Baby Boomers the Newest Welfare State Voting Block?
We hear a lot about how the 1960s hippies have created a “to hell with other generations” nest for themselves. More power to them if they pulled it off, right? Actually, it was a gift from their World War II generation parents, wasn’t it?
The majority of boomers are working class folks who just went along for the ride, aren’t they? The unwritten covenant has been to let a few of these boomers run government, education, and the media—the majority would be the unthinking recipients of welfare-like largesse.
One moment in the third Republican presidential debate encapsulates everything terrible about baby boomers and the way they’ve pillaged the U.S. economy. It came from Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a Generation Xer, who offered the standard line — you can hear it from the mouth of almost any American politician today — on how to keep Medicare and Social Security solvent. Rubio defended the idea that future workers will need to retire later or receive fewer benefits from those safety-net programs than current retirees.
Though they don’t like to admit it, Democrats and Republicans have finally reached across the aisle, with uncanny agreement about protecting the status quo, including staying in office for politicians, lots of work for lawyers, and cushy, comfortable cradle-to-grave lifestyles for rank-and-file boomers. The same cookie cutter. Our two-party system is really just one party, the Establishment Party, but don’t you dare call it that (after all, the 60s came to power being against the establishment).
Not to worry if you’re a boomer. You’ll be grandfathered in as too old to pay up now. Boomers fall under politically correct protection against being held liable, though Tankersley doesn’t hesitate to at least describe what the boomer elite pulled off. He continues:
Boomers soaked up a lot of economic opportunity without bothering to preserve much for the generations to come. They burned a lot of cheap fossil fuels, filled the atmosphere with heat-trapping gases, and will probably never pay the costs of averting catastrophic climate change or helping their grandchildren adapt to a warmer world. They took control of Washington at the turn of the millennium, and they used it to rack up a lot of federal debt, even before the Great Recession hit.
If anyone deserves to pay more to shore up the federal safety net, either through higher taxes or lower benefits, it’s boomers — the generation that was born into some of the strongest job growth in the history of America, gobbled up the best parts, and left its children and grandchildren with some bones to pick through and a big bill to pay. Politicians shouldn’t be talking about holding that generation harmless. They should be asking how future workers can claw back some of the spoils that the “Me Generation” hoarded for itself.
Candidates don’t have to alienate current voters. It’s also okay to unmask the boomers because they’re mostly white, just like the European middle class that is selfishly overdosing the West with unspeakable hordes of refugees, as my last column argued. “Anything to keep the welfare state afloat, until I’m gone,” the now retired folks all but say. Just don’t use the phrase “welfare state” in front of them. Call it “socialism” or whatever.
By the way, Happy Veterans Day and Happy Thanksgiving to all boomers. May they all find some free dinners. Too bad Abbie Hoffman couldn’t have lived to see it.