Friday, February 27, 2009

Being Destroyed by Debt

Bob Foster brought this documentary, "I.O.U.S.A," to my attention. It will probably be the most sobering clip that you will ever see about the state of the United States economy. I was aghast at the findings. I think it should run three times a week on all TV outlets for a solid month during Prime Time. I just wished that I had watched it a bit earlier. It's nearly 1:40 AM and I'm afraid I will get no sleep tonight.

A few of the most awakening facts are even if we ended the war in Iraq, rolled back the Bush tax cuts, and eliminated earmarks and pork barrel spending, our problems will not be solved. Another very very sobering fact is the trade deficit. This is simply outrageous! We have become dead last among the nations of the world that are buying more than their selling. Not to mention what we are receiving are cheap goods. With a country as big and rich in intellect and resources, it is shameful that we have become indebted to paper shufflers and not innovated by product producers.

It is incredibly hypocritical that those who are screaming about the current deficit spending and continued tax cuts have presided over the largest deficit spending in our Country's history. Both the Reagan and Bush W administrations were the worst. Yet, we still hear the Republican leaders in Congress today railing for more of the same. This is insane. The deficit increased tremendously throughout the Reagan administration and we were not even in a war and I guess those tax cuts did not work as planned either.

There are so many outrageous things in this video that its simply mind boggling that we could have allowed ourselves to get here. Who could have ever thought that we could have two wars, tax cuts, and personal debt spending, and there not be a perfect storm? It was no secret why Secretary of State Clinton tread softly in China on human rights issues. China currently holds the largest denomination of our Treasury Securities.

We most certainly have had a leadership problem. To think that Paul O'Neill, the former Treasury Secretary, was asked to lie about his release because he told the Bush administration in 2002 the truth about our dire situation is a stunning omission, though perhaps for many not surprising in the least. President Bush and Vice-President Cheney be ashamed of their actions. Maybe that Truth and Reconciliation Commission is indeed necessary. I wonder who else was told to lie in many matters. Mr. O'Neill appeared too honorable for the former administration. I guess Secretary Paulson was more to their liking for whatever reason.

At the end of the documentary my question was not when we were going to get out of this crisis, but how. It is going to require the effort of everyone to emerge from this very serious deficit crisis. As friend of mine often says, "debt is like cancer; it kills." But we really must know how bad it really is. I knew we were in a major crisis, but not to this extent. This is apparently what the President was aware of and chided for. Others thought that his Inaugural Address and tone thereafter were too somber. Because President Obama is so hopeful, many could not help but to think that he was bracing us for something huge.


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