I.O.U.S.A. (2008)

PG  |   |  Documentary  |  14 November 2008 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,716 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 18 user | 41 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

Few are aware that America may be on the brink of a financial meltdown. I.O.U.S.A. explores the country's shocking current fiscal condition and ways to avoid a national economic disaster.


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6 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Robert Bixby ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Kent Conrad ...
Himself (as Sen. Kent Conrad)
Ander Crenshaw ...
Himself (as Rep. Ander Crenshaw)
Himself (archive footage)
Douglas Durst ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One Nation. Under Stress. In Debt.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic elements | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

14 November 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Patrick Creadon and Christine O'Malley/Debt Project  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$61,313 (USA) (22 August 2008)


$820,967 (USA) (27 February 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


References Girls Gone Wild on Campus 2 (2003) See more »


Cruel to Be Kind
Words and Music by Ian Gomm (as Ian Robert Gomm) and Nick Lowe
© Universal Music-MGB Songs on behalf of Complete Music, Ltd. (ASCAP)
Performed by Nick Lowe
Courtesy of Anglo Rock, Inc.
Courtesy of Riviera Global Music, Ltd.
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
© 1978 Anglo Rock, Inc. (BMI) & Rock Music Company
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User Reviews

Credit not going to the right person
24 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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)

8 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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