The United States is on a Direct Path to a Fiscal Cliff

Aaron Smet
2 min readMay 13, 2023
Photo by Diana Parkhouse on Unsplash

The baby boomer generation refers to those individuals born between 1946 and 1964, a period of high birth rates following World War II. As this generation reaches retirement age, the US will face a demographic shift that will have significant implications for the economy and government finances.

One major concern is the potential impact on government finances. Baby boomers have been a significant contributor to the US economy for decades, both as workers and consumers. As they retire, they will leave the workforce, reducing the number of taxpayers contributing to government revenues. At the same time, as they age, they will become eligible for Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlement programs, increasing government spending.

The concern is that this demographic shift will create a situation where the government will struggle to generate enough income from the US economy to fund both the interest payment obligations on the federal debt as well as discretionary spending and entitlement programs.

This scenario has been described as a potential “fiscal cliff,” as the government would face difficult choices between reducing spending, increasing taxes, or borrowing more money to meet its obligations. None of these options are desirable, and the longer-term implications of such a scenario could be severe, including slower economic growth, reduced government services, and a potentially unsustainable debt burden.

To mitigate these risks, policymakers may need to consider a range of strategies, including reforms to entitlement programs, changes to tax policies, and investments in education and workforce development to boost productivity and economic growth. Failure to address these challenges could have significant consequences for the US economy and the standard of living of its citizens.