Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bracing for the Baby Boom Retirement Wave

The fourth paragraph in the article linked below is enough to just stun the daylights out of someone and, paraphrased, it says---- "In the next 75 years, medicare and social security (including social security disability claims) will require between 40 and 76 trillion dollars more than...

As Hank Hill might phrase it, its the "more than" part that I'm having difficulty with. Do they mean "more than" the federal government is expected to receive in tax revenue over the next three-quarter-century period, or do they mean more than we've got period. There's definitely a difference between the two because if the problem is with the first, that simply means that we can, in the absence of incredible--and incredibly long--sustained economic growth (I wouldn't count on it), look forward to ever-escalating taxes.

The article states the following:

1. A third of the population will be over the age of fifty by 2010.

2. A fifth of the population will be over 65.

I've read elsewhere that, by 2030, the medicare, social security (again, including social security disability applications), and medicaid programs will, in total, take up 75 percent of the federal budget.

It all makes you wonder just where things are headed. However, the U.S. is not in this boat alone. Japan has the same problem, but only worse, and so do many of our European contemporaries. In Japan, of course, things are even worse, because the Japanese do not import labor; whereas, in the U.S., we tend to draw a large number of engineers, scientists, and health professionals from other countries.

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