Income Inequality

With all of the talk about increasing income inequality, particularly on the left, but also among politicians like President Bush, one might think that inequality simply follows the old race and geograpy pattern of wealth and poverty.
It turns out that the story doesn’t follow the old pattern and a new pattern is developing based on age. It turns out that far from the stereotype of old people living day-to-day on pensions and Social Security, older Americans are actually the wealthiest Americans (and they are getting richer every day).
Not surprisingly — as Mark Schmidt, my former colleague at the National Taxpayers Union pointed out a few years back — government policymaking plays a huge role here. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are just a few of the most prominent of these massive programs that transfer wealth from young, productive workers to elderly retirees.
I’m not bashing grandma and grandpa here, but I am saying that Congress needs to do something to stem the tide of red ink. Unfortunately, politicians have been frightened for years by the spectre of angry old people rallying to vote them out of office.
The point is that the elderly are doing very well for themselves and policymakers need to reform and place strict eligibility limits on some of these programs (as I point out in this document) before it is too late.