Friday, August 04, 2006

Financial Disaster - Coming to country (very) near you

I usually don't get the chance to quote from NewsMAX, but this one is so depressing I have to pass it on:

U.S. Comptroller General Warns the Nation of Economic Calamity

Here's the reader's digest version:
The Comptroller General [Walker] of the United States warns the nation will go broke within a generation - unless it takes radical steps now to rein in out-of-control federal spending.

Walker has revealed America's collision course in computer simulations that show balancing the budget in 2040 (under the status quo of spending like there's no tomorrow) could require cutting total federal spending by an incredible 60 percent - or raising federal taxes 200 percent over today's level.

Among his key assessments:

  • Prescription Drugs:: Walker says that the prescription drug plan is the "poster case for what is wrong with Washington."

    He notes that when Congress first took up the matter of Medicare prescription drugs, estimates placed the cost at $300 billion.

    But he argues that both Congress and the administration simply downplayed or ignored the true costs of the program. Today, the nation will have to pay out for the program $8 trillion-plus in current dollar terms.

    Walker also detailed that when the Medicare actuary of the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services calculated the true costs of the program, he "was told he could not tell the Congress or else he might lose his job."

    "That not only was unethical but it was illegal, and nobody has been held accountable for it," an angry Walker said.

  • Defense Budget: Walker argues that Defense Department simply is out of control and that basic rules of accountability don't apply.

    He said that although it received a whopping $500 billion in appropriations, the Defense Department "is the only agency in the federal government that cannot adequately account for its assets and its expenditures - and cannot withstand an outside financial statement audit."

    Walker grades the agency with a "D" on "economy, efficiency, transparency, and accountability." He added, "And it has not been held accountable."

  • The Nation's Debt: Walker says the United States risks losing its pre-eminence around the globe because of its growing status as a debtor nation.

    He ominously notes that "last year was the first year since 1933 that Americans spent more money than they took home and, as you probably recall, 1933 was not a good year for the United States."

    Because the United States has to rely on foreign central banks to finance its deficits, it places itself in a high-risk situation.

    "It means that other players hold an increasing percentage of our nation's mortgage; and it means the debt service is going to go overseas rather than domestic; and it means that we will have less leverage on them with regard to economic, foreign policy and national security issues - and they will have more leverage on us."

  • All this brought to you buy the Bush administration and their special brand of conservatism...


    skip sievert said...

    The system as we know it has no future except for a sort of fascist/authoritarian regime of control through using technology against the people. They will still call it Democracy.-// The system would have no problem killing a hundred million Americans if that would be what it took to maintain the status quo. Sound crazy.? Think about it , when the system collapses, and forget about decades from now, this could happen in 24 hours, they will still seek to preserve our cracy way of thinking and doing business , our business and religious so called ethics. As the bubble that is our culture gets bigger and bigger and things spin more out of control, the power possessors still seek the same answers that have proven to have not worked in this machine age. Human life is not a big factor with the current power possessors. ---- Let me put it this way. "Any one who will do one thing to one person, will do it to another." --- As we have bombed, starved, crippled other societies there is no doubt that we will turn on ourselves much the same way.---/ America has not been a place of creative ideas for a long time. We are known now throughout the world as a dangerous renegade promoter of absurd ideas that we promote as truth and reality. -- The world has it in their power to punish us. This is because they know what makes us tick. Money. -- We here are also are filled with doubt and self loathing to live in a culture that values nothing. How can any one be proud of America.? - There are forces coming together soon to collapse our way of life. Our own forces and others. Then things get interesting. We will change. The beauty of the future is that no one knows exactly how. the next most probable would suggest that it will not be pleasant in the short term. At all.

    bombsoverbaghdad said...

    Unfortunately, empires don't die nicely. They die ugly deaths. I'm learning to live with a lot less now so it won't be painful when it goes down.

    skip sievert said...

    It will be our choice to make a good future. The present system won`t be viable. Your approach is good in the sense that if every body cut their consumtion even a fraction the system would go down overnight , and that would be good. -- Then things get weird and also interesting. Then change is possible. If we try to hold on the present template we destroy every body, then ourselves. Any bets.? Don`t know. I will try and do what I can.

    Capt. Fogg said...

    As for me, I'm learning Chinese.

    Dzai dien, dude.