David Walker, the highly respected head of the General Accountability Office, or GAO, issued a dire warning when he appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes last Sunday (March 4, ’07). He stated that a far greater threat than “a man hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan’, is our own fiscal irresponsibility." Walker, whose job is to audit the government’s books, has concluded that we are heading for a serious financial meltdown, a “dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows”. Politicians are ignoring the inconvenient truth lest they get tainted with recommending unpopular remedies such as raising taxes and/or trimming back entitlements.
Walker is now on a cross country ‘fiscal wakeup’ crusade hoping to stir up the citizenry to pressure politicians to take remedial action to save our ship of state from bankruptcy. He warns of a lack of leadership and truth telling intended to lull our people into a deep slumber and continued delusion of our financial well-being. But, a far greater threat than the obscene Defense budget and our penchant for waging wars, is the massive entitlement programs which if left unchecked will most surely cripple us financially. The economic reality is fast approaching when the baby boomers generation will be jumping on the entitlement bandwagon in January 2008. Three years later, these new retirees will be entitled to Medicare coverage further draining the dwindling resources of the US treasury.