He's one of America's most capable, canny, candid, and independent financial experts. Now David M. Walker sounds a call to action. Comeback America is a tough-minded, innovative, inspiring guide to help us avoid the approaching economic abyss and put the country back on track again.
As comptroller general of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO)—"the nation's top auditor"—Walker warned Congress and the administration as the federal surplus became a giant deficit under George W. Bush. As president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, he now works full-time to raise public awareness regarding mounting debt burdens being imposed on future generations. Comeback America is his crucial manifesto, a way for President Obama to end out-of-control government spending and reform our tax, retirement, health care, defense, and other systems—before it's too late.
Walker believes that by 2030, absent significant reforms to current government programs and policies, federal taxes could double from current levels, meaning less money and poorer education for kids—which will hurt families along with our nation's economic strength and position in the world. If our foreign creditors—such as China—decide to buy fewer of our Treasury bonds, interest rates will rise and cars and homes will become less affordable.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Comeback America shows how we can return to our founding principles of fiscal responsibility and stewardship for future generations. The book includes bold ideas to control spending, save Social Security, dramatically alter Medicare, and simplify the tax code—all taking into account the Obama Administration's current efforts, which receive never-before-published assessments both complimentary and critical.
Nonpartisan, nonideological, and filled with a love of the country its esteemed author has spent his life serving, Comeback America is a book for anyone interested in America's economic future—in other words, a book everyone should read.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: Comeback America|
|Release Date: 01-12-2010|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House|
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|Parent title||Comeback America|
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When you give a speech, you're usually trying to deliver a few applause lines and maybe a laugh or two. But when I went out on the road to talk about America's financial crisis, I counted my talk successful if it induced something else: shocked silence.
It wasn't that hard to pull off. All I had to do was deliver a few jarring facts. "Our country is in a $56 trillion financial hole as of September 30, 2008," I would tell my audiences. "Therefore, if you are part of a typical American family, your household has about $483,000 in debt you probably don't know about." Shocked silence.
"Maybe you have a mortgage on your house," I would continue. "Well, your share of the national IOU is like a huge second or possibly third mortgage, amounting to almost ten times your annual household income-and in this case you don't even have a house to show for it."
I had them hooked.
As I said, it isn't that hard to shock people with the simple facts. Most Americans I encounter simply do not realize how rapidly our national financial obligations have grown-and how far short we are of having adequate resources to deliver on our promises. Our financial condition is as important to our national security as our military strength. Yet many of us don't have a clue about how recklessly our leaders have managed America's finances-and how vulnerable you, I, and our children are as a result.
Some of the questions I get after my speeches show this basic confusion. People ask: Whom do we owe all this money to? And what does it matter that the federal government is in debt? All it has to do is print more money.
Or they ask: If the government's spendi...