Will America Grow up Before It Grows Old?
How the Coming Social Security Crisis Threatens You, your Family, and your CountryBook - 1996
The facts are plain: Social Security is headed for massive, unsustainable deficits in the next century. Politicians talk of a Social security "trust fund" but there are no hard assets in it--only government bonds. The reality is that Social Security is really a "pay as you go" system, with benefits to current retirees paid not out any saved trust funds but out of taxes on the payroll of today;s workforce. But what will happen when these employees retire; when, in less than fifteen years, the 76 million members of the baby boom generation -- the largest in our history -- stop paying in and start taking money out? And what can we as individuals and as citizens do now to prevent these catastrophic deficits. The crises towards which we are careening (by 2025, 1 American in 5 will be 65 or older and it will take an already overloaded 1.6 working Americans to support each retired person) will not only be felt personally by the many millions stranded with no savings and without benefits, but will shiver the country's economy as a whole as well as the world financial system. With courage, clarity and incontrovertible evidence, Peterson spells out this huge -- if politically unmentionable -- problem more clearly than ever before and tells us what we must do now for our personal survival and that of our children. According to recent polls, more young Americans believe in UFOs than think they will ever receive a Social Security check. Yet most Baby Boomers, as they approach retirement age, believe they will continue to live their present lifestyle in retirement -- without a fraction of the personal savings or pensions necessary to pay for the future they expect. This aging population -- double today's load -- will depend on as few as 1.6 working Americans to support each retired person. Who will support this nation of Floridas? In this short, powerful book, Peter G. Peterson, one of American's top investment bankers and a leading critic of our entitlement policy, spells out in the clearest possible language, with unmistakable numbers and easy-to-read charts, the disaster that lies ahead if we continue to ignore our low saving rate, our ballooning federal deficits, and our enormous unfunded and unsustainable commitments to retirees. Peterson reveals what politicians are afraid to admit: trillions of dollars of promised benefits for which no funds have been provided. Shattering the myths surrounding this subject with hard facts and eye-opening views of the future, Peterson gives the most comprehensive and candid plan for a gradual, humane, fair, and realistic answer to the greatest challenge of the next century: transforming our political, economic, cultural, and social assumptions to adapt to the realities of the graying of America.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c1996
Edition: 1st ed
Branch Call Number: 336.73 P485
Characteristics: xi, 237 p. : col. ill. ; 22 cm