Republican victories could lead to less job openings for graduates

Younger generations are said to be the future of a nation. So what do this month’s midterm election results mean for college students — individuals that soon must graduate and take on roles in the “real world?”

Throughout campaigning, Republican candidates pushed a platform of lowering government spending, cutting taxes and repealing health care legislation. Initial reactions of newly elected officials provided insight about where the newly staffed government is headed.

On Sunday’s “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said all efforts will be made to repeal the “fiscal and economic train wreck” of the national health care bill.

“You can’t fully repeal and replace this law until you have a new president and a better (U.S.) Senate,” Ryan said. “I think 2013 is when it will be done the right way.”

President Barack Obama called the results a “shellacking” of his Democratic Party and took blame for the state of the economy.

“I’ve got to take direct responsibility for the fact that we have not made as much progress as we need to make,” Obama said to countless news organizations following the elections.

So are these comments simply political talking points, or do they signal impending governmental changes?

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education — a news and job-information source for college and university faculty and students — if the newly Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives is successful in its goals, things such as student aid and federal research could see spending cuts or no increase. The National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities could experience the same.

Susan Giaimo, a visiting assistant professor of political science, provided more specific answers.

She said an ambitious legislative program within Wisconsin should be easily enacted due to Republican majorities representing the state.

Nationally, she said the two parties have too many ideological differences to compromise, except on some minor legislative pieces.

On health care, she said it is likely there will be little progress before the 2012 elections.

“The specter of government shutdowns is a possibility, but it is risky for both parties,” Giaimo said.

For the economy, she said Republicans might be successful in convincing Obama to agree to extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts on upper class Americans. This would mean lost government revenue and a higher deficit, unless funding for things including Social Security, Medicare, transportation or defense are lessened.

The highest priority for college students is whether or not they will find jobs after graduating, but few know what is going to happen to the economy going forward.

Giaimo said if graduates don’t find jobs immediately, students have the benefit of health insurance on their parents’ plans up to age 26 under the new health care law.

Julia Azari, an assistant professor of political science, said the business cycle is bound to improve at some point, but if the government had answers, solutions would have already been made.

She also noted although some demand compromise within Congress, it might not be the best thing in the short term.

“Compromise might be a positive thing in the long run,” Azari said. “But for now, it would only result in spending cuts … which would decrease the number of jobs available to graduating students.”

Jordan Calgaro, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said he will only feel optimistic about attaining a job upon graduation if newly elected Wisconsin governor Scott Walker succeeds in his campaign promises.

“He promised to bring 250,000 jobs to the state of Wisconsin,” Calgaro said. “If he sticks to that, then at least I can feel comfortable once I graduate in this state. … If not, then it might be a struggle.”