I've been accused of being too harsh on Baby Boomers. My Two Cents about the vanity of Boomers leading to a recommendation to change the name of the Oshkosh Seniors Center and the incredible waste of what could have been great sums of wealth over their lifetimes--leaving many of that generation heading into retirement still in debt and somehow dependent upon Government support to make it through their "golden years"--are considered by those older than me as being "unfair". But it turns out that I am far from being along in my belief that it is time for the "Me Generation" to start to foot the bill for their decades of self-indulgence.
This weekend, Washington Post Economic Policy Reporter Jim Tankersley wrote a piece about the Godzilla-like effect Baby Boomers have had on this country economically and socially--and how all of the Presidential candidates running this year continue to pander to them. My favorite part is a clip from Marco Rubio in one of the GOP debates when the topic was the impending time bomb that having the largest generation of Americans ever to go into the Social Security and Medicare programs--that are already nearly insolvent:
My mother is on Social Security and Medicare and I'm against anything that is bad for my Mother.
And there is the rub: We in Generation X know what the problem is--as well as the solution--but it would require telling our parents that maybe they should have done a better job of preparing for their retirements. And that is why you won't see ANY candidate for President in tomorrow's debate in Milwaukee or at any other forum telling Baby Boomers that they can expect to get less in SSI benefits and to pay more for their health care. That message will be reserved only for Gen X, Gen Y and the Millennials.
It's too bad so few of our grandparents are still around. They could break out the old stories about what it was like to sacrifice during the Depression and during The War. But it was their attitude of "We don't want our kids to have to sacrifice like that" that led to what we got with the Baby Boomers getting everything they wanted--and then some.
Of course, as soon as someone from our generation suggests such Government spending cuts, you get commercials like the infamous Democratic ad that showed someone looking a lot like Paul Ryan pushing an old woman over a cliff in her wheelchair. Maybe a creative person in his or her 40's could do an ad showing a free-spirited group of 60-somethings driving their convertible off a cliff--Thelma and Louise style--with a Paul Ryan lookalike, a Miley Cyrus lookalike and a baby all tied to the back bumper.