Skip to comments.America's Demographic Cliff: The Real Issue In The Coming, And All Future Presidential Elections
Posted on 08/19/2012 11:51:06 PM PDT by Abiotic
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 Bureaus 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 Bureaus population projections (the CB uses an adjustment factor for the age cohorts based on mortality rates, foreign-born immigration, and life expectancy). For simplicitys sake, heres 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.
much more at http://www.zerohedge.com/news/americas-demographic-cliff-real-issue-coming-and-all-future-presidential-elections
2). Increase age to be eligible for benefits. Age 65 for early retirement age 70 for full retirement. It will not matter that jobs wont exist or some will not be healthy enough to work.
It will mean a much later retirement down the road, but no major shifts for any one cohort without plenty of time to plan.
Anyone who doesn’t like it is free to save extra each year when they are working.
Good points. An analogy for the “my money” issue is:
“If your neighbor to the north steals from you, it doesn’t mean that the property of your neighbor to the south now belongs to you.”
You recall slightly incorrectly.
SS benefits became taxable in 1984. However in 1993 Gore did provide the tie-breaking vote to increase the taxable amount of benefits for 'high income' beneficiaries.
It was my pleasure!