One fundraising problem The Can Kicks Back has faced is the entirely accurate perception that it is not actually a grassroots organization of young people deeply concerned with reckless entitlement spending and unsustainable long-term debt, but rather yet another front group — and in this case a particularly ineffective one — for the small network of billionaires who have spent decades advocating tax cuts and the rolling back of Social Security and Medicare benefits, in the name of fiscal responsibility. It turns out that most young Americans, being members of a generation that has had some trouble with the job market, don’t care about the federal government’s 30-year debt projections as much as they care about “having enough money for food and rent.”
So when The Can Kicks Back found itself struggling to keep the lights on, it turned for support to its grassroots network of passionate millennial activists: Not that the group hasn’t tried. According to emails, it also took meetings or made fundraising asks of former oil and gas executive T. Boone Pickens, aerospace magnate Norman R. Augustine and First Pacific CEO Bob Rodriguez, among others, since 2012. The group has also approached Fix the Debt for additional financial resources and brainstormed a list of donors to be set up with that included former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Blackrock CEO Larry Fink, salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, venture capitalist Reid Hoffman, eBay CEO John Donahoe and others.
Why can't broke 20-somethings relate to the policy dream of obscenely rich old men that they and their children can never retire and die in penury? Even when that dream is clumsily pitched to them by would-be grifters their own age? It's a mystery.