The seeds of this crisis were planted long ago, by previous generations. Our parents and grandparents had noble aims. They saw poverty among the elderly and created Social Security. They saw sickness and created Medicare and Medicaid. They saw Americans struggle to afford health insurance and embraced health care reform with subsidies for middle-class families.
But this expansion in government did not come cheap. Government spending has taken up an increasing share of our national income.
Today, most of the large baby-boom generation is retired. They are no longer working and paying taxes, but they are eligible for the many government benefits we offer the elderly.
If you're an adult and want to learn more about economics, pick up the accessible Principles of Economics.