I was raised as a Republican and supported Barry Goldwater, the father of the Conservative Movement. At the time, the tax that individuals would pay for social security (SS) benefits was about 3% of income. The SS trust fund at the time had a significant surplus, but Goldwater had done his math. At times he had the ability to tell the truth- the raw truth.
Senator and presidential nominee Goldwater projected that in the not too distant future the social security tax portion that we pay would increase to over 10%. At the same time, my Senator from Illinois, Republican Senator Everett Dirksen, chimed in and coined the phrase “a million here and a million there eventually adds up to real money,” as he protested more than one pending bill.
For years, these true conservative republicans would scream about unfunded liabilities such as deficits, future social security deficits, and pension deficits. Then, in the 80s, they jumped ship and started deficit spending of about ten times that of previous administrations. Some conservatives were still screaming until they discovered that loose money creates a buoyant economy which then wins an election. The genie was out of the lamp and never to return.
Today, the alleged conservative movement has now become a liberal movement; almost like the irresponsible teenager on drugs and booze. But, how does all this affect our youth? They have been “kicking the can down the road,” and now they are running out pavement.
There is a deficit in our infrastructure needs of about $17 Trillion (noted in my infrastructure post). This translates to about $170,000 per Millennial-GenZ who will inherit it. Then, the deficit (see Starve the Beast and Deficits…Funny Money) is projected to be $23 Trillion which translates to $230,000 per Millennial-GenZ. This adds up to $400,000 per person and doesn’t include any student loan obligation. But it is proof that “a million here and a million there adds up to real money.” Or should I say a million (trillion) adds up to real money?
Oh, I forgot: a 2016 CitiBank report says that the 20 largest countries have a shortfall of $78 trillion for public obligations. And, this doesn’t include the shortfall within the private sector.
Will all this precipitate a crash? Time will tell. And, if so, will that be good or bad?
All I know is that when the Millennials and GenZ come of age (political age), we will be in good hands.
Rich Meyer, Blogger & Author