U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, met with members of what he calls Generation Debt on Monday.
The congressman discussed issues with students at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and Central Cambria High School. One of the subjects he addressed was the United States’ growing national debt that is just short of $17 trillion.
“I ran because I was concerned about my kids, your generation,” the 12th district representative told the Central Cambria audience. “I call your generation Generation Debt because of the debt that’s being left on you is wrong. It’s wrong for the generation now to be borrowing all this money from your generation that you’re going to have to pay back someday.”
Rothfus fielded questions on a wide range of subjects, including the Stop Online Piracy Act, gun rights, Syria, gay marriage, economic issues and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
He also encouraged the Central Cambria students to become active in their community and government. “We need folks to step up,” said the freshman.
“We need your passion. We need your energy, your idealism. Young people are idealistic. It’s important to bring that in. Don’t be cynical. Don’t be skeptical. It’s a big world out there. It needs your energy. It needs you looking to do good. There are so many opportunities.”
Rothfus discussed his visits to the schools by saying, “This is part of my effort to make sure the government is as close to the people as possible. What better way than getting out and talking to students whether at the high school level, middle school level, grammar school or college. This is the next generation. People need to feel engaged with their government. It’s a great opportunity for me to be able to meet them.”
Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Dave_Sutor.