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The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America's Economic Future

Author

Listed:
  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

    () (Boston University)

  • Scott Burns

    () (Universal Press Syndicate)

Abstract

In 2030, as 77 million baby boomers hobble into old age, walkers will outnumber strollers; there will be twice as many retirees as there are today but only 18 percent more workers. How will Social Security and Medicare function with fewer working taxpayers to support these programs? According to Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns, if our government continues on the course it has set, we'll see skyrocketing tax rates, drastically lower retirement and health benefits, high inflation, a rapidly depreciating dollar, unemployment, and political instability. The government has lost its compass, say Kotlikoff and Burns, and the Bush administration's spending and tax policies have charted a course straight into the coming generational storm. Kotlikoff and Burns take us on a guided tour of our generational imbalance: There's the "fiscal child abuse" that will double the taxes paid by the next generation. There's also the "deficit delusion" of the under-reported national debt. And none of this, they say, will be solved by any of the popularly touted remedies: cutting taxes, technological progress, immigration, foreign investment, or the elimination of wasteful government spending. Kotlikoff and Burns propose bold new policies, including meaningful reforms of Social Security and Medicare, that are simple, straightforward, and geared to attract support from both political parties.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Scott Burns, 2005. "The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know about America's Economic Future," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262612089, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262612089
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Manabu Shimasawa & Kazumasa Oguro & Minoru Masujima, "undated". "Population Aging, Policy Reforms, and Lifetime Net Tax Rate in Japan: A Generational Accounting Approach," Discussion papers ron258, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan.
    2. Tóbiás, Áron, 2016. "Income redistribution in open economies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 19-34.
    3. Richter, Alexander W., 2015. "Finite lifetimes, long-term debt and the fiscal limit," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 180-203.
    4. Áron Tóbiás, 2015. "Income Redistribution in Open Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 5378, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. SHIMASAWA Manabu & OGURO Kazumasa, 2016. "Will Abenomics Save Future Generations?," Discussion papers 16100, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    generational imbalance; fiscal child abuse; deficit delusion;

    JEL classification:

    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H68 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt

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