WASHINGTON, March 24, 2014 – As the baby boom generation ages, it sends the United States hurling toward the greatest financial meltdown the world has ever seen.
While Americans focus on the horrendous national debt, they are missing the fact that the problem with our unfunded liabilities is far more calamitous. As bad as the debt is, it is less than one-tenth the size of America’s unfunded liabilities.
Unfunded liabilities include things like pensions, Medicare and Social Security.
The left has an idea to mitigate the damage. It is called centrally planned healthcare, or Obamacare 2.0.
They already talk about denying anything but palliative care to people over a certain age. Usually that age is around 70. At that point, most people have left the work force and in the eyes of statists, they no longer contribute to society by working. Instead, they are simply a drain on society’s resources.
Nearly half an average person’s lifetime medical costs are incurred in old age, with a third of them in the last year of life. One percent of the population accounts for 30 percent of healthcare spending, and half of those people are elderly. By denying people life-saving medical care beyond a certain age, we would greatly cut down on medical costs. Medicare would be more solvent if we simply let old people die.
Likewise, the death of elderly people ends their demands on Social Security and other federal, state and local government pensions.
The total value of unfunded liabilities in the U.S. is hard to pin down, but even the smallest estimates are enormous. The National Center for Policy Analysis puts them at $84 trillion; Forbes reports a figure of $127 trillion. The unfunded liabilities of Medicare alone are estimated at $43 trillion.
States and cities face equally huge liabilities. Cincinnati’s unfunded pension liabilities are over $800 million, while the state of Illinois has over $100 billion in unfunded liabilities. Using even very conservative estimates, the states have a $4.1 trillion gap between assets and liabilities.
There are no easy solutions to this problem. Some cities, like Detroit, have opted for bankruptcy, but that does not relieve them of the entire burden. Other cities have begun to renege on contracts with municipal employees and cut pension payments. The only certain thing about that approach is lawsuits.
Triaging the elderly to death is another way of dealing with the problem. The only hope for those approaching old age might be a medical miracle, perhaps a breakthrough in anti-aging treatments. But then we might face the problem of an exploding population of vibrant, healthy old people who will continue to demand their pensions.
Until science comes up with age-reversal that American’s can generally afford, there is a coming tsunami of unfunded liabilities that if it hits, will wipe out America. The only way to avoid that is to get rid of old people.
Obamacare will reduce our aging population by denying medical care due to age, but that is hardly a palatable solution for anyone over 50 years of age.