WASHINGTON-As a result of yesterday's mid-term elections, baby boomers will comprise a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time. The House will have 219 baby boomer members when the 106th Congress convenes in January 1999.
"The question for the baby boomers now that they have reached political maturity is simple. Will they use their political power to make Social Security and Medicare sustainable for the long-term?" said Concord Coalition Executive Director Martha Phillips. "Entitlement reform is not about today's seniors-it is about the type of nation the boomers will leave to future generations of Americans."
Phillips also urged the new baby boomer majority in the House to work with the first baby boomer President in history to deal in a bipartisan fashion with the long-term fiscal problems facing Social Security and Medicare.
"Up until now, Congress has avoided making tough decisions about Social Security and Medicare," said Phillips. "The boomers now in power must recognize the need to reform these programs to ensure they will be secure for their fellow boomers, their children, and their grandchildren."
The impending retirement of the baby boom generation (those people born between 1946 and 1964) expands the long-term obligations of Social Security and Medicare and will signal the permanent aging of the American population. The number of workers per beneficiary will fall from today's ratio of 3.4-to-1 to a level of 2.0-to-1 or less by 2030. By that time, the percentage of senior citizens in the nation will equal or exceed the ratio of seniors found in the state of Florida today. The entitlement reform debate is being driven by this on-going demographic shift.
The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization advocating fiscal responsibility while ensuring that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are secure for all generations. Concord was founded in 1992 by the late former Sen. Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.), former Sen. Warren Rudman (R-N.H.), and former Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson. Former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) was named a co-chair of the Concord Coalition in 1997.