Last night on 60 Minutes, Steve Kroft presented a report called "U.S. Heading For Financial Trouble?" It is a depressing report on the financial reality this country is facing, after decades of deficit spending and promises by legislators that simply can't be kept in the long term.
The piece revolves around David Walker, who is the Comptroller General of the United States, and the head of the Government Accountability Office, which "audits the government's books and serves as the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress." So he probably knows what he's talking about. Here's how Kroft introduces the piece:
[Walker is] the nation's top accountant, the comptroller general of the United States. He's totaled up our government's income, liabilities, and future obligations and concluded that our current standard of living is unsustainable unless some drastic action is taken. And he's not alone. It's been called the "dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows" – a set of financial truths so inconvenient that most elected officials don't even want to talk about them, which is exactly why David Walker does.
Shortly thereafter, Walker says this to the editorial board of the Seattle Post Intelligencer:
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.
You should really watch this piece. And contact your representatives to demand action. Both the transcript and the video are available at the link above. If you don't have time, here's a recap from Steve Kroft on YouTube. This should be of concern to Democrats, Republicans, and independents.
Time to raise taxes (especially on the wealthy and corporations), and reduce spending. It's the only way out.