Generation X is the gross sum of double standards, lodged somewhere between blameworthy and expendable.
It seems that the MTV audience is now the adult of the economy, growing up to face unsustainable government debts, slow economic growth and the burden of raising their own children at the same time. Nevertheless, raising the FICA taxes by 1 percent would eliminate the social security deficit, as would increasing the full retirement age to 70, the equivalent of a 19 percent cut in benefits. Entitlement spending is 40 percent of the federal budget; nibbling around the edge of civil discourse is no longer an option.
The debate about class struggle is getting old, but so is the largest demographic in the country. Somebody will have to support those who spent the last 30 years in control of an economy entrusted to them by their depression era parents, one that boasted a balanced budget and an aversion to immediate gratification.
Generation X will ultimately be asked to subsidize benefits that they themselves will never receive. Of course, we may see a resurgence of personal responsibility and disdain for government spending once the unwitting advocates of fiscal responsibility understand the implications, but that’s a most unlikely outcome.
We know it’ll be a good fight, let’s see if it’s a fair one.
Ivory Johnson is the director of financial planning at Scarborough Capital Management, Inc. He is a Certified Financial Planner, a Chartered Financial Consultant and a frequent guest on CNBC. Mr. Johnson attended Penn State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in finance.