Chapter 1 of Disinherited: Unfunded Promises

February 15, 2017 | NeW

Go to college, study something you love, and you’ll get to do a job you love for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, however, young people are having an increasingly hard time finding a job in their desired field while also attempting to make a living—being charged for government debt that they did not incur.

The Affordable Care Act has increased this even further raising health insurance premiums for young people and decreasing them for everyone else. One millennial, Mary Parrilli said:

I am outraged. We have been scammed, end of story. I do not expect to get back any of the money I am paying into Social Security—to me, it’s just another tax. I think people should help the elderly, especially their own family, but it is immoral for the government to force this upon us. This is a perfect example of punishing the young and successful, and rewarding the irresponsible.

In fact, if the laws are not changed, Social Security will be depleted of their funds by 2030. In addition to the possibility of depletion by 2030, Social Security and Medicaid accounted for 40 percent of federal spending in 2014. Geoffrey Levesque, a recent college grad stated:

Already I don’t know if the baby boomer generation will receive all of its Social Security. So I can’t even imagine what it will be for my generation. With how this government spends money, it will be unlikely. Whatever your political views are, there is a duty to help the elderly. They worked hard for their money. Still, I would be upset if I did not receive all of my Social Security, but, based on my experience so far, I am always prepared to be disappointed by the government.

America is currently $18 trillion in debt—that’s right—trillion—not million, not billion—trillion. Social Security, alone, contributed $69 billion toward this number. However, given future entitlement obligations and future tax obligations the fiscal gap will end up being $205 trillion. This is 12 times higher than the GDP and 16 times higher than the debt held by the public.

And, the solutions to this problem, aren’t very realistic. It would impose outrageously high taxes on certain income brackets of upwards of 80 and 90 percent in order to make up for this gap. Other alternatives, like a value-added tax of 10 percent a year are also widely unpopular, and ultimately, un-American.

If something isn’t address soon, not only will the millennial generation not be rewarded for their hard work—no one else will either.


Should there have been a different approach to Social Security and entitlement programs from the beginning? Can you think of another approach that may have worked better or a modification that may have prevented this situation?

Depending on your age, this affects you differently—But, if you’re a millennial how do you plan to ensure your benefits, and if you are currently receiving benefits where do you think the system went wrong?

Is there a larger, underlying problem here? Is the problem not restricted to entitlement programs?



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