The 78 million member Baby Boom generation was born between 1946 and 1962, and the final costly flourishes on today’s giant retirement-driven Welfare State were enacted during the subsequent 15 years.
These giant long-term fiscal inflators included LBJs Medicare program in 1965; Tricky Dick’s disastrous 1972 social security amendments that indexed earnings for wage growth; and Jimmy Carter’s so-called reform package. The latter made the benefit amount calculation steeply progressive—-thereby, as it happened, giving your editor a chance to cast a very loud “nay” vote in the well of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In any event, the great Baby Boom/Welfare State fiscal tsunami has been baked into the cake since 1977. But unsurprisingly, Washington utterly ignored this readily measureable ticking time bomb for the next three decades, including the Greenspan Commission package of 1983, which essentially raised the payroll tax rates in order to generate the appearance of solvency during the interim years.
Accordingly, we have called the 2010-2020 period the Lost Decade in part because it was obviously the very last time to tackle the problem owing to the great wave of 1950s babies slated for retirement after 2020.