GAO Head Pleads For Common Sense


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"This is about the future of our country, our kids and grandkids. 'We the people' have to rise up to make sure things get changed." - David M Walker, Comptroller General of the United States.

Walker is the head of the Government Accountability Office, part of Congress that audits the Federal Government.

His concerns: the state of the Federal Budget, the rising National Debt, the trillions in undeclared debt.

These are not sexy issues, and more importantly, they are issues that many people do not to understand:

Polls suggest that Americans have only a vague sense of their government's long-term fiscal prospects. When pollsters ask Americans to name the most important problem facing America today - as a CBS News/New York Times poll of 1,131 Americans did in September - issues such as the war in Iraq, terrorism, jobs and the economy are most frequently mentioned. The deficit doesn't even crack the top 10.

It seems people just don't understand the immensity of the problem. More from Walker:

"If the United States government conducts business as usual over the next few decades, a national debt that is already $8.5 trillion could reach $46 trillion or more, adjusted for inflation. That's almost as much as the total net worth of every person in America - Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and those Google guys included."

We are less than a decade away from Social Security and Medicare going to the Baby Boomer generation. Many people don't realize that the scope of the debt issue has been partially eclipsed by a surplus in the Social Security system. When that surplus goes away, the national debt will begin to mushroom out of control.

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