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

It’s all about the money! Or if you like ‘it’s the economy, stupid’. Although this doco is old now, it still makes for interesting viewing because it covers unquestionably the greatest danger facing the United States of America. When you realise the national debt they are talking about here is the $9 trillion figure the debt clock was at in 2009, and this month it hit $27 trillion, it gets even scarier.

This doco makes the difficult to stomach point that the debt issue is completely bipartizan, with neither party being more responsible for it than the other. That doesn’t go down well in today’s super-sectarian political environment, but it remains the reality. ‘When you get extended to the point where you can’t service your debt, you’re finished’ says Paul O’Neill, fired Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush. Looking at the facts in this film, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the USA is being systematically asset-stripped and scheduled for demolition.

Interestingly, while Reagan is often seen as the poster-boy for opposition to ‘big government’, during his term in office the national debt actually grew by the third largest percentage margin of any President’s tenure since the beginning of the Twentieth Century. For the record the worst offenders were: 1) FDR (1,048%), 2) Wilson (727%), 3) Reagan (186%), 4) George W. Bush (101%). Calvin Coolidge was the out-front highest achiever, having decreased the debt by 24% during his term (thebalance.com).

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