July 29, 2011

USA: Elderly to blame for America's debt crisis, says Post Opinion Writer

WASHINGTON, DC / The Washington Post / PostOpinion / July 29, 2011

Why are we in this debt fix? It’s the elderly, stupid

Comments Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post Opinion Writer
While the world is holding its breath as America's debt crisis remains unsolved,  everyone is taking pot shots at US Government spending on the Elderly, observes Seniors World Chronicle. Here is an extract of a piece that has appeared in today's The Washington Post.

By 2035, the 65-and-over population will nearly double, and health costs remain uncontrolled; the combination automatically expands federal spending (as a share of the economy) by about one-third from 2005 levels. This tidal wave of spending means one or all of the following: (a) much higher taxes; (b) the gutting of other government services, from the Weather Service to medical research; (c) a partial and dangerous disarmament; (d) large and unstable deficits.

Older Americans do not intend to ruin America, but as a group, that’s what they’re about. On average, the federal government supports each American 65 and over by about $26,000 a year (about $14,000 through Social Security, $12,000 through Medicare). At 65, the average American will live almost 20 more years. Should these sizable annual subsidies begin later and be less for some? It’s hard to discuss the budget realistically if you ignore most of what the budget does.

Read the full Opinion column here about the US debt fix.

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