FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
As things in Washington go from bad to worse, here's an idea that could really shake up the way politics is done in this country: Let children vote.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/01/04/art.kids.vote.jpg caption=""]
It may not be as crazy an idea as it first sounds.
Politico.com has a piece about a recent report in the Economist on the problem of Japan's aging population.
The median age of the voting population in Japan will soon be 65. This gives older voters a huge amount of political power - and means it's highly unlikely they'll support cuts in entitlement programs. Sound familiar?
The United States is facing a similar problem: As baby boomers age, entitlement spending is taking up a larger and larger portion of our budget - and growing our deficit exponentially.
Well, one expert who wrote to the Economist suggests an answer to this dilemma is to let kids vote. In practical terms, this would mean giving parents an extra vote for every child.
This would take away some of the voting power from seniors in the United States, who traditionally vote in large numbers. It also could give the future generation, which will have to pay off our massive debt, a say in the decisions being made today.
However, it would also put the responsibility on parents to use those votes in the best interest of their kids.
During the Vietnam War, when young Americans were fighting and dying for their country, the voting age was lowered to 18.
Now that the country is starting to die under the weight of its debt, maybe it's time to lower the voting age again.
Here’s my question to you: Should children have the right to vote?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
I don't see a problem with dropping the voting age to 16. There could be the added benefit of letting children vote at school during school hours so we could increase the number of people voting. I like the logic of them being able to vote on matters concerning debt since they'll get stuck with it.
Not a bad idea, but the potential for abuse, voter fraud, etc. seems astronomical. I think it's misleading to say "let kids vote". It should be, give parents an extra vote for each child they have. I can't imagine the logistics of trying something like that, however at this point it may be worth a shot.
Sure, children should be allowed to vote. After all, they would be voting for their peers.
Are you crazy? Most American adults aren't qualified to vote due to ignorance! What we need is a benevolent dictator (for a period of time) to do away with the government. Our current form of government is the problem and not the answer.
No, children should not be allowed to vote. There is no way to ensure that parents would place the vote that the children want.
Jill in Pennsylvania writes:
Children who pay taxes should be able to vote and have a say in how their money is spent. If a 16-year-old kid has a little part-time job and pays taxes, let them vote. But a 7-year-old voting? No.
Larry in Ohio writes:
Jack, Unless a person is serving in the military, no one under the age of 21 should be allowed to vote. President Obama is living proof that 18-year-olds have no idea what they are doing when it comes to politics!
This question clearly shows at least one Cafferty File producer has not yet recovered from ringing in the New Year.