Trump has failed Young Americans

The 2020 election will significantly impact the lives of young Americans. They are already suffering the consequences of crises exacerbated by President Trump’s failures — starting their careers and adult lives amidst a pandemic and an economic crisis worsened by Trump’s failure to get the virus under control. They are facing a racial justice crisis fanned by Trump’s words and actions. And, they are experiencing firsthand our caregiving crisis, as they are taking on caring responsibilities for both children and aging parents while Trump has failed to make investments to support working families. After almost four years as President, Trump has failed to build an economy and country that works for young people. He has:

Sided with large corporations polluting our air and water without consequence. Young people will bear the brunt of the climate crisis and environmental degradation in the decades ahead — a crisis Trump has not only failed to address, but outright denied. He has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accord, rolled back regulations designed to limit pollution, tried to strip protections from more than 30 million acres of public lands and waters, and overseen a substantial reduction in enforcement of laws designed to make our air and water cleaner. 

Sided with the National Rifle Association, refusing to address the gun violence epidemic. Almost 40,000 people die as a result of firearm injuries every year, and for young Americans growing up experiencing school shootings, other mass shootings, and daily acts of violence, the threat of gun violence is causing trauma for a generation. Trump not only failed to secure any meaningful measures to reduce gun violence, he invited the NRA into the Oval Office and his Administration deleted fugitives from the gun background check system.

Abandoned efforts to make college more affordable and accessible. The Trump Administration has undermined the promise of education beyond high school by proposing to slash funding for federal financial aid, supporting predatory for-profit colleges, and permitting universities to shame and silence survivors of sexual assault. 

Undermined principles of fairness and equality in the justice system. America’s young people, especially people of color, are more likely to interact with the criminal justice system. While President Trump loves to take credit for reforming our country’s criminal justice system, his Administration rolled back efforts to reduce sentencing disparities, allowed corporations to profit off of incarceration, and limited the use of one of the Justice Department’s best tools to tackle systemic police misconduct. 

Threatened Dreamers and their families. In 2012, the Obama-Biden Administration protected Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. President Trump has continually attempted to eliminate this protection. If he succeeds, he will put approximately 700,000 young immigrants at risk of deportation. 

Tried to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. In the midst of a pandemic, Trump is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to get rid of Obamacare, including its provisions requiring insurers to cover young adults on their parents’ plan until age 26 and people with pre-existing conditions.


Even before the pandemic, millennials came of age in a time defined by 9/11, war, and the lasting impact of the 2008 financial collapse, while Generation Z has grown up in a time of school shootings, crushing student debt, and broken politics. Young people are still leading the way: stepping up to serve in the military, as doctors, nurses, teachers, public servants, and working every day to make our communities stronger and more just. If we give them the chance, they will carry this nation to new heights. Joe Biden will:

Build a new American economy for our families and the next generation. Young adults are more than twice as likely as those over age 25 to be unemployed during this recession worsened by Trump. Joe will immediately accelerate bold new investments in our economy so that we create millions of good-paying jobs and reach full employment as fast as possible, ensuring that fewer young workers have to endure the lifelong scars of starting off their careers in a recession. And, he will make sure working young adults can afford high quality child care and long-term care for aging parents.

Secure environmental justice and a clean energy future. Joe will make a $2 trillion investment in infrastructure and clean energy over his first term and set us on an irreversible course to meet the urgent and ambitious climate progress that science demands. He’ll do this hand in hand with America’s young people by creating a new Civilian Climate Corps to conserve our public lands and bolster community resilience, while creating millions of good union jobs. Joe will also hold polluters accountable and ensure communities of color facing disproportionate harm from pollution benefit from this clean energy revolution.

Expand access to education and training and provide relief from student debt. Joe will ensure education beyond high school is within reach for young people. He’ll ensure that all hard-working individuals can attend community college without debt, make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families earning under $125,000, invest more than $70 billion in HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), and double Pell grants. He’ll invest $50 billion in workforce training and help young Americans benefit from services like one-on-one career coaching. And, Joe will forgive all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from public colleges and universities and private HBCUs and MSIs for people earning up to $125,000. 

Strengthen America’s commitment to racial justice. Young Americans are on the front lines of the fight for racial justice in America. Joe will root out systemic racism, expanding access to economic opportunity for all Americans, closing the racial wealth gap, tackling racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and reforming policing. And, he will restore moral leadership to the White House, making clear racism and other forms of hate have no safe harbor. 

Address the public health crisis and expand access to health care. Americans under the age of 30 represent almost 30% of COVID-19 cases nationwide. On Day 1, Joe will work to get this virus under control and build a stronger, more responsive public health system to tackle public health challenges of the future. Joe will also work to make sure all young people have a new health insurance option — a public option — and lower health care costs.