With the first of 78 million baby boomers set to start turning 65 in 2011, the burden of financing their retirement will mount and so will their political influence says the Economist.
According to the article, the number of people enrolled in Medicare will grow from 47 million to 80 million and enrollment in social security will grow from 44 million to 73 million in two decades time. The cost of the two programmes will grow from 8.4% of GDP in 2010 to 11.2% by 2030. Meanwhile, as boomers retire, the workforce will grow more slowly, as will the taxes to finance their benefits. The pensioner-worker imbalance and health-care inflation, which is driving up the bill for Medicare and Medicaid, the federal health benefit for the poor, will send the budget deficit into the stratosphere.