So I am sitting down the other day watching a notoriously left wing TV show in the Bill Maher show on HBO, when he interviews David Walker. For those who don’t know who this particular gentleman is, he is the former Comptroller for the GAO (essentially the top accountant for the US Government). Now, for those who did know him you will also likely know he is no longer in that position since early 2008. Mr. Walker resigned his post, which you have to ask why is that important….well it’s because this particular position is one that is appointed for 15 year terms and he was still 5 years away from completing his term.
I will not sit here on this blog and profess to know everything about this man nor his past positions both inside and outside government. However, after listening to this man speak on Bill Maher’s show I realized one thing: this current financial crisis our great country is experiencing is nothing compared to the issue lingering in the shadows of the dark alley our nation is currently walking down. We can argue all we want that big banks are failing, housing was way overvalued, that we are losing our capitalist society..etc, but the truth is our nation as it stands right now is on the road essentially to bankruptcy. Medicare and Social Security alone will take us there. And I am not talking about the type of bankruptcy where your neighbor loses their job and didn’t have an emergency rainy day fund so they lose everything. We are talking about an entire nation where the government is broke! The kind of fiscal problems that would make California’s recent news headlines that they could be in need of a potential $8 Billion loan pale in comparison.
If you don’t believe me, a lowly average citizen who has no economic background at all, then maybe you should watch this Glenn Beck interview with David Walker:
Let’s take a single headline from that story: the average hit to the American household is $400K per household. How many of us have $400K lying around as Beck asks? Let me go ahead and start: not me, so everybody elses bill just went up. Now I am not naive to think our country had obligations that we could afford but David Walker and Glenn Beck did a great job of putting things into perspective.
The problem is that nobody wants to discuss this in detail. Why you may ask, I have an easy answer: it’s not sexy and doesn’t win votes. What wins votes is saying things like: cutting taxes, keeping government out of citizens lives or slamming your opponent in 30 second feel good TV ads. What is the problem with that approach, if you watched the above video you will see that none of that matters. Instead we have to hear how expensive the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan are, how we are giving tax breaks to the wrong people, how we need to rescue the mortgage industry….who the hell cares, we can’t afford all the policies and the direction we are currently going in. It’s like accusing McDonald’s of making you fat, as you stuff another Big Mac down your throat and saying they should do something to make the food healthier. If you don’t address the real issues, you just continue to repeat the same pattern – DON’T EAT MCDONALD’s all the time. Same for government, raising or lowering taxes does nothing when our revenues can’t even sustain our policies right now.
While I am not saying the world will end tomorrow, but unless we as a nation begin to think beyond just the next political term or the next budget year nothing will ever change and this current financial crisis will be a drop in the bucket compared to what bills are coming due. The next time you are in the voting booth, not just for President but all elected offices, ask yourself: is this person going to help this country be great for 10, 20, 30, 100+ years. Don’t vote based on the 30 infomerical ad run by the candidates (which are created by clever marketing folks to appeal to your easiliy manipulated senses). Don’t vote because you think the person would be great to hang out with. Vote because you truly understand the issues and that person you are voting for understands them too. In the end we are all swimming in the same pool. And right now, somebody is peeing in the pool and nobody is paying attention.
**This is not necessarily an endorsement of David Walker or the foundation he heads up. Rather this is just an attempt to make people see we have a much bigger elephant in the room. Good day to all.