America's Demographic Cliff: The Real Issue In The Coming, And All Future Presidential Elections

Tyler Durden's picture

In four months the debate over America's Fiscal cliff will come to a crescendo, and if Goldman is correct (and in this case it likely is), it will probably be resolved in some sort of compromise, but not before the market swoons in a replica of the August 2011 pre- and post-debt ceiling fiasco: after all politicians only act when they (and their more influential, read richer, voters and lobbyists) see one or two 0's in their 401(k)s get chopped off. But while the Fiscal cliff is unlikely to be a key point of contention far past December, another cliff is only starting to be appreciated, let alone priced in: America's Demographic cliff, which in a decade or two will put Japan's ongoing demographic crunch to shame, and with barely 2 US workers for every retired person in 2035, we can see why both presidential candidates are doing their darnedest to skirt around the key issue that is at stake not only now, be every day hence.

Sadly, the market which due to central-planner meddling, has long lost its discounting capabilities, and is now merely a reactive mechanism, will ignore this biggest threat to the US financial system until it is far too late. After all it is the unsustainability of America's $100+ trillion in underfunded welfare liabilities that is the biggest danger to preserving the American way of life, and will be the sticking point in the presidential election in 80 days. However, don't expect either candidate to have a resolution to the demographic catastrophe into which America is headed for one simple reason. There is none. 

The problem in a nutshell: the first wave of Baby Boomers, born between the years of 1946 and 1964, officially reached retirement age in 2011. There are a whole lot of Baby Boomers - just under 76 million, to be exact - that will depend on new money flowing into the system to help keep the entitlements coming. According to the latest Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees 2012 Annual Reports Social Security now pays out more than it takes in, and is expected to do so for the next 75 years. 

And while the market, and its "discounting" may now be largely irrelevant, those who care to be educated about the facts behind America's Demographic Cliff, here is ConvergEx and "Talkin' 'bout your generation"

According to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, about 40.2 million people – 13% of the entire US population – are 65 years or older and eligible to receive government entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security. At current levels, spending on these entitlements make up about 8.7% of GDP – about $1.3 trillion. While this may sound sustainable over the short term, in coming years the amount of entitlement outlays necessary to keep up with retiring Baby Boomers is going to send spending through the roof. By 2030, for example, a full 19.3% of the population will be claiming SSI and Medicare benefits, based on the Census Bureau’s population projections (the CB uses an adjustment factor for the age cohorts based on mortality rates, foreign-born immigration, and life expectancy). For simplicity’s sake, here’s a decade-by-decade look at where the aging population – and expenditures – will be in the years to come, courtesy of the Census Bureau and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO):

  • In 1900, 4.1% of the US population was 65+. By 1950, this number had almost doubled to 8.1%. As the chart following the text shows, the Baby Boomers (now ages 48-66) represent the most significant population wave in US history. According to the CBO, the population aged 65 and over will increase by 87% over the next 25 years as Baby Boomers enter retirement, compared to an increase of only 12% in those aged 20-64.
  • This year, 13% of the US population is 65+ and entitlement spending accounts for 8.7% of GDP. And that number only includes SSI and Medicare, not Medicaid and future Obamacare subsidies which add to these outlays.
  • In 10 years (2022): 16.1% of the population will be 65+, entitlement spending estimated at 9.6% ($1.5 trillion, based on 2011 US GDP)
  • 2037 (25 years on): 20 % of the US population will be 65+, entitlement spending estimated at 12.2% of GDP ($2.0 trillion)
  • Not surprisingly, there will be far more women than men in the 65+ population. Women currently live about five years longer than their male peers, on average. Accordingly, the Census Bureau estimates that in 2030, there will be about 8 million more women than men that are 65 and older by 2030: 27.8 million versus 35.7 million.

It’s a pretty tough picture, to say the least; as the population ages, we’re looking at more and more money dedicated to retirement benefits with a smaller workforce to fund the spending. We’re not the only ones, either: Japan is in worse shape than the US, with 23.1% of the population already over 65. In 2050, government statistics forecast that number to be 39.6%. Europe’s in the same boat: 17.4% of the population in EU countries was 65+ in 2010, and it’s expected to be about 30% by 2060. The developed world, essentially, is facing a demographic “Fiscal cliff” with no clear-cut strategies for how to fund the liabilities inherent in an entirely predictably aging population

Are there any social positives that might mitigate this plethora of indisputable financial concerns?  The math is the math, as quants are fond of saying, so I don’t expect that there are overwhelming offsets to the problem of an aging population.  But there are some notable “Positives” which don’t get the attention they deserve because they offer such a lightweight counterbalance to the challenges I outlined above.  Still, here are a few thoughts:

  1. Stronger voter turnout/greater engagement in the political process. The 65+ age group has beaten out every other age cohort in voter turnout in every Presidential and Congressional election since 1980. In the latest presidential election, 68.1% of those aged 65+ went to the polls, versus and average of 51.2% for the rest of the voting-age population. The reason for this differential is straightforward: it easier for retired persons to vote given fewer time restrictions, allowing the higher turnout rate. But given an average turnout of 58.2% overall in 2008 for Obama’s election, compared to an average of 70-80% in other developed countries (Japan, Germany, Canada, Spain), the growing 65+ population will certainly help the U.S. come closer to its developed country peers on this metric.

    The stronger turnout of these voters, and their sheer numbers, are also likely to have an important impact on US political races in the years to come. They’re going to be the biggest voting bloc in American history, if patterns hold: 68% of them is almost 52 million, larger than the entire Black/African American voter population, for example. And like other older generations, according to a study by the Pew Research Center done in late 2011, Boomers have become slightly more conservative as they’ve aged, and slightly more of them (45% vs. 51%) intend to vote for Governor Romney in the upcoming election. However, given that one of their main concerns is the maintenance of entitlement spending, it seems unlikely that Boomers will continue to support a party that recommends reducing the deficit by cutting entitlements. All candidates, then, and especially the GOP, will need to take a hard look at the wants and needs of the Boomers. The 2012 Presidential election – and many others afterwards - will quite literally depend on their votes. 

  2. Lower crime rates. The younger population is by far the more crime-prone age cohort, according to the Department of Justice and the FBI Uniform Crime report. The DOJ publishes an annual report on arrests by age, the first occurring in 1980 and the latest in 2009. Over these years, the number of total arrests has increased by 30.9% for the entire population; for the 65+ population, it’s gone up 0.3%. Moreover, the Baby Boomer generation (in 2009, ages 45-53) accounted for only about 7% of all crimes. What were their most “Popular” crimes? Drunkeness and DUI. Violent crimes are almost exclusively the MO of the 18-29 cohort, who account for almost half (44%) of all arrests. It’s not too far of a stretch, then, to think that as our population ages, we can expect less and less violent crime across the country – though you may want to be careful on the roads.
  3. Lower resource consumption. The older population tends to cut down on resource consumption after retirement, particularly in the case of gasoline. Once they no longer need to commute to work and move into smaller, more affordable houses, the amount of fuel needed for transportation and heating/cooling should drop, perhaps significantly.

    Take motor gasoline usage as a benchmark. Just under 60 million Baby Boomers consider themselves a part of the labor force, according to BLS data. 85% of all Americans drive to work, according to a late 2010 Gallup poll, with an average commute of 30 miles round-trip – about 45 minutes – and an average of 20mpg (courtesy of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics). Using these estimates, we can calculate that the average Baby Boomer commuter uses about 33 gallons of gas each month; assuming that 85% of them drive every day, that’s about 1.7 billion gallons of gas being used per month.  As they retire, there are actually fewer new entrants into the workforce to replace them, meaning fewer drivers and less fuel consumption.

  4. Growing domestic service economy. An older population becomes more and more dependent on services as they age, particularly in the realms of healthcare and transportation. More and more people will be needed to fill the void in these service areas as the Boomers retire. Luckily for the US workforce, these are jobs that can’t be outsourced: healthcare especially depends on on-site care and personal service.

    In fact, as the population has begun to age, the US has already seen some steady growth in service-related positions. The BLS’s Occupational Employment data logs the number of occupations across the US in major industry sectors as well as almost 800 detailed occupations. According to the survey, the US has seen a -3.3% drop in job growth overall. Healthcare and “Personal Care”, however, have grown 13% and 11% each since that year. Occupations such as physician’s assistants, pharmacy technicians, and home health aides are in high demand, and will most likely continue to be so as the population ages and begins to rely more heavily on these services.

  5. Declining unemployment and increased labor force participation for this segment of the workforce. One of the most unique aspects of today’s aging population is their continued presence in the workforce. According to the BLS, 23.4% of Americans age 65+ were in the labor force as of June 2012, making up a full 4.5% of the total civilian labor force. They also had a below-average unemployment rate of 6.9%. If this trend continues, we’re likely to see more productivity from the upper end of the age spectrum in years to come as Boomers delay retirement in favor of working.

    On the flip side, as more of the aging population retires and leaves the workforce, more job opportunities will open up for those who are currently unemployed. The youngest members of the workforce, ages 18-24, will be the biggest beneficiaries of this shift, as they typically seek the same kind of jobs that the older population currently occupies. When these positions are vacated by the older group, then, and refilled by the younger groups, we may see a decline in youth unemployment rates.

    The older workforce also opens an interesting opportunity for some employers. The younger half of the Baby Boomer generation is tech-savvy, experienced, and definitely needs the money. This set of skills won’t go unnoticed in the labor market.

Unfortunately, these societal “benefits” are only a thin silver lining on a very, very dark cloud. Social Security and Medicare spending are projected to grow exponentially as healthcare costs explode and the biggest population wave in the history of the US starts to enter retirement. The Congressional Budget Office expects spending to increase by 150% over the next 25 years, which is hardly sustainable with barely 2 workers for every retired person in 2035... there’s a storm a comin’

Sources here:

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Dr. Sandi's picture

Also, retirees tend to be less useful as ground troops. So maybe with fewer centurions, some of the $1 trillion annual "defense" spending can be siphoned into the "entitlements" that we old geezers have been paying for.

Gully Foyle's picture

Dr. Sandi

"Also, retirees tend to be less useful as ground troops."

I bet BIGOV is working on ideas presented by John Scalzi to solve that problem.

I also think old people can use a joystick nearly as well as younger drone pilots.


Dr. Sandi's picture

Reaction time goes to hell over the years for too many of us. Droneing is for the young.

Older folks tend to have gotten there by not being the poor dumb bastards who are willing to die for their country.

Getting Old Sucks's picture

DR? Sandi

How could you make such a stupid statement like that.  The number of those who would had been seniors who died in combat far exceeds those of non seniors today.  The number of senior combat veteran alive today exceeds those non senior.  This is not of course taking away from our brave younger men who served and fought and still serve and fight, but before you make such a dumb statement, know what the hell you're talking about.  And BTW our vets are NOT poor dumb bastards!

Viet Nam Vet 1969- 1970

New_Meat's picture

Consider The Alternative:

"The number of those who would had been seniors who died in combat ..."

And I'd guess that is the point, them poor bastards ain't around to foment corrective behaviors.

And a greenie on ya as a playa'

- Ned

AlaricBalth's picture

On July 29, 2011 I posted this comment. It seems more apropos in light of Goldman's report.

A trillion here, a trillion there. These so-called negotiations will not make a dent. The next ten to twenty years will be defined by an enormous continuing demographic shift. As the first wave of the baby boom generation has finally hit the age of 65, most of the 77 million of us will now start to become net takers instead of net contributors. For the next 19 years, 10,000 boomers will be achieving retirement age each day. It going to take 2 workers to support each retiree. Corporate America planned for this long ago by phasing out the old traditional retirement plans and replacing them with 401K's and IRA's. Now state and local governments are facing insolvency due to under-funded pensions and poor planning. The current debate in Congress concerning deficits and debt ceilings are a short term smoke screen which does not address the true demographic problems they know exist but refuse to acknowledge. The amount of unfunded liabilities which are promised to the boomers is a staggering number. The estimates range from a low of $53 Trillion to a high of $202 Trillion over the next 20 years.  Lets see the Federal Reserve print that up!

Collectively, we boomers were lucky. We were the most healthy, educated and privileged generation ever born. Our youth was spent virtually worry free. Our college educations were inexpensive, gas was cheap, jobs were plentiful and our futures were bright. We were the "Hippies" of the late 1960's and early 70's. Love was free and drugs were cheap (orwas it the other way around). Then the 1980's rolled around and we became "Yuppies". We began to believe that success was our birthright. We bought our BMW's and wore our V-neck sweaters. We turned conspicuous consumption into an art form. Hell, even Newsweek Magazine gave us our own year (1984). We were so busy clamoring to the top of the corporate ladder we forgot to develop any job or management skills which would lay a foundation for future generations to flourish.

Then as we aged, we hit our peak spending and borrowing years in the 1990's.  We went a bit middle age crazy. We splurged on second homes and McMansions. We thought fuel would be relatively cheap forever and bought gas guzzling SUV's. We also padded our financial statements and maxed out our credit cards trying to "keep up with the Jones's". Some of our brethren became bank CEO's and leading politicians, whose unethical and irresponsible behavior has been a reflection of our entire generation. We didn't want the party to end and they just tried to prolong it for us. We wanted it all and never learned nor cared for moderation.

And now in the Autumn of our lives it looks like we are going to get it all (of course in devalued dollars). We will leave those coming up behind us with nothing but debt, austerity and a lower standard of living. We will be reigning in our spending and hoping to save so we can offset future inflation. The malls, our cathedrals of consumption, will be ghosts towns compared to what they were, with "30%-70% off" signs decorating their stores windows. We will be net sellers of equities and mutual funds soon, not net buyers. Therefore, trade accordingly. It was fun while it lasted but now the piper must be paid. You know the old saying; the longer the party the bigger the hangover. Well, this hangover may last 25-30 years until the last of my generation are dead, either through natural causes or intergenerational warfare.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Simple solution to the whole problem. You don't get more social security out of the system than you put into it. If you outlive your savings it's back to work. Or live with your kids. Why should younger generations work longer so boomers can retire at 65?
Social security is the worst investment ever for anyone under age 50. Why people continue to support it is beyond me.

azusgm's picture

I'm 58 and have been paying into SS since my teens. SS is not exactly causing me to put on my party hat either.

Popo's picture

...and that money has already been spent.  It's not in any "lock box".

GetZeeGold's picture



SS will go the way of the Euro. If you want to know what that will look like just keep watching Europe.


FeralSerf's picture

And so has all the money that the U.S. Gov't. has borrowed -- it has been spent too.  You are suggesting that America renege on all her financial obligations, eh?  Does that default extend to the currency in your wallet too -- it's nothing but debt of zero duration.  It's already been spent too -- a big chunk even given to your terrorist Zionist compadres in the Occupied Territory of Palestine.   What difference is there between those Ben Franklins in your mattress and those Treasury Bonds?


Lednbrass's picture

SS is a colossal ripoff, unfortunately the sheer size of the boomer generation guarantees that they will vote themselves the contents of the pockets of everyone behind them down to the last bit of lint.

RestoreOurFuture's picture



SS is a colossal ripoff, unfortunately the sheer size of the boomer generation guarantees......


I, and millions of retired American workers, wouldn't call it a ripoff; we simply a leader who has the courage to make bold decisions. Social Security can (and should) be saved!  This is a pivotal moment in American history that calls for bold, thoughtful and analytical actions by our politicians much like the actions of American hero, Ronald Reagan.

In 1982, Reagan appointed Alan Greenspan* as chairman of the National Commission on Social Security Reform, and directed him to come up with a plan to ensure that when all the baby boomers retire, the pool of social security funds wouldn't be empty for them.  While, indeed, it was a tax increase, Reagan had the charisma and conservative warmth to bring America together so that everyone understood and accepted this tax increase.  Can you only imagine how much worse off our Social Security problem would be if Reagan didn't have the courage to make those changes?  Social Security would be broke!

Fast forward 30 years, and American finds herself in a similar situation.  Does Obama have the warmth and charisma (like Reagan and/or Romney) to unify this country and persuade Americans to make difficult decisions? We need a team in Washington with the courage to make difficult decisions that will ensure that millions of hard working American citizens have a safe and secure retirement.  We need leaders with the analytical skills to dig deep into the numbers and make difficult - yet necessary - choices.  If Obama has screwed up this country this badly in three years, do you think he's the guy?  Personally, I'm voting for the guy with real business experince and whos agenda benefits those beyond the inner cities.  

Romney/Ryan 2012

* As an aside, do any of you see in mutiple similarities between Paul Ryan and the 1982-version of Alan Greenspan?  Both were/are up-and-coming Republican stars.  Both are very analytical with a penchant for digging deep into complex economical problems.  Both have an affinity for Ayn Rand, the importance of self-reliance, and the dangers of central power morphing into a nanny State.      

Just an afterthought!'s picture


Reagan had the charisma and conservative warmth to bring America together so that everyone understood and accepted this tax increase.


I did not willingly accept the tax increase nor did millions of others whom you have conveniently whitewashed out of your history. New retirees can now expect to  receive less in benefits than they have paid in. If that's not a rip off I don't know what is.



WASHINGTON — People retiring today are part of the first generation of workers who have paid more in Social Security taxes during their careers than they will receive in benefits after they retire.

Read More,193182#ixzz23ya92bR9
RestoreOurFuture's picture



I respect your opinion, but I think most Americans trusted Reagan and rightly so.  Secondly, new retirees will only receive less in benefits if we continue this communist path we're on.  That's why I'm encouraging you to vote for a team who can make the bold decisions like Reagan did, and save this cornerstone of American security. 

Romney/Ryan 2012's picture

You'd have better luck if you asked me for my left nut.

And that was a nice try at moving the goal posts when you switched from the specific and all inclusive "Reagan had the charisma and conservative warmth to bring America together so that everyone understood and accepted this tax increase" to the much more general and mundane statement, "I think most Americans trusted Reagan."

LMAOLORI's picture




Social Security is a wedge issue it will be paid unless the entire government collapses since it is a legally enforceable debt just like any other. Even left as is the only thing that would happen is the benefits would be reduced in the future. The fund does not have the authority to tax, by law it cannot deficit spent.  Social Security is an entirely self funded program ZERO government money goes into Social Security something many don't seem to understand. It has NO EFFECT on the budget period other then when the fund actually cash's in some of it's IOU's like it just started doing. Social Security owned 19% of the debt last year far more then China or any foreign creditor. 

Think about this since it is a legally enforceable debt if anyone actually tried to dismantle the program right now where would they get the money to pay it off remember it was the largest holder of our debt?  If you use entitlement in reference to Social Security in the sense that people are entitled to get back the money they were FORCED to pay in you are correct it's the law. Doesn't matter if it was a Ponzi scheme or not the fault lies with the politicians who passed it into law to begin with long before the boomers who are starting to collect now had any say in it. I'm all for reform or getting rid of the program since I don't believe it was Constitutional to begin with but that's water over the damn now just like Obamacare will be in a few years if it's not repealed if you want to correctly phrase something as a welfare program that would be the one that's full of taxes that DO affect the budget. 

Like I said a Wedge issue.

Medicare is the real issue right now that's why they are campaigning on it.

The TRUTH About Who Really Owns All Of America's Debt

roadhazard's picture

SS is so fat that it can buy over $2 Trillion of US debt and still keep paying out to the tune of 10K new members per day (if that is even true). It ain't going away until the bottom drops out of everything else.

That 2 for every one crap is, well, crap. Each persons employer ALSO pays for each employee. That is one shit load of money. 

FreedomGuy's picture

Some boomers, like myself have been advocating solutions since the 1980's. It is actually the WWII generation and the lefties of several generations that voted this down.

The good or easy solutions are now too late. The best solution was never to have invented this stupid ass socialist ponzi system. Too late for that.

The next best would have been actual accounts with names on them. You can only get your own money, not someone else's. This system would have been a nice compromise. It could never go broke and you would have a fortune even with the smallest contributions. Too late for boomers on this, too. Not enough time to fund them.

The last best solutions would be to immediately stop all increases as a sort of slow haircut and then put it on some solvent financing, like the first two solutions. This will be voted down. Even when I explain to my elderly parents and one grandparent who actually acknowledge the system is going bankrupt they will accept no changes other than more money. They will deflect and say it was wasted, spent, stolen, etc. but still will not agree to anything other than continued increases hoping there is another way.

So, for us boomers, the later boomers will preside over the bankruptcy of this system and the nation as a whole. Given the nature of people they will vote more money always. There is a political party willing to lie without ceasing as to the solvency of the program and what can be done. When it breaks they will still lie about the reasons.

I do not have hope for change. It will break and the new lies will begin. I do not even really know how to prepare very well for it. For the generations that follow us boomers...see the light and fight for your financial survival. It will not be in the collectivism your stupid college professors taught you. That is the problem, not the solution.

This is the cliff or disaster that will eclipse all others. We see it. We acknowledge it. We will lie about the solutions.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

People had better understand that the Boomers are going to get paid their SS in full.  EOS.  Any politician that even raises the topic is toast.  Anyone seen Rick Parry lately?  The math doesn't work?  You aren't thinking hard enough.

Medicare is a different deal.  The whole health care system is broken.  And if it doesn't really get fixed (Obamacare, LOL) the whole economy is toast.  You could take all the medicare benefits away.  That won't matter.

malek's picture

 Boomers are going to get paid their SS in full.

Nominally you are likely correct.'s picture

Not even nominally.


WASHINGTON — People retiring today are part of the first generation of workers who have paid more in Social Security taxes during their careers than they will receive in benefits after they retire.

Read More,193182#ixzz23ya92bR9
FreedomGuy's picture

I agree with what I think you mean. IF the government can do their inflation plan you will get paid in full in nominal terms. A loaf of bread will be $50 and you will get the "full amount promised" back in 1976. However, it will be worthless.

The problem with this plan is that governments have inadvertantly discovered they can wreck economies more easily than they can inflate them. You see, the stupid people who invented our stupid retirement system are also stupid on multiple other fronts, like banking, medicine, energy development, trade, insurance, and even traffic control. They regulate all of these...everything, actually and they are no smarter in these areas than they are in retirement planning and accounting. They are also just as corrupt in running all these things. So, we have the delight of watching them destroy world economies. This brings deflation which screws up every inflationary tax plan they have.

What is does do in the short run is create a sort of perfect storm for the governments of the world, though in that bond yields are the lowest in history keeping enormous government debt payments low. However, it also means stalled economies everywhere and grandma has no money off her money market and bond  accounts.

So, I am not sure which way it will break, inflation or deflation, but it will definitely break.

dr kill's picture

If you Boomers really cared about your families you would have the decency to die at about age 62. Being the first generation to live into your eighties has enabled you to spend or hoard the fortune created by all your family who had the courtesy to die in their forties or fifties after amassing wealth in the glory days of the past two centuries. Now you have it stuffed away where your grandchildren can't use it to get a start in business or life.

Just because it is legal doesn't mean it is the best use of capital for your kids or the USSA to have old stupid people sitting on trillions.



XF's picture

Exactly, I'm 46 ad I don't expect to see a dime.   The old SOBs with their incesant bleating, "I'm just getting back what I put in."   One wonders if they are delusional, stupid or simply that egocentric.    Probably all three.


Dr. Sandi's picture

A lot of us are still trying to overcome the full course menu of lies and bullshit pumped into our brains by our evil overlords during the "Wonder Years." Excuse me if normalcy bias makes acceptance of the truth come a little slowly.

But the fact is, if THEY hadn't lied to us daily during our formative years, a lot of us probably would have dropped out even earlier. And there'd be even LESS of nothing to go around.

jwoop66's picture

Can't quantify it (wouldn't have the time to even try), but I think the boomers and the next group were the most lied to and manipulated generations.   Most bought it all.  All will end up paying for it.

jballz's picture


dropped out? Who paid your fucking salary? Who paid your fucking VA bennies? Where do you think that money came from? Hopw come all you fucking geezers think THEY spent all that money? It was fucking YOU, you asshole. YOU spent that money dropping bombs on rice paddies in the middle of FUCKING NOWHERE. Hope you enjoyed it douchebag, how many 500 lbers did your Social security conrtibution buy? Like THREE, not including the FUCKING INTEREST paid since NINETEEN SIXTY FUCKING NINE??? Because you borrowed that shit up too...

FreedomGuy's picture

XF, I think you are unfairly junked but your comment is accurate. That is exactly what they say. If they are elderly and have been on it awhile they have gotten a few mulitples of what they paid. However, they think it is their money and they are being paid fairly. I saw an article on a guy in Montana who died at the age of 114 and he said "That Social Securtiy was a great idea!", LOL! Of course! He was old enough to have lived before and during the lowest payouts when the ponzi was fresh.

More to your comment, I think the "old SOB's with their incessant bleating" are helpless. That is my conclusion. They sold their souls to the government devil and now they are relatively helpless and dependent. It is a matter of survival for them. Welcome to the middle class version of welfare dependency. I assure you I have many relatives in this situation as does most everyone. They are a huge voting block with plenty of time on their hands and fear at their backs.

The ongoing problem is that as all mature collectivists know, you can know absolutely pull the strings of fear and line them up to vote for those who say "all is well and there is more" and against all those who say "we must take strong measures and swallow the bitter pill now, before all is lost!" I think Obama and his collectivists pals have a good shot at reelection, myself. My own mother will acknowledge he is wrecking the economy but believes his healthcare plan is good and he will keep the checks coming. Amazing.

Offthebeach's picture

+65 will be the largest voting bloc. They'll get the money.
So debts will continue to. Rise. Younger will be paid in decayed value dollars.
Out of the two workers, one will be marginal, low skilled, low paid. Or worki.g for local, state, federal gov. So that means one worker will have to earn enough to pay for the other gov worker, an elderly, and his expensees, interest on gov debt roll over, and if anything is left, their own families.
Not going to work. (Although it explains bi partisan support for illegals. It's cheaper to import people then raise them here. )

FreedomGuy's picture

I wish I had the links but there are some excellent articles on how many people a PRODUCTIVE (i.e., generally not a government worker) worker must support. It is amazing and depressing. Last week I heard about 8 million and growing are on disability. It pays better than unemployment.

It is why we have 40% Fedral deficits and it will get worse as we go. Add in your stated deficits, bankrupt cities, unfunded government union pensions and it is astronomical in size.  At some point it becomes pointless to work if the real tax rates ever kick in. BTW, the real tax rate is what your governments at all levels spend each year, not what you pay in tax rates.

FeralSerf's picture

"Simple solution to the whole problem. You don't get more social security out of the system than you put into it."

Simple solution to all insurance benefits -- you don't get more out than you pay in.  WTF kind of bullshit is that?  Does this mean you think if your house burns down, you shouldn't get anymore from the insurance company than you paid in premiums?  Or if you die, your dependents don't get any more than you paid in premiums on your life insurance regardless of the insurance contract?  Well -- fuck you!  And fuck all the rotten thieving Zionist scumbags that are trying to steal the money and get the Social Security System to renege on their legal obligations due to the payments that we've paid into it for years.

"Simple solution to the whole problem. You don't get more social security out of the system than you put into it."

Social security is insurance.  Insurance is not an investment.   It is a reverse form of gambling -- an annuity, a form of life insurance.  If I make a legal bet, I expect to be paid on that bet if I win.  It doesn't matter if that bet is in Las Vegas on the crap table or in Washington on an annuity contract.

You Didn't Build That's picture

<<30%-70% off" signs decorating their stores windows>>


You are too optimistic. I see lots of empty mall spaces with signs, "new store coming soon." The handful of stores that are still able to stay open despite plunging revenues must offer 30-90% off (plus a Fat Cashback) to attract any attention to debt-saddled consumers.

jballz's picture


pigfuckers, most of them.

Sure glad you and the boys saved us from those water buffalo pushers in SEA who were going to swim over and take our country any day.

You're a fucking dupe. 10 years pissing money into the drain, oh wait, not into the drain, into the coffers of the masters of war, and you want respect?

Go fuck yourself. 3.5 million dead civilians, go to your grave with that honor, you pigfucker.


New_Meat's picture


"Older folks tend to have gotten there by not being the poor dumb bastards who are willing to die for their country."

In that venue, older folks tend to have gotten (OT? : u from new england? just wonderin' 'cuz gotten traces back all the way to the ...) to live 'cuz they waz nay playaz.  No opinion on that here (Cassius Clay did his time as well as anyone else, just in a different venue, and all within the law.)

A Maina' who I respect said: "Neva' ran into a fight, neva' ran out of a fight."  So it might not be about reaction time.  It is certanly about endurance.  And that is mental as well as physical, prob the first matters more.

- Ned

boogerbently's picture

I have been paying into MY SS retirement since I was 15. Now, they act like I'm trying to cheat them out of something.

The "cure" is NOT to cut payments and extend age eligibility. The cure is to repay the $3.5 Trillion "borrowed" from the fund, remove the $110,000 "cap" on the tax, and to reinstate the FULL SS tax currently reduced under the "Bush Payroll Tax Cut."

How ignorant was it to even FURTHER reduce the contributions to a program that for years we have been crying about it being underfunded?

In an era of "single issue" items deciding elections, The GOP had better get on the right side of this HUGE voting block. I’m not sure Ryan is the right step.

The problem is NOT that there used to be 16 people paying in for each retiree, and now there is only 3. The problem is that there is now only 3 paying in BECAUSE they (congress) stole the surplus that was designed in to pay for the large baby boomer group retiring.

(These funds should not be going out to anyone who hasn’t paid in.)

So, reduce unemployment benefits, welfare, food stamps, defense spending, lunches for school kids, education and medical benefits for illegals, foreign aid......ANYTHING but the money I was FORCED to pay for my retirement.

You kids NOT understanding this better beware the "next" retirement program the govt. forces YOU to participate in, because I can guarantee you they will spend it 40 years from now, before YOU can collect!

AlphaDawg's picture

Stop wasting your energy man, the debt cannot be paid off without serously devaluing the currency.

You really think they are going to tax the rich more? oh dear

johnQpublic's picture could tax the rich 100% and it would fix nothing...debts too big.period.

AlphaDawg's picture

Agreed dude, but also, they wont tax the rich anyway.

Solution that is easiest, devalue the currency.

All this jobs data, retail data bullshit will be exposed as tax revenue comes in annually and the debt continues to increase.

You fucking know it dude

FMR Bankster's picture

Boogerbently, where should we start? The payroll tax cut happened two years after Bush left office. He never proposed it or supported it. Second, there is no $3.5T surplus used by the goverment it's around $2.3T and wil be exhausted in 2033 (this includes interest paid in of course). Third, Social security really isn't that big a deal, it can be fixed with modest adjustments. The problem is Medicare. The average person signing up today (at age 65) will have paid in $110,000 (his and his companies contribution) in todays $ and will take out $280,000 over his/her life in todays $. That math can't work, even for Democrats like you.

boogerbently's picture

Alpha and FMRBankster,

I have always been a conservative. Reread my post, I NEVER said tax the rich.

I said the GOP, who has traditionally been supported by the seniors, are in danger of losing that support if the ONLY fix thet see for SS is cutting benefits and raising the retirement age.

You doomsday ZH'ers, who are SO proud of NOT being duped, have swallowed the liberal media Kool-Aid on this one.

The FACTS are:

They STOLE TRILLIONS from MY retirement. Now they want ME to take less instead of cutting whatever program they funded with MY money.

They cut the traditional amount of tax to SS.

They have a cap on SS tax at the $ 106,000 level.......who benefits from this, past that level?

The difference between me and most of you, is that I am older, and have been getting SCREWED longer from the same govt, you constantly whine about. You repeat the CRAP you've been brainwashed with your whole life, without thinking.

 You PROBABLY think "gay is OK", because you were taught that in school !!

If they abandon SS, they WILL have an alternate plan, which you WILL donate to.

40 years from now, you will be having THIS conversation with brainwashed kids who want to deny you your $$$ after the politicians have "redistributed" it.


Take a breath.

THINK about it.


Lednbrass's picture

Yes, they stole your retirement- so now YOU want to steal it from someone else to make you whole. What a pathetic hypocrite.

Some conservative- "GIMME MY SOCIALISM AND I DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT ANYTHING BUT WHAT THE GOVERNMENT AND OTHER PEOPLE OWE ME!" How amusing. You are the problem of your children- not mine. No doubt you are quite conservative when somebody else is the one getting money from the government teat but you howl at the thought of not being able to feed from it yourself and its all about what everyone owes you. Forget the fact that the money does not exist and cannot be paid, you simply don't give a damn.

Let me get this straight- you have been getting screwed for longer than I have, so I am supposed to furnish you with the retirement you feel you deserve? Parasite, I'm 45 and have been getting burnt on this since I started working at 16. I know damn well I won't get anything because I can do math, but unlike you I don't want to steal from somebody else to make up for my getting screwed.

You may get what you are "owed" but what you will be able to buy with it is entirely another matter. The only way to pay you is to ensure that the dollar isn't worth a damn thing. There is no other possiblility, grow the hell up already.

NemoDeNovo's picture

Its not even so much about the "Older" Generation getting screwed, for me it is the FACT that "They" can not accept or acknowledge that they were lied to and it's NO ONES Fault but their own.  Great the media/govt lied to them for longer, well whose fault is it you didn't figure it out sooner?  Now you want to bitch whine and cry that you STILL need to be paid your money that the Mob Stole from ya......


Hey Boomers and up!!!  You got FUCKED and the younger Generation is getting FUCKED, sorry we figured it out sooner, that's not our FAULT!!! Take some PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and handle it!  We are.......


...and the MAIN difference for the younger generation [I am 40], is there ain't SHIT out here for "Decent" jobs like there was for your generation, so in a lot of ways then younger generation is and is going to suffer much worse then you will, we will NEVER have so much of what was easy for your generation. 

CalibratedConfidence's picture

Gay's have no control over my life.  I could care less what they do.  I didn't realize you were the only person to pay into SS and feel "they stole trillions of my retirement".  Should have woken up sooner brother, sorry you voted every 4 years and got fucked by a gov't that doesn't care about you.  Yeah, we want you to take the hit because you were to fucking dumb to realize what was going on.  I don't want to pay into this shit anymore.  I can manage my own money for retirement better than the government can.  I realize this.  I accept this.  Wish you could too.

As for doomsday ZH's...sorry the truth isn't Disney Land and Peter Pan fantasy.  For 25 years people are taught what to think and how to think.  ZH'ers are not that group.  ZH will tell you SS is bullshit, HFT doesn't tighten spreads, and that Europe is total fucked and that the Emperor Has No Clothes.

The government we whine about was created and established under your generation.  On the contrary, you are the one who believed what you were taught in school, such as government can manage your retirement money better than you can.  Don't blame us for calling you out on your bullshit.  We're self educated and taint free.


take breath.

THINK about it.


FeralSerf's picture

Forty years ago I would have said the same thing that you just did.  Guess what?  It didn't matter to TPTB whether I wanted to be in the system or not and whether I could fund my own retirement or not.  Payments were compulsory.

Why the fuck should you get away without paying?  I didn't get to.   I got to pay for a few wars I didn't want or believe in either (still paying).  Do you care?  I didn't think so.

Offthebeach's picture

Lets say yes they did steal it. The government, it stole. The stealing, lying, armed, Homeland/IRS/NSA/Waco. Government. And then there is you. Checking your mailbox every day to see if you got a letter back from your Congressman making everything right, just, whole. Hello, anybody home? I think you mistake your a d our part in this . We are not the drummer, we are the drum, to be beaten. You remind me of stories of Russians being dragged of to Siberia and yelling about rights under the Soviet constitution. Ink smear on wood pulp. Printed boob bait.

kekekekekekeke's picture

I only regret that I have but one junk to give to your dumb, entitled comment

also nice job working gay people into your hissy fit

FeralSerf's picture

"The problem is Medicare. The average person signing up today (at age 65) will have paid in $110,000 (his and his companies contribution) in todays $ and will take out $280,000 over his/her life in todays $. That math can't work, even for Democrats like you."

And what do the Bush neoconmen Republicans do (with the help of the thieving neolib Democrats in Congress)?  They enact Medicare Part D that guarantees that Big Pharma will get another huge chunk of the trust fund!  Grand theft on a grand scale!