(CNSNews.com) – Commenting on the tax revenue shortfalls to fund Social Security and Medicare, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) said it is necessary for more Americans to have more children because “we need more people” in the workforce and paying taxes to fund entitlement programs.
“This is going to be the new economic challenge for America: people,” said Speaker Ryan at a press briefing on Dec. 14.
“Baby boomers are retiring,” he said. “I did my part, but we need to have higher birth rates in this country.” Ryan and his wife have three children.
“Baby boomers are retiring and we have fewer people following them in the workforce,” he said.
”We have something like a 90-percent increase in the retirement population of America but only a 19-percent increase in the working population in America,” said Ryan. “So what do we have to do? Be smarter, more efficient, more technology -- still gonna’ need more people.”
In 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American family consisted of 3.14 persons. In 1960, the average was 3.67 persons, and in 1940 the average family was 3.76 persons.
For some historical perspective, back in 1790, the percentage of American households with 7 or more persons was 35.8%. In 1900, 20.4% of American households had 7 or more persons, and in 2000 that number had fallen to 1.4% of households.
With Social Security and Medicare, the government estimates how much is needed to cover beneficiaries over the next 75 years. That amount now totals $46.7 trillion. This is what is referred to as an “unfunded liability.”
According to the Social Security and Medicare trustees, the two programs “accounted for 42 percent of Federal program expenditures in fiscal year 2016.”
In addition, “Social Security's total income is projected to exceed its total cost through 2021, as it has since 1982,” but after 2021 the program will be in the red.
For Medicare, the trustees project it will run out of funds in 2029.