Survey: 71 Percent of Young Women Leaders Favor Decrease in Federal Spending

By Amanda Swysgood | June 28, 2012 | 4:44pm EDT

President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Forum on Women and the Economy, Friday, April 6, 2012, in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

( - Young college women are three times more likely to support a decrease in federal spending, rather than increasing taxes on individuals to solve the national debt crisis, according to a survey by Generation Opportunity.

Young people are affected by the debt and rising unemployment in a harsher reality than adults over the age of 30.

“I wouldn’t actually say that young women in particular are liberal,” said Paul Conway, president of Generation Opportunity – a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to educate and organize young Americans on the challenges facing our nation.

Conway, who has worked for high-powered women executives like Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, told, “There is conventional wisdom, but when you actually start talking to folks, and you separate out political party, and you ask base line issues about what creates jobs, what creates growth or what the proper role of government is, I wouldn’t actually say that young women in particular are liberal.

“They think federal spending should be cut, and 60 percent of young adult women thought there was the wrong leadership in Washington. Only 38 percent thought there was the correct leadership,” he said.

“And this is where it actually gets pretty interesting, 54 percent of adult young women think the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create a business without government interference on things like regulations, taxes and that kind of thing. Only 33 percent disagreed,” Conway added.

“And the overall issue - the economy - when we asked overall across the demographics, 77 percent of all young adults indicated that the economy was or would delay life decisions, but when we asked young women, 79 percent said that,” he said.

“The thing that was most interesting was 46 percent indicated they would delay buying a home, 36 percent aren’t saving for retirement, and another 30 percent said they’d delay paying off student loans. Twenty-seven percent said that they would delay starting a family, and 20 percent said they’d delay getting married,” Conway added. 

“In terms of the role of government, they are even more pointed in their opinions – that right now is not the time for the government to be spending more money and raising taxes,” he continued.

Sixty-seven percent of young adult women believe people in elected office do not reflect their values and interests, according to the survey, while 60 percent believe the wrong leadership is currently in Washington.

“As a young woman, I can tell you first-hand that we are confident in our abilities and know we are qualified to compete and succeed in whatever endeavor we choose,” Evan Flores, director of field operations for Generation Opportunity, said in a press release.

“However, today we face an economy with fewer and fewer opportunities – there is an overall scarcity of jobs that is making it increasingly difficult to succeed and plan for our futures,” she said.

“Young women are experiencing high unemployment – a shocking 12.1% for Americans 18-29 years old-while Washington just talks about it. We know that America can do better. The failed policies of the last three years, such as greater regulatory intervention and higher taxes, are unfair and deny us opportunities-they are barriers to individual initiative, investment, and job creation,” Flores continued.

Generation Opportunity, a non-partisan organization, held a three-day long conference this month with over 400 college female leaders, called “Leadership for Today and Tomorrow.”

Attendees also reported that high gas prices and record unemployment are among their greatest concerns.  

Generation Opportunity is “committed to addressing and working toward solutions on immediate challenges, such as the lack of job opportunities, as well as the broader underlying issues, such as debt and federal spending, that impact our economic future and sustainability,” according to its web site.

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