This is the worst generation

Certainly, they would never call themselves that. As the
title of a 2007 book written by a Baby Boomer brazenly proclaims, they're
"The Greater Generation." I

Obama-History-Chicago-Tribune.jpg

suppose the Boomer author can be excused
for his excess of self-satisfaction, because Boomers are so loaded with
smugness that it's oozing out their ears.

But surely someone who writes a book about them (and the rest of us non-Boomers) in another
40 or 50 years -- Tom Brokaw wrote his book "The Greatest Generation"
decades after that generation's self-sacrifice preserved our freedom -- will
brand them as perhaps the most selfish generation in American history. That
author would accurately nail them for their greedy, miserable selves because he
and hundreds of millions of others will be living in the cesspool of debt that
they leave behind.

Every time you take a breath, President Barack Obama (he's
on television more frequently than the weather forecast) is pushing through
another costly program, rescue, bailout, giveaway -- whatever you want to call
it -- that we can't afford to pay for ourselves. So, in a magical example of
time travel, he -- we, I should say -- will deliver the bill to the future,
with nary a thought of how the future will pay for it.

No need here for a tedious recounting of the huge,
impossible debt that we're passing off; it has been outlined enough, but the
figures seem to scare few. Our official national debt, the one you hear
occasionally debated in Congress, is a sliver under $12 trillion. Sounds like a
lot? Then get this: Our true national debt, when you include every cent of
benefits promised to seniors, Baby Boomers and other entitled beneficiaries,
amounts to nearly $62 trillion, according to the Northbrook-based Institute for
Truth in Accounting. That's $202,000 for every man, woman and child in America.
Our gift to future generations is the shaft. We could talk about how paying the
interest on the national debt we now have is one of the largest items in the
federal budget, already draining billions from all those education, welfare and
other programs so dear to the progressive agenda. But future interest payments
will gobble up so many of our resources that we won't be able to afford new
cars, homes and the rest of the consumer cravings that fuel our economy. Our
economy will be in shambles.

But wait, that $62 trillion doesn't even include the other
trillions for the sugarplums dancing in Obama's head. The additional $1
trillion for health-insurance "reform." An additional trillion or so
for the third stimulus package. What else, we can only imagine.

When they write about how the Boomers are the worst
generation, my guess is the target won't be aimed at Obama so much. After all,
he's just the frontman; wind him up and off he goes to another press
conference, speech or town hall meeting to tell us how we're headed for hell if
we don't do what he says. No one can spend that much time doing public
relations and devote the amount of time needed to study the consequences of
everything that he wants to stuff down our throats.

No, someone else is his
brain and that's his own version of Karl Rove -- White House Chief of Staff
Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel's cynical proclamation -- "you never want a serious
crisis to go to waste" -- unveils the essence of this administration: its
(read: Emanuel's) lust for power. The unborn be damned. This recession is not
the worst since the Great Depression, as the administration and its media
acolytes keep propagandizing. It's not even the worst since the one we survived
in the early 1980s without the kind of insane spending we're doing now.

Truth is, we've become so frightened of bad things happening
to us that we'll do anything, no matter how reckless, to avoid just the
perception of risk. Our fear of discomfort or sacrifice is contemptible beyond
description.

The Greatest Generation gave their lives so that we might
enjoy our liberties and prosperity. We show our appreciation by imprisoning
future Americans in a dungeon of debt from which they may never recover.
Nowhere in the Obama/Emanuel blueprint is there even the slightest suggestion
of how future generations will survive this mess. Not that they care, but, more
important, there simply may not be a way to lift the burden. Mark this
generation down as the most cowardly and irresponsible in America's history.
Mark it down as the Shameless Generation.

This column also appeared in the Chicago Tribune.

Comments

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  • While I don't entirely disagree with you (I do believe we need a way to pay for all of these programs), the difference between you and I would be that if I were to post a diatribe such as this, I might include reference links to your "facts" and "statistics".

  • Call me "shameless," but after 43 consecutive mostly irrelevant white men, I had the audacity to vote for Barack Hussein Obama, a black man.

    Call me "shameless," I was against the war, but once we asked our boys & girls in uniform to give their lives, I wanted to do more for my country than what the cowboy-in-chief asked us to do, which is this: "SHOP."

    Call me "shameless," but dancing sugarplums don't just give you good doodies, they may dance us all the way to "health care for all," which isn't a national deficit...it's a national investment.

  • dennis
    spotted this on Daily Beast and had to write---you are mixing apples and oranges---Boomers are the greediest group and why we're in this mess---for sure---
    But keep our president out of it--he's just trying to clean up the mess we created---remember Dennis, he's not a Boomer--we are.

  • Dennis,

    I would have to agree that this generation is guilty, but guilty of what?

    They are guilty of allowing the Democrat and Republican parties to steal freedoms that were bought with blood.

    The pious in Washington who force socialism down our throats are the ones who massed the huge debt we are passing on to our children and grandchildren.

    People like Obama.

    We the people hired the President, House and the Senate. Ourt country is in the condition it is in because we hired them. They have put the country in a condition that should tell us it's time for all to go. If you owned a business, which one would you hire to work there?

  • It seems to me that it was the "Greatest Generation" who got us into this problem by creating the entitlement system. We Baby Boomers got to pay for your retirement and medical care through the FICA deducted from our paychecks. Now, it is going broke as we "Baby Boomers" approach retirement. That makes us patsies, not the "Worst Generation".

    Reserve that honor for the people who voted for our current president. He seems to be taking the Chicago tradition of buying votes with the treasury to a high art.

  • It was so nice to watch you stutter through the interview with Shep. Did you just now discover that the US has been living on debt? Or, is this another neo-con attempt to deny equality in health care to tens of millions of Americans by scaring poeple into believing this long term debt is an Obama creation. You're inventing numbers. Therse is no third stimulus package on the table as you suggest. There isn't even a second. You make Obama sound as a puppet. If it's so, then he is a puppet of Amaerican citizens. Not like the Reagan-Bush axis that was propped up by Arab oil wealth.

    The boomers are an easy target. There are so many of them. And why is that? It was your generation that created this. Having babies, moving to pristine suburbs, raising families that believed bigger and better was an emtitlement. Tell me Mr. Byrne, were you thinking of the national debt while you were shooting your load into your wife? Never mind, I know the answer.

    So, today it matters because baby boomers will be getting social security. It matters because baby boomers established the world's largest economy and solidified the dollar's place as a key currency. It matters because baby boomers aren't sucking on cancer sticks and have longer life expectancy

  • I was furious when I heard your comments about the Baby Boomers being the worst generation. The entitlement programs that have gotten so out of control were enacted before we were even born. How is that our fault? The generations that came before us are the ones that started all this mess. Now that we are facing retirement, we have lost half of our retirement savings. I have suspected for a long time that there would not be enough left in the entitlement coffers for us, simply because there are so many of us. The money that was entrusted to the government to fund these programs has been pilfered by the greedy, criminal people that we must laughingly refer to as our representatives. We call their offices to express our wishes and they ignore us. They just do whatever the hell they want to do, which is usually a means to enrich themselves. The next politician will say,

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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