Cohorts and changes in our national debt – They both shift a lot in Unit 3—the years that are your future.

Cohort issues[1] and deficits in the chart below:

·         The Greatest Generation – “Born: 1921 to 1927” – The earliest was 24 in 1945 at the end of World War II.

·         The Silent Generation – “Born: 1928 to 1927” – The earliest was 17 in 1945 at the end of World War II. Think about the difference in being drafted for this cohort and the earlier one above.

·         *Baby boomers – “Born: 1946 to 1964””

·         *Gen X - “Born: 1965 to 1980” -  Unit 3 Exam uses the specifics to the left. FYI: The Learning Quiz has the same meaning but currently says “the generation of Americans born in the 1960s and 1970s” (Pew Research is more authoritative and I will be changing it in the coming terms. I will also alert you by announcement.

·         *Millennials - “Born: 1981 to 1996” - Unit 3 Exam uses the specifics to the left. The Learning Quiz has the close meaning but currently says “a person born in the 1980s or 1990s,” but Pew Research’s numbers make a clearer end to this cohort.

 

Each of the last 3 cohorts have a long range of time. For an example, see the rows for a Millennial born in 1981 and one born in 1996.

 

As far as domestic issues go in the period from 1950 to 2000, you don’t have to memorize. You can understand a lot by the age of the baby boomer—entertainment, whether they are having kids, getting out of college, looking for a job, considering retirement or a second career.  The numbers on the national debt in each of the years are from the prior textbook, Ayers American Passages.

 

Issue

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s  

1990s

2000-2008

2008-2016

National Debt

Deficit 5 of 8 years

1968 -$25 B – largest since WWII

$74 B – end of Nixon and Carter

1971-wage freeze; off gold standard

    5              5

$186B   $186B–and climbing

 

For the 1990s, see table below and its colors for Presidents.

[2]

 

President

1952-1956, 1956-1960 Dwight D. Eisenhower

1960-1963 John F. Kennedy

1963-1964, 1964-1968 L.B. Johnson

1968-1972, 1972-08/1974 R.M. Nixon; 08/1974-1976 Gerald Ford;
1976-1980 Jimmy Carter-stagflation

1980-1984, 1984-1988 Ronald Reagan –lowers taxes in “supply side” theory[3]

 

1988-1992 George H. Bush

1990-1992 – George H. Bush

 

1992-1996, 1996-2000 William Clinton

2000-2004, 2004-2008 George W. Bush

2008-2012, 2012-2016 – Barack Obama

If born in 1945

a Baby Boomer is 5 years of age in 1950

15 years of age in 1960

25 years of age in 1970

35 years of age in 1980

45 years of age in 1990

55 years of age in 2000

65 years of age in 2010

If born in 1965

 

 

a Gen Xer  is 5 years of age in 1970

15 years of age in 1980

25 years of age in 1990

35 years of age in 2000

45 years of age in 2010

If born in 1981

 

 

 

a Millennial is 5 years of age in 1986

15 years of age in 1996

25 years of age in 2006

35 years of age in 2016

If born in 1996

 

 

 

 

 

a Millennial is 5 years of age in 2001

15 years of age in 2011

Details about the 1990-1997  The reduction in debt was bipartisan—Republicans and Democrats worked together.
Light orange = Starts with Reagan
Dark orange = Blows up in G.H. Bush
Green = lowers 1992-1996

Green = lowers further 1996-2000

$222B 

$297B 

$255B 

$203B 

$25B

 

1990 

1992 

1993  

1994

1997 

 

 

 

Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2018

WCJC Department:

History – Dr. Bibus

 

Contact Information:

281.239.1577 or bibusc@wcjc.edu

 

Last Updated:

2018

 

WCJC Home:

http://www.wcjc.edu/

 

 



[1] The age ranges for these cohorts are from this article from Pew Research: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/25/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers/

[2] The national debt is not specified in the section on the George W. Bush term of 2000-2008, when the TARP crisis occurred. The general statement made about 2000-2008 is that George W. Bush “pushed through Congress a series of tax cuts, that, the White House said, were designed to assist the struggling economy. The budget surplus of the 1990s soon disappeared as a brief recession followed the end of the dot-com bubble. Record debt became one continuing legacy of the Bush era.” (Ayers, American Passages, page 872).

[3] The national debt is specified in the section on the George W. Bush term of 2000-2008: “The centerpiece of Bush’s fiscal policy was a whopping $1.3 trillion tax cut, passed by Congress in 2001, followed by a second cut in 2003. Together with a softening economy, these measures turned the federal budget surpluses of the late 1990s into yawing deficits that reached nearly $400 billion by 2008.”
Kennedy, Cohen, and Piehl, American Pageant, 721.