Is this Millennial’s views really representative of his generation? Here’s why I ask. The mandatory (or “entitlement”) spending he talks about has been growing as a share of GDP more or less continuously over the last 45 years. And it is projected to continue to grow over the next thirty. I know many Millennial (born 1982-200?) who are very concerned about this trend—and when you talk to them, they do find it troublesome. But to the extent of really motivating them to elect or defeat a political candidate? If the Democrats’ new health-care legislation remains in place, that path has just been tilted further upward, i.e., accelerated. Yet I can’t say I’ve heard many Millennials speak out about this law’s obvious fiscal impact. This year, Social Security is going into a primary-balance deficit some eight years earlier than projected a few years ago. Not much comment here either.
So again I ask: Do most Millennials share this writers view? Maybe after the next great economic scare, but not quite yet, I think. One can imagine a larger version of what happened after the 2008 meltdown, when everyone “woke up” to say omg we knew about those subprime mortgage and CDS’s all along… why didn’t we *do* anything about them? Only this time they’ll be talking about the entire government sector balance sheet.
Pay as you go accounting has allowed a gap the size of the Grand Canyon to open up between what most Americans expect to pay to government over their lifetimes and what they expect to receive. Absent blistering productivity growth or surging demographic growth (we’re not going to see either anytime soon), nearly all of that gap must be filled. Get out your shovels. There will be a day of reckoning.