American Proscenium

The Baby Boomer' Last Act

Not many people would argue with Paul Begala’s view that the baby boomers are “the most self-centered, self-seeking, self-interested, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing generation in American history.”  Since coming to power, the boomers (Americans born between 1946 and 1964) have destroyed most of what was good in America.  Now it seems they have saved their best act for last: On their way off stage, they intend to bankrupt the country.

Public debt, of course, is the perfect financing vehicle for boomers.  It makes money available for immediate enjoyment, while the burden of repayment is cast upon the future.  The idea that you should pay for what you get never entered the boomers’ minds.  Jefferson wrote in 1816 that “the tendency of all human governments” is to public extravagance: “the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt.  Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”  Already, two boomer presidents—George W. Bush and Barack Obama—have run the national debt up to $17 trillion.  The Obama administration projects a $20 trillion debt in 2016 when it leaves office.  And there is much more debt to come if we do not change our ways.

In 2008, Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, the first boomer to go on Social Security, signed up for early retirement...

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