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Economist Tells The Middle Class There’s No Free Ride In America [AUDIO]

There’s been a lot of talk in New Jersey about taxpayer-funded entitlements for public employees. Governor Chris Christie asked for and got some reforms in the areas of public workers’ pension and health care payments.

Spencer Platt, Getty Images

The chief economist for Wells Fargo says you’re missing the big picture if you’re just focused on the Garden State because most people pay more in taxes to the federal government and that’s where the real problem is.

“There’s a huge entitlements problem,” says economist John Silvia. “I don’t care about the fiscal cliff. Unless you deal with entitlements you’re not dealing with anything, end of story. That’s what you have to get to. You have to get to Medicare. You have to get to Medicaid. You have to get to social security.”

Silvia says the problem is that America’s society has changed. The demographics are not what they were in the 1960s, 70s, 80s or 90s.

“10,000 baby boomers retire every day,” explains Silvia. “They want their social security and they want their free Viagra and the problem you’re going to have is; how do you meet those expectations with a (working) population that’s much smaller?”

Silvia has plenty of sobering news. He says, “If I was under 40, I’d be mad as hell……If you’re under 40 you will never get back the money you’ve paid in social security taxes…..I mean dollar-for-dollar you’re not going to get the money back.”

There might be a solution according to Silvia but it requires a change in course for the country and it includes something a lot of people don’t want to hear. He explains, “We don’t want to increase taxes on the middle class. Well, good luck because, guess what? It’s the middle class that gets a lot of these Medicare and social security payments and so, sorry pal. If you get the benefits you need to pay the taxes, alright? There’s no free ride here in America.”

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