This month, Esquire published a lengthy piece titled “The War Against Youth.” Part of the headline proclaimed: “The recession didn’t gut the prospects of American young people. The Baby Boomers took care of that.” The argument that fat-cat elders are shafting young people follows from there. The author, Stephen Marche, writes: “The biggest boondoggle of all is Social Security,” and he goes on to explain that the Baby Boomers are to blame.
What readers of Esquire may not know is that, two years ago, the magazine assembled a bipartisan commission, similar to Obama’s Simpson-Bowles Commission, that—in three days’ time—came up with a plan to balance the federal budget. The Esquire group’s recommendation were similar to those made by Simpson-Bowles. At the end of its report, the Esquire panel thanked the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and its president, Maya MacGuineas, “for their invaluable assistance in providing the commission with accurate data and budget options.” That committee has received support from Peter G. Peterson, an arch-foe of Social Security who has tried to get the media to see things his way. The media consensus continues to build.