Generation Opportunity Poll: Young Americans (18-29) Rate America's Debt as the Top National Security Issue

Jul 26, 2011, 05:00 ET from Generation Opportunity

Fiscal Issues Top Terrorism as Greatest Threat to Security as President Obama Addressed Nation on Debt Ceiling Impasse

62% say National Debt is the greatest threat to National Security, followed by Energy Dependency and Indebtedness to Foreign Powers

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Generation Opportunity, the new, non-profit, non-partisan organization educating, engaging, and mobilizing young Americans 18-29 years old on the immediate and long-term economic challenges facing the nation – such as the lack of job opportunities and increasing debt and federal spending – is releasing new data from its national study on Millennials revealing the top national security issues of concern to young Americans.

The top national security issue is the debt.

In priority order, young Americans believe that the national debt, increased dependency on foreign sources of energy, and America's indebtedness to foreign powers have made America more vulnerable. To reduce these risks  and to manage these national security challenges, young Americans believe elected officials in Washington, D.C. need to get the nation on a more stable economic footing by cutting federal spending rather than raising taxes and by increasing the production of domestic energy sources such as oil, natural gas, and coal.

"The generation that is expected to pay the skyrocketing federal debt is sending a clear signal to elected leaders of both parties in Washington – federal spending and debt, our indebtedness to foreign powers and our dependency on overseas sources of energy have placed the United States at risk," said Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity. "These young Americans have witnessed first-hand how the poor economy and the lack of economic opportunity have negatively impacted their own lives, they think Washington is out of touch with their concerns and they know the status quo and continued failure to lead jeopardizes both our present national security and our future status as a global leader."


Generation Opportunity recently commissioned a poll with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend (April 16 – 22, 2011, +/- 4% margin of error) and highlights some of the results below.

National Security Concerns and The Future of American Leadership:

  • Top 3 greatest threats to American National Security: National Debt (62%), Energy Dependency (61%) and Indebtedness to Foreign Powers (50%). The threat of terrorism at (39%) followed as the fourth major national security concern.
  • Millennials - when asked on a scale of 1 (meaning not at all) to 5 (meaning a very big concern) how much of a concern America's current" financial debt"/"deficit" rates, 66% indicated very big concerns with America's "financial debt' and 71% indicated very big concerns about America's 'deficit.'
  • 54% - more than one half – are not confident that the U.S. will be a global leader in just 10 years. Only 9% said they were "very confident" that the U.S. would be.
  • 70% (net) would increase production of domestic energy sources like oil, natural gas and coal; only 22% (net) would decrease production of the same energy sources.
  • 76% view China as a danger: 48% as an economic threat and 28% as both an economic and military threat.

Millennials and The Path Ahead – Putting America's Fiscal House in Order:

  • 76% would like to see federal spending decreased.
  • 69% prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals in order to balance the Federal budget.
  • 59% believe the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference.
  • 53% indicate if taxes on business profits were reduced, companies would be more likely to hire.
  • Only 31% approve of President Obama's handling of youth unemployment.

More About Generation Opportunity

Generation Opportunity is a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(4) organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, to early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow.

Generation Opportunity operates on a strategy that combines advanced social media tactics with proven field tactics to reach Americans 18-29. The organization announced its first communications platform – "Being American," a Facebook page that has already amassed a fan base of more than 860,000. The page posts links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal General Accountability Office (GAO), to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and The Heritage Foundation.

Read about Generation Opportunity here and visit "Being American" on Facebook by clicking here.

For our Spanish-language page – Generacion Oportunidad – click here.

CONTACT: Matthew Faraci, +1-202-997-1636,

SOURCE Generation Opportunity