Mentions of Seniors in Inaugural Addresses

Every president since Ronald Reagan has used the speech to address issues of importance to older Americans

Ronald Reagan - 1981

"We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people."

Chuck Kennedy/MCT/Pool/Corbis

Ronald Reagan - 1985

"As an older American, I remember a time when people of different race, creed, or ethnic origin in our land found hatred and prejudice installed in social custom and, yes, in law. ... Let us resolve that we, the people, will build an American opportunity society in which all of us — white and black, rich and poor, young and old — will go forward together, arm in arm."

Joe Raedle/Newsmakers/Getty Images

George H.W. Bush - 1989

"We must bring in the generations, harnessing the unused talent of the elderly and the unfocused energy of the young."


Bill Clinton - 1997

"Our land of new promise will be a nation that meets its obligations, a nation that balances its budget but never loses the balance of its values, a nation where our grandparents have secure retirement and health care — and their grandchildren know we have made the reforms necessary to sustain those benefits for their time."

Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

George W. Bush - 2001

"[W]e will reform Social Security and Medicare, sparing our children from struggles we have the power to prevent."

Ron Edmonds/AP Photo

George W. Bush - 2005

"We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings, and health insurance, preparing our people for the challenges of life in a free society."

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Barack Obama - 2009

"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works; whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified."

Charles Dharapak/AP Photo

Barack Obama - 2013

"The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great."

Sonya N. Hebert/Official White House Photo

  • Pinterest
  • Google+
Being Social