I.O.U.S.A. - One Nation. Under Debt. In Stress.

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I.O.U.S.A. - One Nation. Under Debt. In Stress.As the average American can attest, personal debt is bad enough, but as Thomas Jefferson once cautioned, public debt is corruptive of the government and demoralizing of the nation. Patrick Creadon's I.O.U.S.A. documents the efforts of two concerned citizens, former US Comptroller General Dave Walker and Concord Coalition Director Robert Bixby, to explain how America racked up over $9.5 trillion in debt and what we can do to stem the tide.

Based on the book Empire of Debt by William Bonner and Executive Producer Addison Wiggin, Wordplay's Creadon combines Walker and Bixby's Fiscal Wake-Up Tour with observations from former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, former Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Paul O'Neill, superstar CEO Warren Buffett, and student activists.

The information flows with ease and the clips from Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show add levity to an undeniably dark and timely topic, but the narrative rests on a long list of facts and figures, leading to a production that feels more like a special news report than a work of cinema.

Unlike Alex Gibney's Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, on which co-writer/producer Christine O'Malley (Creadon's wife) assisted, character development takes a backseat to data. Arguably, the director lacks an out-sized personality, like Enron's Kenneth Lay, around which to assemble his argument, but the subject calls for more of a human face to have the desired effect, i.e. to encourage beleaguered taxpayers to care enough to rise up off their easy-chairs and agitate for greater fiscal responsibility.

Watch the full documentary now

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Ratings: 7.50/10 from 24 users.
  • Luke Wilson

    Interesting documentary. Abit doomsdayish though... its 2010 now anybody know what the american national deficit is??? is it the 10 trillion they had projected?

  • Hardy

    It is estimated to be around:

    12,842,000,000,000 $.

    If I read correctly, that is 12.84 Trillion US Dollars. Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not particularly good with numbers above the 'hundred-thousand-range'.

  • Luke Wilson

    If thats the case hardy, then the people who made this documentary were dead right in there projections... Looks to me like america is headed into some financial problems.. One would also think that the universal health care bill that Barack Obama pushed through will also add to the deficit as the government forks out the bill for health care... Only logical question I can ask now is, WHO IS GOING TO PAY?? I can only think that this fiscal hole has become tooo big that the whole thing has to be reset somehow and start from scratch.... Am no expert but unless they start inventing money outta nowhere the hole is only gonna get bigger and bigger...

  • Luke Wilson

    Wow according to that site Circle, the debt to GDP ratio is 89% and only getting bigger... When they were making this documentary it was like 20% less than that, I cant remember exactly the number but somewhere in that region. That means that in the space of 2-3 yrs it has balloooned... wow at this rate america is gonna be the rest of the worlds property... I'd like to see an economist or a docu explaining what would actually happen when the debt is greater than the GDP.. Maybe it isnt that bad as these guys make it out to be..

  • Achems Razor

    They do invent money out of nowhere, it is all fiat currency, meaning there is nothing to back it up.

    They print money out of thin air. It is called the Federal Reserve, which is not federal at all! just a name the Bankers gave it.

  • Hardy

    If you ask me, it's about priorities.

    The USA have been waging a war against human rights and still have one of the biggest military forces on the world.

    And Americans are complaining about 'taxes being too high'? A basic healthcare-reform?

    Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

  • HaTe_MaChInE

    I see it this way.

    Debt = bad
    but
    little debt = little bad

    When my parents bought the house I grew up in it cost $80,000. At the time my father only made $20,000. So assuming he had no other debt my pops had a 4 to 1 debt load. Sounds pretty bad but he managed to pay it off and actually save up enough to retire early.

    Now if the current debt is 12T and the GDP is 14T that is a debt load of .86 to 1. Nothing compared to my fathers debt that he paid off. And i bet most people reading this has WAY more debt then .86 to 1.

    Im not saying that its a good thing to be in debt and Im not recommending getting into more debt im just saying that it is easily manageable if done right.

    @Luke Wilson-I think the film clearly demonstrated who gets credit for the debt... No reason to throw mud. The last I read the health care bill will cost a about 180billion over the next 10 years. Dont panic, if you do a bit or reading and study some basic economy you will see that although upside down, the US is not the fiery meter some make it out to be.

    If worse comes to worse we nuke our creditors. The reason we spend half of our money on "defense" is so no one can every collect unless we let them.

  • HaTe_MaChInE

    @Hardy- The US fell into the role of world policeman. Not long ago the us was criticized for "allowing" 2 world wars to happen. What other country devoted so much to stop Stallin and Co. Where were these countries when someone had to stand watch at the Berlin wall. Where were these countries when the US spent untold amounts on missile defense for Europe. Where were these countries when the US drew a line in the sand stopping the North Koreans from progressing further south. Im not saying the US is perfect Im just saying that if someone had a better idea maybe they might want to take the reins for a while.

  • HaTe_MaChInE

    @Achems Razor - Im pretty sure ALL money is fiat money. If its not fiat money its good old fashioned barter. And if you pick up a history book you will learn that NO country has ever survived on barter.

    Once again ill give you the definition of the word you clearly don't understand.

    fiat money
    Money that a government has declared to be legal tender, despite the fact that it has no intrinsic value and is not backed by reserves.

    And don't think that gold backing makes money better. Gold itself has almost no intrinsic value. Unless you start making bullets out of it.

  • HaTe_MaChInE

    @Achems Razor - I apologize sir. I misread your comment. I feel your comprehension of fiat money is sound.

  • WTC7

    Just a brief interruption, gold itself indeed does not have any intrinsic value. It could be replaced by grain, rice, or whatever else humans have agreed to value and put an agreed 'price' to it. During the Gold Standard the inflation never exceeded 1%. Look at the drop of the value of the dollar since the Gold Standard was abolished

  • HaTe_MaChInE

    @WTC7- If you fix your currency against gold, your currency will never "inflate" against gold. But it will inflate against other goods. If you look at the economy during WWI you will see that the United States dollar actually lost most of its buying power for no other reason then it was backed by gold. At a time when no country had a use for gold the US gold backed currency was near worthless. Even though you could still buy a troy ounce with $20.37 cents, it took more gold to buy the same goods. From 1913 through 1920 inflation (as measured by the CPI) had increased by almost 98%.

    So sir it is not a mystery that you could not buy the same with a dollar in 1970 as you could in 1901. That is not rocket science... just ask the nearest old person.

  • WTC7

    Fair point, HaTe_MaChInE (eh, you could have found an easier way to type your name :-) ). The thing is that the war changed everything. The gold standard worked perfectly well until the WWI. Why? One of the disadvantages of it is that the GS could lead to shortage of money as no country could issue more of it than it was backed by gold. The WWI brought strain to governments as they needed more money to back the war effort, and it certainly didn't work well during the great depression as more money was needed for social programs, made necessary because of the devastation caused by the war. Yes, that is a disadvantage of the gold standard. But I still believe that fiat currency that we have now is much worse as it opens doors to currency speculations.

  • WTC7

    HaTe_MaChInE, just checked the data. It is also true that from 1920 to 1940 the inflation has been on a constant path downwards, so in 1920 it was almost 98%, whereas in 1940 it was a bit over 40% (keeping in mind that the US abolished the GS in 1933).

    In 2008, the inflation in comparison to 1913 was over 2,000%.

  • http://www.instinctualism.org PHILIP VAN DER MUDE

    this video is about a symptom ..not a problem,

    i met a young man on the street today a working man , in the service industry the only work rally around - thankyou ray-gun nomics ... he and his simple DEREDS and t shirt and shorts and simple vehihcle reminded me

    instinctualism.org .... eve sat in the cave protected with fire and talked and talked and talked braiding her hair with her girl friends building jewelery for her self and to ADORNE her male to show social status ,,he on the other hand had to take all that uselsess tuff off while he went silently out on the hunt , hiding under a bannas leaf in the rain ..... in ambush of fresh protein dense meats ... she gathered in the safety ot the harem unit of her fellow females ..froma natural bounty of passed down wild foods planted an replanted near the cave over millions of years .

    so my new young freind ,,, loves surfing fishing and GIRLS ... surfing and fishing cost nothing . the girls well when he goes into HER WORLD ... it is not waves ans sea weed it is .... consumer insnatiy .

    another friend just divorced .. boungt another ATRACTION device ... a 99k harley package .... when he an i are together it is with old used fishing poles and and seweed and waves fishing ,,now to get the attention of EVE ... he creates DEBT .... insanity .

    and again look backwards inhistory to find the same issues breeping in , yet not discussed for it is ...... well you will ot attract girls by trashing girls and well girls ..are imporatnat ...

  • Luke Wilson

    Is philip Van der Mude high?

  • Luke Wilson

    I went to your site Philip and all i have to say is that its weird beyond belief!! New age stuff taken to a whole new stratosphere... I hope you dont believe in any of that stuff... the 60's are over.

  • WTC7

    Well, HaTe_MaChInE, in any case thanks for the chart, I'll try to find other sources and compare it with them when I get to it. The truth is that I'm certainly not a monetary expert (far away from it :-) ), just trying to get pieces I studied at some point superficially from the memory.

    Cheers

    P.S. Will just kindly ask you not to call me 'sir' next time ;-), don't have what it takes....

  • silkop

    As HaTe_MaChInE pointed out (in other words), U.S. is the world's bully. This fact is seldom mentioned in videos about U.S. debt. The closest this particular documentary came to mentioning it was by reproducing Buffet's roundabout remarks about a risk of "political instability" and making a half-hearted comparison with the Roman Empire.

    The right question to ask is: what happens when a bully defaults on his debts? To consider it, we can scale down the scenario to a smaller, easier to imagine model. Suppose that you have a gang lead in your neigborhood (that's U.S.) who likes to extort ("borrow") money from other neighbors without ever paying back. Or he doesn't even bother to get their money, just takes a trip around the neigborhood and collects goods handing out IOUs to their former owners.

    The goods he likes to collect most are alcohol and drugs for his gang, but he also takes care to "purchase" some good weaponry in order to keep his bully status. From time to time he stomps his feet when other bullies try to get lucky (that's HaTe_MaChInE's policeman role), making sure that he always remains the No. 1 bully.

    The alcohol and drugs come from a somewhat poorer neighbor who has a big family and who forces his underage kids to produce cheaply (that's China's government and population). The poorer neighbor is not dumb, however, and is aspiring to become No. 1 bully in the future. In fact, he also stockpiles some weaponry. However, not being as affluent and established as the present No. 1 bully, his arsenal is smaller and of inferior quality. The alcohol/drug trade is not all bad for the poor family; the No. 1 bully's IOUs are being accepted by other neighbors as currency and so can be exchanged for some practical goods that the poor family needs. So in sum the family is becoming happier and wealthier by means of this trade.

    As time progresses, the No. 1 bully keeps demanding even more alcohol and drugs while other neighbors start getting an idea that bartering goods with others directly may be more profitable than using his IOUs, of which he produces increasing amounts without any real promise of converting them back to goods at any time.

    At some point the poor neighbor decides that it's a better idea to sell drugs/alcohol to other neighbors rather than to the No. 1 bully. However, the gang is now addicted and MUST have drugs/alcohol on a regular basis. Some gang members are starting to bitch around that the gang leader is doing a bad job and should be replaced by another gang leader. Some suggest that he has been too mild toward the neighborhood.

    Consequently, a new gang leader is "democratically elected" by the gang (the old gang leader ends his career in concrete shoes or escapes to live at another neighbor's). The new gang leader knows that desperate times demand desperate measures, so he launches a raid on the poor neighbor's drug & alcohol warehouse to grab by force what his gang truly deserves. Possibly, he invents a good story beforehand about how this action must be undertaken to protect the poor family of his neighbor against their oppressive family head.

    The bully gang then arrives in the backyard of the poor neighbor, shouting slogans like "down with your dictator father", "we are the liberators", "give us booze and drugs" (this one shouted by less tactful gang members). However, it turns out that the poor neighbor has prepared his family for this assault and that his weapons are not longer as outdated as the gang believed. In short, the bully gang's ass is kicked and they return home without alcohol and drugs, and with much fewer members. The newly elected gang leader is thrown down once again, the poor neighbor strikes back and takes away all the weapons and becomes the new No. 1 bully.

    Alternatively, the No. 1 bully finds out about the poor neighbor's improved arsenal beforehand by interviewing neighbors (spying) and realizes that invading the poor neighbor would be a disaster. They are forced into submission and must not only stop taking drugs and alcohol, but also hand out whatever valuables they have amassed during the good times.

    Of course, if the No. 1 bully invades early enough, he may actually prevail over the poor neighbor and extend his bully status for a longer time.

    There is also a slight possibility that the No. 1 bully realizes that the best way to proceed is to form a bully coalition with the strongest neighbors, and cut his own gang's spending on booze and drugs before it gets out of hand and causes his demise. However, this doesn't seem to be working, and when the realization comes too late, the No. 2 bully may not be interested to include the former No. 1 bully in the coalition.

    I'd like to see a US-debt documentary which deals with such scenarios instead of bs-ing about intergenerational problems and morality or spreading conspiracy theories about the Fed.

  • frank

    so each household owes close to 200k to be able to pay down the deficit?

    well, ill need some wallstreet type bonus to be able to make that kind of a payment.

    IMO the trade deficit has a easy explanation. we have too much stuff to buy these days. too much advertising to push us to buy products. too many products to choose from. too many people in every step of manufacturing, transport, advertising, to retailing. every person along every step of the process taking their 30% cut adds up to a price that does not reflect value.

    basicly everyone rips everyone else off, and the real cost is always handed down to the masses of consumers.

  • del

    the economic infrastructure of the US was designed this way on purpose, its no accident or mistake, this debt level is just a stage in a long process, soon their wont be any currency when all the money is digitalised anyway.
    they will use this to bring about globalisation, "oh the dollar is collapsing! lets join a continental currency similar to the euro to solve our problems!"
    they want us to be in debt! they want unemployment so people end up in the military! look at the military applicant numbers since the recession... seems like some 1 is preparing for something big.

  • deary me

    F*** THE SYSTEM!!!! LEARN TO FARM AND GROW UR OWN CROPS!!!! SELF SUSTAINABILITY IS THE ONLY WAY

  • Randy

    I'm an old guy, and I have been dragged around the block a couple-three times, so I offer this important advice on personal debt to all you younguns. I learned the hard way.

    There is "good" debt and bad debt:

    Good debt; Home mortgage, because as you pay you build actual equity that becomes an asset. The best debt.

    Student loans; because the better your education, the better potential for a high paying job.

    Car loan; least good. Depreciation loses equity, but cars are still considered assets and mobility can mean a larger variety of work prospects.

    BAD DEBT!!

    CREDIT CARDS; worst debt of all! Slavery to banks. Try as hard as you can to live without credit cards! Revolving debt costs you money even if you never use it. The rules are stacked against you. Terrible, evil, demonic debt!

    Never, never, if you have credit cards, use them to pay for gas, food, (groceries or restaraunts)or any other instantly consumable product. You'll be paying interest for ten years on something that is gone tomorrow.

    My wife and I have lived without plastic for over 14 years now. Everything we own, (except the house), we buy in cash. If we don't have the cash, we just can't afford it. If we need it, we save up for it. Show mature patience and discipline and you can avoid the horrors of revolving debt.

    Hope this helps.

    RANDY

  • http://www.instinctualism.org PHILIP VAN DER MUDE

    the 60's were an attempt at change ,,, when you felt of your Board ( surf or skate ) did you just give up , well ?

    when i hear people say talk about he 60's as a time of failure , i shack my head and say so what have you done tha tis better over the last 40 years ?

    instincutalism is ..out of the box , true on true alter-native .

  • JC

    This doc is a bit old, but it gives a logical historical perspective with some excellent info.

  • Nikk

    I just think it's pretty funny that EVERY time I go to the bank the teller says, "Oh I see you're in college! How about signing up for our credit card?". I've NEVER had a credit card, never want one and only buy things with money I already own. It's even funnier when people look at me like I just spoke Japanese when I tell them this. It's just a simple matter of non-instant gratification and patience for what I want. Call me old fashioned but I don't owe anybody SHIT.

    In the matter of the US as the world police I just have to say it's all about a lack of sustainability. The fact of the matter is that there has never been a 'world policeman' in history and can't ever be a successful one. Fighting a particularly long and protracted war against another super power is one thing. But to then say, "hey...we're the only ones left standing...FREE FOR ALL!" is foolish and furthermore, America is going to pay an immense debt in blood and money.

    It's inevitable because we're one bad slip of the tongue away from pointing our finger in the chest of a country that holds ALOT of our debt (*cough* China *cough*) who is then going to say "Oh you're gonna invade us? With what army? We think we want our money NOW."

    To the person above who talked about the Chinese army; you were just wrong. The Chinese army IS ill equipped but they have been refitting their forces since the early 90s and there are two other factors. First, the Chinese army is MASSIVE and second, it's all just sitting in China. Unlike our military, the Chinese have the capability to pick ANY point on the map where US forces are stationed (other than the mainland US) and wipe out anything we have there in one massive invasion. My dad has been in the army for over 20 years and has told me that at any one time our current deployable force is about 60,000 regular army (which is different from the national guard which are basically militia), some of which is already fighting in iraq and afghanistan. Which means our strike capability anywhere in the world is laughable to what the Chinese can do. Just as important is the fact that even though most of our strength comes from technology, people tend to forget that we haven't fought a comparable western-style military since the Japanese and the Germans and the Chinese have some nasty technological tricks up their sleeves as well.

    Finally, it is worth noting that we have already had a military encounter with the Chinese and that was in Korea. People forget that we basically destroyed the North Koreans and pushed them all the way back to the Yalu River but that it was the PLA who came over the river in droves and almost pushed us into the ocean. There would be no North Korea if it wasn't for the Chinese military and McArthur was sacked as the commander of NATO forces because he proposed the invasion of mainland China which would've been just as disastrous as the invasion of mainland Japan would've been.

  • Yohann

    There is a simple but radical solution to the dept problem. The American government must nationalize large corporations and take the spare money that the super rich don't even need. Clothes and other commodities should be produced domestically. Instead of importing oil they should use renewable energy and produce biofuels to be sold abroad which would get rid of dependence and maximise profits. Military funds will have to be reduced and all troops abroad should return and the borders closed from all other nations.
    All this doesn't have to be a dictatorship, citizens should support it democratically

  • http://davidforalaska.com David Haase

    The People’s Bailout
    The International Banks are taking over with plans to squeeze as much money out of you and your children and their children forever by keeping you in debt. We the people can fix it if we act soon; you do not need to be an Einstein to understand it, this is very simple. We need to take the tool they are using against the people away from them; the nameless, faceless tyrants and give it to the people to whom it rightly belongs.

    Most people know something is terribly wrong that should or could easily be fixed if only? But most people and many politicians do not understand how to fix it. That is why I am running for the Senate in Alaska. I know how to fix it. If I can help two of you to understand and you do the same for two more and so on, in time the whole country would understand. If you understand that logic, you can understand the banking system’s trap for you. If you don’t, please don’t stop reading, we are all wired differently. Most people see the truth when exposed to enough of it, we have been given a vast amount of disinformation over a long period of time so you may need a lot of the truth in different lights to finally see clearly. The only people who do not figure it out are the ones who don’t actively seek out the truth, they simply shrug it off with a laugh or the ones that say “not me I will be gone by rapture” or those that loose themselves in ridicule of the idea; no one has found a constructive reason why what is proposed will not work, because it will work and it is very simple. A round earth was a hard sell to the flat world believers; after all in their day they were the majority.

    It is time for the "Peoples Bailout" before it is too late; this is the how we do it.
    1. Federalize the Federal Reserve and place it under Congressional control and oversight.
    2. Pay the entire national debt off, with non-interest bearing notes (Greenbacks as Abraham Lincoln did).
    3. Place responsibility for funding Social Security, Medicare and a Citizen Dividend to the Federalized Federal Reserve Corporation. (Next to the new consumer protection agency.)
    4. Abolish the individual income tax. (Having no interest to pay our government will not need this source of revenue).
    5. Plan a return to the banking system our founders gave us, to protect us from what has happened. (We need to get our gold back before going on a gold standard.)
    The results would be more wealth for every citizen.
    1. Every tax cut in the past has stimulated the economy; zero income taxes on people would really stimulate it.
    2. Jobs will be everywhere as the free enterprise “can do” attitude is unbridled and untaxed and all those foreign dollars collecting interest will come back seeking U.S. goods and services. The money as interest the Federal Reserve takes out of circulation would be returned to the people and therefore kept in circulation.
    3. The International Monetary Fund would be obliged to return our gold as the debt it secures has been paid in full. Going back on the gold standard might become desirable.
    4. Foreign countries will no longer be able to hold American dollars and get interest for doing so. The incentive for them to spend them on American goods and services will increase ten fold as the market laws of Mercantilism take hold our balance of payments with others countries will improve drastically.
    5. Once again the United States can show the world a better way.
    Do you know? If not, for the sake of those you love find out!
    1. What fiat money is? This is essential to understanding the financial crisis.
    2. How "Fractional Reserve Banking" works?
    3. What the "New World Order" is about?
    4. Money is created as debt but only enough to pay the debt, not enough to pay the interest and the debt. The only way to get more money for the interest is more debt, with more interest. Are you starting to get it? Soon the banks own everything.
    5. Find the truth. Google it, while you still can.
    If we do not get this fixed all the other issues will be irrelevant; so will you and I.

    Our founding fathers knew the laws of Mercantilism as evidenced by the constitution they gave us. The international bankers of today are the heirs of the very people our founding fathers kept in check with our constitution. These modern day moneychangers plan to ruin us as a nation using the laws of Mercantilism and take over controlling us with bank credit and FEMA camps for the resisters. Why is Obama calling for “a civilian force equal to and as well funded as the military”?

    Ben Franklin said 1813, "The real reason for the war's because they the crown took our currency."
    Thomas Jefferson said in 1809: “Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered”.
    Andrew Jackson called them organized crooks.
    Woodrow Wilson said on his death bed in 1924: "I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

    The money changers are carying out this tyrany against almost every nation in the world and have been for centurys. My high school history teacher taught his students that the French army was sent to Mexico in 1864 to collect money owed the European banks. The Greeks who gave us Democracy might again be teachng the world as they refuse to pay their debt to these tyrants of today.

    Citizen, it is your duty to find out the truth and stand up against tyranny.
    “Not everything on the Internet is true however the truth is there.” Mary Ruwart.”

    The best tool I have seen is an animated presentation of how the system started with the goldsmith of long ago called “Money as Debt”.
    A couple of good books: None Dare call it Conspiracy by Gary Allen 1971 The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin 1994
    Don’t be deceived by any means. A lot of concerned citizens are putting the truth on the Internet seek it out. You will not find it in the mainstream media.

  • Robyn

    How can we expect an elected official that spent $20,000,000 in campaign contributions to attain a $400,000 a year job to be fiscally responsible? That is a 2% return on the investment! It would take 50 years just break even. It wasn’t his money he was spending during the campaign and it isn’t his money he will be spending during his Presidency. This isn’t a Democrat vs. Republican issue; it is a persistent problem no matter who is in power.

    The real problem, in my opinion, comes from corporate lobbying. Most of the contributions came from corporations whose only interest is making money, period. Because candidates accept and spend this money they are obligated to do the will of the corporate sponsors.

    Before the 1990’s corporations viewed their workforce as their most valuable asset and treated them as such by giving them decent retirement plans, good health care and a respectable income. Because of corporate lobbying NAFTA was passed which put a stake in the heart of the U.S. economy. Corporations are allowed to outsource American jobs to Mexico, India and China (just to name a few places) in an attempt to increase profits. In the 21st century, the most valuable corporate asset is the stockholder (a finicky bunch at best).

    We hardly manufacture anything in the United States anymore. Every year more corporations send American jobs overseas. Even computer tech support, an American icon, is outsourced to India.

    One last thing I would like to say about this issue is the condition of the American dollar. There is a gold standard in the global market and in the 1960’s when it cost 32 American dollars to buy an ounce of gold, the dollar was worth one dollar on the global market. Now it cost more than $1,000 to buy an ounce of gold…meaning that our dollar is now worth 3 cents.

  • ReligionIsntAllBad

    It is interesting to see all the glitterbug mentality surrounding the value of precious metals, which are as inherently worthless as currency if not worse. At least with fiat money you can control your own supply, and you don't end up getting wampum cheated from an outside source.

    Also the suggestion that the US would use their military to prevent China from collecting their debt is as ridiculous as the concept that China would all of a sudden completely divest itself of US assets :D

    Good documentary :)

  • Alex

    Wow.. Thanks Goodness I'm not an American !

  • Goodie9000

    why did it take this GAO GUY (David "moon" Walker) seven yrs or so in to George W's administration to resign from office..this guy may be telling the truth but I think he also jumped asinking ship just in the time. (selfish)

    Practically everyone that submitted (or held office) for at least 2 or more yrs under the last administration has got some questionable character if u ask me.

  • Rationalist

    [Hate_Machine], there is a big flaw in your logic with regards to your father's debt compared to the government debt. Sure his debt to income ratio was 4:1 compared to the now 0.9:1 ratio of the US government. However, he did not have a yearly deficit. During his time, he probably spent 4 to 5 thousands a year on food, clothing, misc if even that leaving 15k to help pay of his debt. Not only does the US government not have enough money to start paying off our debt, it is functioning on a deficit budget which means the debt is only getting bigger. This is not likely to change anytime soon considering the cost of social security is only going to increase and medicare/medicaid will likely increase as well as the trend suggests. Together, those 3 programs make 75% of our government budget and since they are not going to decrease, neither will our deficit budget. The bottom line is that your father had extra money to pay off his mortgage and saved for retirement while the government will not have that luxury anytime in the near future.

  • Hugh Andrews

    The deficit is due as much to insufficient taxing as excess spending. The big problem is the super rich and multinational companies that avoid paying any significant tax by using Off-shore bank accounts and registrations. They own more than 50% of the country's wealth but pay a miniscule proportion of the taxes.

  • Vince

    Great comments.Great discussions! Really Happy that there are smart and AWARE OF WHATS GOING ON people!

  • http://www.lacostepoloshirtscheap.com.au lacoste online

    It is interesting to see all the glitterbug mentality surrounding the value of precious metals, which are as inherently worthless as currency if not worse.

  • wpsmithjr

    Elect Ron Paul.

    He's the only one who understands that the Fed is the cause of all our woes.

    ALL OF THEM.

    Rich, international banksters should not control the issuance of our money, and money should be gold and silver.

    PERIOD.

  • wpsmithjr

    You people with your "make the rich pay it all" mentality make me sick. I'm assuming your probably a dem. Do you really think that we're going to fix the problem by increasing taxes on the people who make the economy run?

    I'll give you a hint.... NO. For one, the rich already pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. The top 5 percent also already pay about 40-50% of the entire income tax pool collected. And guess what? You could tax EVERYONE making more than $500,000/yr at A RATE OF 100% and it still wouldn't be enough to pay the yearly deficit. It would shut down the entire economy though.

    Now, I do agree we need to make the rich bring their overseas money back to the U.S., but why do you think they are leaving overseas? To avoid paying high tax rates. Increasing taxes will not get them to bring the money back home... in fact, it will do just the opposite.

    We need to reduce the size of the federal government LIKE CRAZY. (In accordance with our own constitution.) The feds are sucking the private sector dry.

  • wpsmithjr

    Yeah... daddy was probably working on paying his debt off. We, the U.S., just keep increasing ours... with no end in sight.

    The unfunded liabilities for medicare, medicaid and S.S. are more than the GDP of the ENTIRE WORLD.

  • Nick F

    A currency that holds intrinsic value is not worthless. Silver has many industrial uses, so does gold (gold more so as a store of value that can be measured by weight and purity - though it can be used as a substitute for silver in certain applications). Whatever you argue, gold has been used as currency for over 6000 years, mainly for it's consistency in terms of weight and purity (unlike paper dollars which can have any number you (or the government chooses to spend as they hold the monopoly on it's issuance) like on them). A pre-1964 dime with 90% silver content would buy a gallon of gasoline today, much the same as about 4-5 US dollars, bearing in mind that silver can be used for more productive applications than a piece of paper can. Secondly, because silver has to be mined first, and it is the second most used commodity next to oil, the supply of 'money' in this form means that there wont be more available currency in the economy as opposed to the pieces of paper with numbers printed on them with nothing to back them up, I.e a 'fake' economy, than there should be in order for the nations industrial base for example, or it's means to self sustain and produce goods and services effectively without any interference from the government, which has never been good for productivity. In the end, whatever your position, every nation, which has debased its currency in this form or another, has crashed and burned, there is a reason the founding fathers of the United States of America included in the constitution a clause for the death sentence for anyone that does.

  • Robert Allen

    this is fed propaganda, the system is inflationary. go research on mises.org

  • http://thewhatsupdocs.blogspot.com/ What's Up Docs?

    Bad fiscal management, Mideast wars and "Girls Gone Wild" weekends didn't undermine the American economy. And the Baby Boomer retirement isn't anyone's fault either - it's an issue many nations are scrambling to overcome.

    This documentary uses the coming Baby Boomer retirement as an excuse to promote the director's personal agenda for economic reform.

    America has been through a lot in the past few years; you would hope that filmmakers would stop using scare tactics to shock an already traumatized nation that's needs stability, long-term solutions and faith in their democracy.

    America: you will deal with your Baby Boomers just fine.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JNIWLD2N7KE6YWLCZBXZ5EC3RQ Yusiley S

    *sighs* The invisible IUOs of the US (national debt) is too large to really be solved with single minded solutions, even that of taxing the rich more. Also are we that stupid? Debt ? What debt? Isn't money some imaginary concept humans created.. all this stock exchange garbage is just some advanced game we're playing. This money... It's not even real... especially now that it has as much value as the colorful papers that make up the money for the Monopoly game. >_> I agree with a previous post here... we need to bring back gold and silver as the currency value in order for us to continue to play this dumb game. It's a pity billions are still playing it even though we know deep down it's all fake, made up by the few elites to separate us further.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WI5T2SLUXJBKR3TVNULCHTYACE OnTheLvL

    If you had any notion of why metallic monies were abandoned you would realize bringing them back are not the solution. Shaving and debasing were the main reasons we now have Fiat monies and the reason we will not resort to the past monetary systems.

  • http://twitter.com/ikp4success Immanuel George

    14 trillion and counting

  • g.p. little

    Mostly bullshit disinformation propaganda. We must refuse to pay the bullshit loans and obviously interest that were "loaned" to us by bankers who created this "money" from nothing using the treasury. We must END THE FEDERAL RESERVE. We must not pay them another dime.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Young-MO/1851383631 Young MO

    i know this particular one is kind of old but i am finding these documentaries to be a bit redundant. the national debt is 15 trillion now...

  • Smithersonn

    Ron Paul, gold and silver would only be a temporary solution as they can still be corrupted, true change comes from within each individual utilized through the masses. Unless our (being the majority) values change it doesn't matter if it's dollars, gold or Chickens that we use.. people will still want more.

  • http://twitter.com/WeedRols Rolands

    LOL it is more than 15 trillion now :D GOOD JOB AMERICA! Pay up to the rest of the world NOW! we could use that money and maybe achieve KYOTO goals.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ABN37MIPRDMRW3UX3U3LJOVLSA manfruss

    Sounds like the world needs a rethink of our monetary-market system. :) Or a very nice and simple debt forgiveness week.

  • topcommenter

    the debtor is slave to the lender

  • Ken Chapman

    What about the fact that the Federal Reserve is a PRIVATE for Profit Corp? That is a HUGE part of the story that Nobody wants to mention........

  • Kenneth Kelly

    The people could do something about this national debt problem if they would get involved with their local government and as they say make it better from the bottom because the people on the bottom now will be in DC soon.... You voters have to do something about your own debt. Don't you realize that the interest you pay is a very large source for the Pete Petersons are very wealthy. You are giving them your money every time you use credit. I paid off all my debts in 1977 and have never paid interest since. Now I live quite well with the income you that do use credit is giving me. I am a small investor however it does provide more than I need so I can have some for a rainy day. You can if you want help the nation do the same.

  • walterbyrd

    Wow. Making a big fuss over $8.7 trillion. It's about twice that now.