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You think America’s shrinking workforce is a problem now?

Just wait …

At a time when the federal government desperately needs future taxpayers, American mothers are cranking out far fewer of them.  According to data released last week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), America’s fertility rate has hit a record low for the second straight year – having declined for the fifth straight year.

Despite the best efforts of this website’s founding editor (pictured, above), the U.S. fertility rate in 2012 was 63 live births per 1,000 women aged 15-44 – down from 2011’s record-low rate of 63.2.  In 2007, the rate stood at 69.3 live births per 1,000 women aged 15-44 – still well below its peak rate of 122.7 in 1957.

For those of you keeping score at home, 3,952,841 babies were born in the United States.  Of those, 1,609,619 (or 40.7 percent) were born to unmarried mothers.  By contrast, in 1980 only 18.4 percent of babies were born out of wedlock.

As social libertarians, we don’t especially care about that latter statistic – but the broader decline of new babies is troubling.  Aside from the fundamental lack of confidence it shows in our country, fewer babies means a contracted consumer economy moving forward – and yes, less taxpayer revenue to deal with the massive pile of debt that’s being accumulated by our current crop of “leaders” in Washington, D.C.

Bottom line? America’s plunging fertility rate is yet another indicator of the unsustainable nature of our country’s current trajectory …