I'm a fan of some of the proposals in President Obama's budget because they seem to even the playing field for members of Generation X who have already suffered enough from the Great Recession. As far as I'm concerned, his budget would ask retired baby boomers as well as wealthy people to make a few sacrifices. According to a recent piece by the Daily Ticker, liberals and conservatives alike are "howling" about some of the provisions in the budget. However, I think most people from my generation should be fine with the "Buffet Rule," a minimum tax applied to incomes greater than $1 million as well as the Social Security change. In both cases, it's the baby boomer generation that is most likely outraged. For Gen-Xers, it's not about being liberal, conservative, an Independent, Democrat or Republican. It's about expecting everyone to pull their fair share of the economic burden.
Addressing Social Security crisis
I think President Obama's idea to lower annual benefit increases or "Social Security" raises is brilliant. The reality is most Generation X workers have faced layoffs or pay cuts. I received one pay increase in the past 7 years. And, that pay increase was undone after getting a pay cut a few months after the pay raise. Why should senior citizens get generous increases to their benefits every year when virtually all experts on the matter suggest Generation X retirees will deal with a blow of at least a 30 percent reduction in Social Security benefits when they retire? Obama isn't suggesting cutting their Social Security benefits. He is just tying Social Security benefit increases to the "chained CPI," I different inflation measure that will result in a less generous increase.
Asking the rich to pay their share
In addition to asking old people to give a little, Obama's budget supports the "Buffet Rule." Once again, I'm sure the Buffet Rule affects a lot of retired baby boomers who are counting on their dividends to help them pay for their golf outings, cruises and second homes. Some retirees my need their dividends from investment to pay their bills, but those people don't make more than $1 million a year. Why should the richest taxpayers get favorable tax treatment?
Most of the middle-class workers from my generation were hit hard when the tax holiday expired. We dealt with shrinking paychecks or no paycheck at all. I think Generation X also has the financial challenge of having to help aging parents as well as boomerang children. With any budget, there are going to be some people who win and some people who lose. However, in this case, it's only fair for the "me generation" or baby boomers to give a little back to the rest of society after taking for so long.
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More from this contributor:My Gen-X Financial Advice to my Kids
- Politics & Government
- Budget, Tax & Economy
- President Obama
- baby boomers