Forum Session

Boomers and the Budget: Implications of an Aging Society
May 13, 2011


Carol V. O'Shaughnessy, MA


It is 2011, the first year baby boomers turn age 65. The event that has been the lead in news stories on aging for many years is now a reality. Indeed, the aging of America and the pending retirement of 76 million baby boomers occupies the center of current discussions about the federal budget deficit and health care and income support policies. Policymakers are concerned about slowing the growth in expenditures for the largest entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. With an increasing proportion of the federal budget devoted to entitlement programs, some argue that public sector support should be modified so that individuals assume more responsibility for their retirement and health care costs. Others say that any policy changes must not compromise the nature of the implied social contract the public sector has made with older people. This Forum session addressed the socioeconomic characteristics of the elderly, expectations about the well-being of both the current older population and future retirees, and policy issues affecting the major entitlement programs.


Greg O’Neill, PhD, Director, National Academy on an Aging Society; C. Gene Steuerle, PhD, Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher Chair, The Urban Institute; Paul N. Van de Water, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Slides from the presentations by Drs. O'Neill, Steuerle, and Van de Water are available for download.

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