In his farewell address last week, President Barack Obama quoted something his mother used to tell him: “Reality has a way of catching up with you.”
Here is one reality that really is catching up with us: as a nation, we are getting older quickly. The U.S. population over age 65 will nearly double by 2050, to 83.7 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
As Obama leaves office this week, it is a good time to ask: how should we grade his administration on its efforts to help prepare us for the graying of America?
When he took office in 2009, the president’s top two priorities were to steer the economy away from a cliff, and to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He achieved both, but policy on aging and retirement never emerged as a priority. Still, the administration is leaving its mark on healthcare, retirement saving and pension reform. The report card includes some As, but there are some Bs, Cs and Ds, too.
And, in the category of “the dog ate my homework,” it must be mentioned that an obstructionist Congress did its best to create gridlock during most of the president’s time in office. That gives the president a bit of an excuse – and merits a big fat F for lawmakers.