Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education "statistics" have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of WAITING FOR ... See full summary »
Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.
I.O.U.S.A. examines the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the United States and its citizens. As the Baby Boomer generation prepares to retire, will there even be any Social Security benefits left to collect? Burdened with an ever-expanding government and military, increased international competition, overextended entitlement programs, and debts to foreign countries that are becoming impossible to honor, America must mend its spendthrift ways or face an economic disaster of epic proportions. Throughout history, the American government has found it nearly impossible to spend only what has been raised through taxes. The film blends interviews with both average American taxpayers and government officials to demystify the nation's financial practices and policies. The film follows U.S. Comptroller General David Walker as he crisscrosses the country explaining America's unsustainable fiscal policies to its citizens. The film interweaves archival footage and economic ... Written by
The subject of estimated unfunded liabilities of the Federal Government did not originally come from David M. Walker, the former head of the GAO. Dr. Lawrence J. Kotlikoff and Scott Burns wrote a book on this subject much earlier (Lawrence J. Kotlikoff and Scott Burns, "The Coming Generational Storm, What You Need to Know about America's Economic Future," MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2004).
In this book, Dr. Kotlikoff also states that in 2002 Paul O'Neill, George W. Bush's first Secretary of the Treasury, had asked Dr. Kent Smetters to use generational accounting to estimate the unfunded liabilities of the U.S. Government in the future, which was then done with a Dr. Gokhale. The report had been included the 2004 Budget. However, when the White House (i.e. Bush, Cheney, and their cohorts) found out about this, they removed the study from the 2004 Budge and fired Sec. O'Neill.
The publicity that David M. Walker has been getting for himself by talking about this very serious problem has helped bring it to the light of the TV talking heads and the makers of this movie, but Drs. Kotlikoff, Smetters, Gokhale, and others are not getting the credit that they deserve, which I consider a serious injustice. If this were being conducted in peer reviewed journals, it might be considered to be on the verge of professional misconduct.
If I were an adviser for Barak Obama (which I am not) or John McCain (which I am not), I would recommend Drs. Kotlikoff and O'Neill to be senior Economic Advisors to the President and/or Secretary of Treasury or both. Everyone that wants to know more should read Kotlikoff's book or its most recent update (if there is one)
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