Thursday, December 9, 2010

Social Security no longer taboo

I use a message board called Congress and today one of the posts was about the census report. I've never been so mad in my life, made me want to start rioting in the street almost. The report states that the wealth gap is increasing between wealthy and poor, this means the middle class is shrinking yet again. Another part of the report stated that household income decreased all while experiencing inflation (flooding the market with more money than gold and silver can back). What infuriated me most were the two claims that the baby boomers are the wealthiest part of our society and that politicians will be less likely to cut social security than any other entitlement program. What infuriated me most about this is not the fact that the baby boomers are the wealthiest in our society because that's to be expected of every generation, but the fact that politicians are more inclined to cut education and other entitlement programs than social security and medicare/medicaid which is what's killing our budget in the first place. In my opinion, this is the greatest generational theft in history. Those born after 1970 will not be able to collect Social Security.

When asked to provide my facts I decided to look up the baby boom generation and the biggest entitlement programs we have. The baby boom started in 1946 and ended in 1960, my mom and dad are the last of the boomers. The first boomer came of age to vote in 1964, so any policies put forth from 1963 to 1978-79 would be baby boomer responsibility, but considering they've been the largest voting block since 1964 until 2000, we'll give them 50% of the blame from 1979 on. Here's a list of some of the major budget items of the day and when they started.
  • Social Security was started in 1935, but a majority of the population of that generation wouldn't live long enough to collect Social Security. My grandfather on my mother's side is the last of them to die off and he's 89, he's also the last of the WWII generation.
  • Food Stamps was started in 1940, but a skeleton form of what we know today. In 1965 with LBJ's “great society” he expanded an emergency program and it was made permanent 1969 under Nixon. Welfare was later reformed under President Clinton and a Republican Congress in 1994.
  • Medicare/Medicaid as we know it today was created in 1965, this was another part of “great society” by LBJ.
  • 1940 welfare is created as an “emergency” service and in 1965 welfare is made permenent and expanded as another part of “great society” by LBJ.
  • 1974 HUD was created.
Baby boomers started retiring as early as 3 years ago, so we're only going to see our financial crisis get worse. A lot of baby boomers have pensions, saved money, or invested it. Considering the current housing crisis, the stock market and cash will be the only assets that these baby boomers will be able to liquidate in order to enjoy their 20+ years of retirement. This will in turn cause the stock market to either crash or just remain stagnate.
The baby boomers had it good until around 1978 when the cost of living rose to where you needed at least 2 incomes to make ends meet for the middle and lower classes. This was caused by two key factors according to Chris Martenson. First, in 1971 Nixon completely took us away from the “Gold Standard”, and secondly, because of taking us off of the “Gold Standard” which took away any bank responsibility and allowed for an endless ceiling of money to be created out of thin air.
I've always held some animocity towards the baby boom generation, but not for the reason's you would think. Looking at my parents who were baby boomers, I see the baby boomers as those who wanted instant gratification and didn't think of the consequences, or as George Carlin said, “They went from Cocaine to Rogain”. As I learned when my mother's boyfriend passed away, his doughter was stuck with his outstanding debt, and so will I. I think the hippie movement was a real identity crisis for our country, but we spent like crazy depressed shoppers and left the bill to later generations. The worst part of all this is mine and my wife's generation are robbing our child by extending unemployment to 3 years and trying to create a free education system, but that's what the Tea Party movement is supposed to be all about stopping.

What this is all leading to is that we need to think about what we're doing. You can't ask me to give up everything for you and you give up nothing. Social Security shouldn't be taboo anymore because if you're going to cut education, welfare, and other programs, then you should be willing to take the hit yourself as well by doing things such as means testing or an immediate jump in retirment age. Come the 2012 election the baby boomers will be losing significant voting power as quickly as they came into power, that's why President Obama is starting to pander to the younger voters. You can't ask someone to let you move in with them, then tell them they have to wait hand and foot on you. The baby boom generation is mostly repsonsible for a lot of our deficit, so think twice before urging your congressman not to cut social security because, in essence, you'll be doing a disservice to the whole country. I've been wondering what will cause the riots in the US like they're having in Europe, I think I just found my answer.


Anonymous said...
Friday, 10 December, 2010

"The first boomer came of age to vote in 1964"

In 1964 the voting age was still 21. The voting age was not lowered to 18 until the passage of the 26th amendments ('71).

Hegrins said...
Friday, 10 December, 2010

Ok, so then their voting year would be 1967, but they were an up and comming voting block to be reconed with and were influencing policy even as early as 1963-64.Right now you can see that a lot of republicans are pandering to Gen X which is my generation and those were the ones who made up most of the Tea Party movement. The bottom line is you can't ask the next generation to pay your obligations when you weren't being responsible, and my child will do the same.

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