The Scariest Numbers You'll Probably Never See
Fittingly, I can't link to the document I've been reading. It's the Treasury/OMB's "Financial Report of the United States Government". It came out this month and it's a real frightening piece of work.
Turn this document into a screenplay and it would be the biggest horror movie of all time. It's also in an application that precludes copying and pasting, so let me type just one little sentence for you:
"Fiscal year 2006 assets of $1,496.5 billion and total liabilities of $10,412.9 billion combine to derive the Government's current net liability of $8,916.4 billion."
The United States is currently on an unsustainable fiscal path. You don't have to be an accountant to see it. We might look back at these tax cuts for the rich that really just transferred wealth from future generations to the wealthiest current Americans, as the biggest blunder of the Bush years. We also may thank our lucky stars one day that we had the Iraq War to keep our minds off of how bad things were getting. America cannot honor its financial commitments. The best analogy I've heard is that we have spent like a drunken sailor, and the problem is that you can never predict when the liver will give out.
When young people ask me for career advice - and that's a little frightening right there - I always advise them to learn a skill they can perform to amuse the people around a campfire. Then if everyone laughs ask to share any food. I am only half kidding. America has been arrogant for too long, and it could be about to catch up with us.