First U.S. Baby Boomer Applies for Social Security
WASHINGTON, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Retired school teacher Kathleen Casey-Kirschling on Monday became the first ripple in a "silver tsunami" of retiring baby boomers applying for pension benefits that threatens to overwhelm U.S. government finances.
Casey-Kirschling was born one second after midnight on Jan. 1, 1946, and will receive her first Social Security check in February 2008 as the first wave of baby boomers turns 62 next year and becomes eligible for early retirement benefits.
Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said the agency is bracing for some 80 million Americans to apply for retirement benefits over the next two decades
I think we've been down this path before. Some relatively minor adjustments will be needed to the Social Security system in the coming years to make sure the "lock box" maintains enough change in it for all the pensioners, but the alarmist projections saying that the trust fund will be depleted by the middle of the century have already been disproved. Of course, I suppose that doesn't make for as good of a headline as "silver tsunami" does it?
Unfortunately, while the changes should be relatively easy to implement, our two party system has already drawn the battle lines for a political war of biblical proportions. The first skirmishes have already been fought, but there's so much mileage left in the issue, expect them to tie up Congress in knots for years to come while accomplishing nothing.
Congratulations to Ms. Casey-Kirschling on her fifteen minutes of fame and her upcoming retirement. I hope our elected representatives can find a way to do their jobs as well as she apparently did hers.