Ryan: Americans need to have more babies
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) suggested Thursday that Americans need to have more babies or risk a collapse of popular entitlements like Medicare and Social Security.
“This is going to be the new economic challenge for America: people. Baby boomers are retiring — I did my part, but we need to have higher birth rates in this country,” Ryan, a father of three, told reporters as he riffed on how Republicans will tackle entitlement and welfare reform in 2018. “Baby boomers are retiring and we have fewer people following them in the workforce.
”We have something like a 90-percent increase in the retirement population of America but only a 19-percent increase in the working population in American,” he continued. “So what do we have to do? Be smarter, more efficient, more technology … still gonna need more people.”
In 2016, the United States saw a record low fertility rate. There were 62 births for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44, down about 1 percent from a year earlier, according to The New York Times.
Republicans, such as Ryan, believe Americans need to have more children to replace the millions of baby boomers who are retiring or passing away. Democrats are more open to seeing many in the baby boomer generation replaced through immigration to offset the low birth rate.
In addition to boosting the U.S. birth rate, Ryan argued that Congress needs to help those relying on welfare to get back into the workforce.
“And when we have tens of millions of people right here in this country falling short of their potential, not working, not looking for a job or not in school getting a skill to get a job, that’s a problem,” Ryan said.