For Decades A Drumbeat of urgency has sounded in the background, signaling a coming shortfall. Baby boomers move closer to full retirement age. Wave after wave of younger workers follows. Social Security doesn't have sufficient funds to meet the multiplying demands.

Of course, none of this is breaking news. What is now different comes from the current recession and the seven million more people out of work. That means seven million fewer people pay into Social Security. And that means—unless big changes happen fast—we'll run short of money. And we'll do so about four years sooner than previously anticipated.

A parallel crisis looms with the funding of Medicare, which could go broke even sooner than Social Security. And these concerns are not unique to the United States. Other countries saddled with aging workforces, such as Great Britain, France, Germany, and Japan, face the same predicament. Too many promises, too few resources. Could a younger generation's future get mortgaged yet again, to fund Social Security for current and about-to-become retirees?

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

This is the end of the issue. Ready to explore further?
July 20, 2009

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.