News and Tribune

February 13, 2014

Being cool to this school in New Albany

Young makes Christian Academy his home away from home for a day

By JEROD CLAPP
jerod.clapp@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — Out of his four stops across Southern Indiana on Thursday, three of U.S. Rep. Todd Young’s visits included children from Christian Academy of Indiana.

Young picked up valentines cards from third-graders at the school, talked to them about his job, gave their cards to veterans at the New Albany Veterans Administration Clinic and came back to talk with an economics class at the school.

Though third-graders asked the congressman the tough questions — his favorite part of working in Congress and the like — some of the school’s seniors wanted to know what the economy would look like for them as they entered the job market.

Kevin Wilson, economics teacher at the school, said hearing from someone on the front end of making policy could provide his students with a perspective he couldn’t give.

“He’s in the trenches,” Wilson said. “It’s one thing for me to say ‘this is what it’s like,’ but for him to come and talk to them, this is what he experiences on a daily basis. I think that’s huge.”

The students came in with their questions and concerns — after Young gave an overview of his job on the side of economic policy. He prodded students on the things they hope they can do once they move on from high school.

“The world’s a little different for you than it was when I was in high school,” Young said. “What sort of things make you anxious, or are of great concern to you?”

After a student said he hoped to be able to provide for his family after college and securing a job, Young said he knows that involves financial security, which he hopes he can help provide through economic policy.

“I suspect most of you want to be able to go on a nice vacation with your family every now and then,” Young said. “You’ll want nice things, you’ll want to feel secure in your job. I think most Americans would like to be securely in the middle class, and these things are in jeopardy right now.”

Through keeping an eye on corporate tax codes that don’t prevent businesses from moving to the United States or keep them from moving out, he said he thinks that can make the future a little more secure for them.

“Right now, we’re working on a tax reform package, but it could really increase the rate of economic growth in our economy, creating more good-paying jobs, making us more competitive vis-à-vis other countries around the world and impact their lives immeasurably as they get older,” Young said after his talk.

Though he said people — with and without degrees — are falling through the cracks of the middle class, he said he thinks the future for this generation of graduates could be bright.

“I think it’s the free-market economy, protection of property rights, contract law and all the things that make markets work that’s pulled billions of people out of poverty in just my lifetime,” Young said. “The extent we can continue to tear down any barriers to free markets and free competition are going to grow wealth for all Americans.”