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First Baby Boomer Applies For Social Security

House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) sent out an interesting e-mail today. Or at least it is interesting to those of us who have ever written/read a story about the coming financial crisis for the country as the Baby Boomers begin to retire.

According to Blunt, "Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, a New Jersey woman generally considered to be the nation's first boomer, is expected to formally apply for Social Security benefits this afternoon, in anticipation of her 62nd birthday on January 1, 2008."

Casey-Kirschling, born "just after the stroke on midnight on January, 1,1946," (four months after the end of World War II) is the vanguard of the 79-million strong  Baby Boomer generation, which includes anyone who arrived on this planet from 1946 to 1964.

As they have been busy with their careers, Baby Boomers have poured trillions of dollars into the Social Security Trust Fund. Now, with Casey-Kirschling crossing the 62-year-old threshold, they will start getting money paid out to them.

"As the nation’s first Baby Boomer, Ms. Casey-Kirschling is leading what is often referred to as America’s silver tsunami," said Social Security Commissioner Michael J. Astrue in a statement today. "Over the next two decades, nearly 80 million Americans will become eligible for Social Security benefits, more than 10,000 per day."

The problem is that the U.S. government (read Congress under both parties and every administration since LBJ) has been actually spending the Baby Boomers' money to fund ongoing government operations. This was the source of the infamous "lockbox" debate of the 2002 Bush-Gore showdown.

But there isn't any lockbox, as Blunt notes, and Social Security "reform" as proposed by President Bush following his 2004 re-election win went nowhere, so we, as a country, are screwed unless something changes. Revenues going into the Social Security Trust Fund will be exceeded by funds being paid out in 2017, according to an April report for the Board of Trustees, with all funds "exhausted" by 2041.