Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Let's talk Accountability

Here's another story that illustrates why I believe we're going to suffer some serious impacts before people get serious about preparing for them. Just look at all the other messes we're entagled with.

This story just appeared in the Financial Times: Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned.

Surely this comes from someone outside the U.S. Government, probably some outspoken politician in Europe, right?

Nope, it's the comptroller general of the U.S. - the head of the Government Accountability Office, trying to get the attention of the president and congress about the awful straits our national budget is in.

The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned.

David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”.

These include “dramatic” tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt.

Even without the needs to transform industry, automobiles, energy generation, flood defenses, water supplies, etc. to reduce the risks of future climate change, we've got a full plate of neglected crises that will come with boomer retirement, expiring infrastructure, shifting demographics, immigration....the list goes on. And we've got a government that ties itself in knots rather than make any progress.

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