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.
©2010 Random House Audio; ©2010 David Walker
"David Walker shows us how to regain fiscal sanity and why, if we don't, we're at risk of bequeathing a lower standard of living to our children and becoming a second-rate power. Every American should read this book, because Walker gives us specific solutions, and shows there is still hope." (Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley)
"Please read this book by David Walker. No one has worked harder, been armed with more facts, written more clearly and been more dedicated to the mission of restoring confidence in our fiscal affairs and trust in government." (Paul Volcker, Chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board and Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve)
"Dave Walker has lifted the hood on the federal government, diagnosed the problems, and provided a number of sensible suggestions to help restore America's greatness. Read this book if you care about America's future." (Ross Perot)
Those that listen to this book in its entirety will discover that the author does an excellent job of providing a detailed plan for fixing our financial system. Anyone that states otherwise failed to listen to the entire book or he or she allowed their political biases to cloud their assessment of this offering.
Ok, the subject matter is dry, but this book is so important that it should be required reading for every citizen. If you can't bring yourself to read it, then at least watch the documentary film I.O.U.S.A., which prominently features the author and at least reveals the basic financial problems facing all of us. The book gives some possible solutions. He tackles every sacred cow in government.
This is not an 'easy' book and isn't a 'good feeling' story, but it is a book that every American should read and think about.
Mr. Walker draws on his experience to clearly state what he sees as major issues facing our country. I believe these are valid issues that may well impact the future of this country.
The author offers solutions to these issues. Some of those solutions are easy to accept while others are perhaps questionable.
He advocates a value added tax over other forms of taxation while declaring that our tax system must be simplified and more transparent. A VAT is certainly more simplified, but it is definitely not transparent. In fact it may well encourage our government to increase taxes without it being apparent to the taxpayer.
It isn't important that we agree with his solutions. What is important is that we are aware of the problems facing our country and we start the process of resolving those problems.
It will be difficult to change our culture from 'let others pay for my benefits' to one of 'let's share the burden' but that is exactly what needs to happen and this book is a very good explanation of why that change is necessary.
I was very disappointed to find that the web site he mentions at the end of his book is not yet up and running. I hope this failure will be corrected soon.
To more excellence
The book here is not perfect. And he flouts the constitution, but he's an accountant. He nails the financial issues. Taxes, budgets, policy, all well done.
Walker did a very good job of framing the issue but falls short on providing solutions. The solutions are all based on liberal ideas never once mentioning a more conservative approach. Definitely a Washington bureaucrat's approach to solving the problem.
This book was very appropriate for where we are as a country right now. Even if you don't agree with some of the ideas put forth, it is a wealth of information from a very knowledgeable source.
Unless you think you are going to live forever, this book puts our current financial situation in a clear perspective. Every current politician and member of the Joint Chief of Staff should be required to read this book (assuming they are smart enough to read). David Walker gives us an option on how we can fix this mess before we bury ourselves so deep in the hole and we all have to learn to speak Chinese.
Listening to the first three hours of Comeback America leaves quite a bitter aftertaste. Walker oversimplifies and does not offer the detailed and rich analysis that I so dearly anticipated. Instead of rigorous arguments you are presented with a wild array of narratives and unfounded hypothesis that resemble common stereotypes more than the insight of an experienced statesman. The lack of depth and rigor are thoroughly disappointing. This leaves one wondering how to tackle the inevitably grave challenges that America's finances face. Answers to this are most certainly not found in Comeback America's shallow analysis.
After listening to the first half of the book I have yet to be impressed. He was touted as being non-partisan, however I noticed that he spoke very highly of the Obama administration and the Democrats (which historically have been the big spenders) even though they have increased the spending over the previous Bush administration (which was out of control). He doesn't give a lot of suggestions as to fix the problems just points them out. The only real solution was to raise taxes which could be why he seems to be such a big Obama supporter.
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