In 1935, the year that FDR signed the Social Security Act into law, the birth rate was 18.7 per 1,000. In 1940, when the first monthly check was issued, it had gone up to 19.4. By 1954, when Disability had been added, the birth rate at the heart of the Baby Boom stood at 25.3.
By 1965, when Medicare was plugged in, the birth rate had fallen back to 19.4. For the first time in ten years fewer than 4 million babies had been born in a country of 195 million. Medicare had been added in the same year that saw the single biggest drop in birth rates since the Great Depression.
There could not have been a worse time for Medicare than the end of the Baby Boom.
Today in a nation of 314 million, 4.1 million babies are being born each year for a birth rate of 13.0 per 1,000. 40.7% of those births are to unmarried mothers meaning that it will be a long time, if ever, before those single families put back into the system, and most will never put back in as much as they are taking out.Those children will cost more to educate, be more likely to be involved in crime and less likely to succeed economically. But even if they weren’t, the system would still be unsustainable.
Liberals and libertarians both act as if the crisis facing us can be fixed if we take more from the “wealthy elderly” or give them less. The crisis is born of demographics. It can’t be fixed by targeting the elderly because they haven’t been the problem in some time. It’s the same crisis being faced by countries as diverse as Russia and Japan. The difference is that Russia is autocratic and has little concern for its people while Japan shuns immigration and has a political system dominated by the elderly.
The United States however takes in a million immigrants a year who also take out more than they put in. In his 2013 State of the Union address, Barack Obama praised Desiline Victor, a 102-year-old Haitian woman who moved to the United States at the age of 79 and doesn’t speak English, but did spend hours waiting in line in Florida to vote for Obama.
Between 1990 and 2010, the number of immigrants over 65 doubled from 2.7 million to 5 million. 25 percent of these senior immigrants were over 80. Desiline Victor wasn’t an outlier. Elderly immigrants are also much more likely to become citizens, in part because the requirements for them are lower. Many, like Victor, don’t even have to learn English to be able to stand in line and vote.
15 percent of senior immigrants come from Mexico largely as a result of family unification programs. If amnesty for illegal aliens goes through, before long the country will be on the hook not just for twelve million illegal aliens, but also for their grandparents.
The welfare state has been spending more money with an unsustainable demographic imbalance. There are fewer working families supporting more elderly, immigrants and broken families. The Russians invest money into increasing the native birth rate.