Liberals worried about sustainability ought to stop fretting over water bottles and ask themselves how long this can be sustained:
Government payouts — including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance — make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn’t taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement.
Even as the economy has recovered, social welfare benefits make up 35 percent of wages and salaries this year, up from 21 percent in 2000 and 10 percent in 1960, according to TrimTabs Investment Research using Bureau of Economic Analysis data.
“The U.S. economy has become alarmingly dependent on government stimulus,” said Madeline Schnapp, director of Macroeconomic Research at TrimTabs, in a note to clients. “Consumption supported by wages and salaries is a much stronger foundation for economic growth than consumption based on social welfare benefits.”
One reason for this is that social welfare benefits are paid for with borrowed money that we can’t afford to pay back. But our rulers are interested in social justice (aka socialism), not economic growth, which is said to oppress the sacred polar bears.
Bad as things are now (the economy having “recovered” notwithstanding), they will get worse.
Only this year has the first round of baby boomers begun collecting Medicare benefits — and here comes 78 million more.
Social welfare benefits have increased by $514 billion over the last two years, according to TrimTabs figures, in part because of measures implemented to fight the financial crisis.
We are only in the foothills of the financial crisis. Unless we can compel our rogue government to stop deepening the crisis in the name of fighting it, the full scale of the problem will soon be revealed.