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Publisher's Summary

The United States has been spending its way deeper and deeper into the red, and saddling future generations with the mess - but who's paying attention?

To answer that question, this companion audiobook to the critically acclaimed documentary I.O.U.S.A. includes some of the most revered voices in the nation, including Warren Buffett; former treasury secretaries Paul O'Neill and Robert Rubin; Pete Peterson, CEO of The Blackstone Group; Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas); and best-selling Empire of Debt author Bill Bonner.

Armed with these interviews, historical references, and damning statistics, this audiobook takes a lively and entertaining romp through the four deficits the nation faces: the budget deficit, the personal savings deficit, the trade deficit - and what former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, who resigned abruptly in 2008 over Congress's lack of action, calls the "leadership deficit" in Washington.

Defiantly non-partisan, the empowering solutions outlined in this audio are a must-listen for any American who wants to help change "business as usual" in Washington as a new administration heads towards the Oval Office. "We the People" can get our politicians to stop spending, promote responsible economic programs, and hand our children and grandchildren the secure future they deserve.

©2008 Addison Wiggin, Kate Incontrera, and David Walker; (P)2008 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

"Early reviewers have dubbed I.O.U.S.A. an Inconvenient Truth for the economy." (The Washington Post)
"The next president better take this seriously, or I fear that we'll be in a much worse situation than a recession." (David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • morton
  • Rego Park, NY, United States
  • 10-29-08

Fascinating, Enlightening Listen

This great, timely audio is a must for anyone who wants a "nuts and bolts" basic look at our debt crisis and the financial crisis still ahead of us. It has the perfect level of detail to keep it interesting and educational.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nelson
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 11-30-08

A respectful dissent

Sorry, but I must take issue with the positive reviews. First, I would rather see the original "Empire of Debt" offered in audio. This is a scenario taken from the documentary. It is a worthy topic and all involved are to be praised for their efforts. But it adds up to sketchy primer on our abysmal debt problems. Worse, the audio makes every effort to be bipartisan by seeking a midpoint between extremes. This is like inviting Bin Laden to help with our security planning.

The audio makes no mention of the "Starve the Beast" doctrine administered by Reagan, Bush, Cheney, and the Norquist radical libertarians. It is now indisputable that running up deficits in an effort to break the U.S. entitlement programs has been one of the GOP-right's only ideologically consistent policies.

Since the days of FDR a radical contingent in the U.S. has regarded Social Security and Medicare as an outright theft of private capital. This cadre favors massive debt, which has the long-term effect of collapsing and privatizing government functions. This political wing of the GOP is personally and financially unaffected by such a collapse. Indeed, they may benefit from it by shorting the dollar, etc. Nor do they personally rely on most government services, apart from the military, law enforcement, and international trade contracts.

It is a tragic error for well-meaning pundits today to make the mistake of assuming "we" are a "nation" with a unified set of interests. Americans must begin to view fiscal policy in terms of economic class instead of nationality if we want a clear view of the choices.

We are not "all in this together." The honorable attempt to remain bipartisan had been outmoded by those powerful interests who benefit by running the nation into default. I am accordingly forced to withhold a positive rating.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent and persuasive

The authors do an excellent job of laying out how and why America is sliding farther and farther into debt and the potential implications of this in the future.
I wish they had speculated in greater detail about the future of America's debt and this impact on America and the rest of the World.
A great a quick listen for anyone interested in economic issues.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A respectful dissent

Sorry, but I must take issue with the positive reviews. First, I would rather see the original "Empire of Debt" offered in audio. This is a scenario taken from the documentary. It is a worthy topic and all involved are to be praised for their efforts. But it adds up to sketchy primer on our abysmal debt problems. Worse, the audio makes every effort to be bipartisan by seeking a midpoint between extremes. This is like inviting Bin Laden to help with our security planning.

The audio makes no mention of the "Starve the Beast" doctrine administered by Reagan, Bush, Cheney, and the Norquist radical libertarians. It is now indisputable that running up deficits in an effort to break the U.S. entitlement programs has been one of the GOP-right's only ideologically consistent policies.

Since the days of FDR a radical contingent in the U.S. has regarded Social Security and Medicare as an outright theft of private capital. This cadre favors massive debt, which has the long-term effect of collapsing and privatizing government functions. This political wing of the GOP is personally and financially unaffected by such a collapse. Indeed, they may benefit from it by shorting the dollar, etc. Nor do they personally rely on most government services, apart from the military, law enforcement, and international trade contracts.

It is a tragic error for well-meaning pundits today to make the mistake of assuming "we" are a "nation" with a unified set of interests. Americans must begin to view fiscal policy in terms of economic class instead of nationality if we want a clear view of the choices.

We are not "all in this together." The honorable attempt to remain bipartisan had been outmoded by those powerful interests who benefit by running the nation into default. I am accordingly forced to withhold a positive rating.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Mandatory Listen (Read) for U.S. Citizens

Important book/movie/movement. Current crisis is an opportunity to address these issues or to put our children and grandchildren into a bigger hole.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Informative and compelling with being an alarmist.

This book presents the facts about the nuances of the economy with many different points of view including interviews from Warren Buffet to Chicago school types.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Daryl
  • Los Angeles, US, Canada
  • 12-02-08

Panic Mongers Should At Least Be Interesting

While the data exposed in this documentary holds some value, the meandering prose and dialogue that constitute the majority of this project is boring. The exposition of the various theories presented are boring.

The obvious slant toward "wake-up or we are all going to die" doesn't work because the material is presented in cliched nuggets that build toward only a surface description of the issues. Conclusions are soft and unconvincing.

Clearly this work is designed to exploit recent public panic, and ride the coattails of (nearly)ubiquitous media fear mongering. Not scared enough yet? Come get some more right here.

I wish I had used my credit elswhere.

On the positive side, this audio book is a highly effective sleep aid. Sigh.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gail
  • Corpus Christi, TX, USA
  • 03-03-10

It is Simple - Over Spend and Debt is the Result

The basic math IS SIMPLE. Spend too much using a credit card not knowing how you will repay the debt and BINGO!!
How we got here is easy, Americans are so into themselves. Their jobs, family, money...they have their heads in the sand. Let someone else worry about what does not bug me...yet.
Sheep, heading to the slaughter house charging all the way.
This book tells it like it is! It had some dull areas but the message was clear.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful