organization are jumping in.”
Fotenos said one of the most common concerns he hears from his CU constituents is the cost of college degree.
“This is a complex problem that all students are facing, and there is no simple solution,” he said in a statement. “I am excited to speak on this panel and bounce ideas off of some of the best minds in Colorado.”