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America's Going Bankrupt

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America's Going Bankrupt
U.S. Comptroller David M. Walker goes on a "fiscal wakeup tour." In the words of 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft, "The US has spent, promised and borrowed itself into such a deep hole it will be unable to climb out if it doesn't act now."

I don't spend more than I make. And I just don't understand why nobody seems to care that our government is run with all the wisdom of a subprime loan department, or maybe less.

From the 60 Minutes program above: Walker says we have massive entitlement programs we can no longer afford. The Baby Boom is about to become a big problem. From next year on, 78 million people will be eligible for entitlements. And there won't be enough wage earners to pay for the benefits of the baby boomers.

But, Walker says the Medicare problem is "five times greater" than the Social Security problem. Instead of dealing with the problem, the President and the Congress expanded the program to include prescription drug coverage -- "probably the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1950's."

According to Walker, we can't afford the promises we've made, let alone further promises. "We'd have to have 8 trillion dollars today, invested at Treatury rates, to deliver on that promise." And we have zip.

(And, hear this Hillary Tse Tung) Walker says we have promised almost unlimited health care to senior citizens who never see the bills. And the government is borrowing money to pay them.

He says the system is unsustainable. We have to dramatically reform our health care or we could bankrupt America.

...Whoops...and after all that transcribing and describing, it seems there's a print link:

"I would argue that the most serious threat to the United States is not someone hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan but our own fiscal irresponsibility," Walker tells Kroft.

David Walker is a prudent man and a highly respected public official. As comptroller general of the United States he runs he Government Accountability Office, the GAO, which audits the government's books and serves as the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress. He has more than 3,000 employees, a budget of a half a billion dollars, and a message he considers urgent.

"I'm going to show you some numbers…they’re all big and they’re all bad," he says.

So bad, that Walker has given up on elected officials and taken his message directly to taxpayers and opinion makers, hoping to shape the debate in the next presidential election.

"You know the American people, I tell you, they are absolutely starved for two things: the truth, and leadership," Walker says.

He calls it a fiscal wake up tour, and he is telling civic groups, university forums and newspaper editorial boards that the U.S. has spent, promised, and borrowed itself into such a deep hole it will be unable to climb out if it doesn’t act now. As Walker sees it, the survival of the republic is at stake.

"What’s going on right now is we’re spending more money than we make…we’re charging it to credit card…and expecting our grandchildren to pay for it. And that’s absolutely outrageous," he told the editorial board of the Seattle Post Intelligencer.