The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan to Stop Washington from Bankrupting America
by U. S. Senator Tom A. Coburn, M. D.
Review by John E. Wade II
In this powerful book Sen. Coburn does more than point out our nation’s enormous debt, deficit, entitlement and tax problems, but concludes by offering suggestions to solve these worrisome challenges in ways that should suit the poor and help everyone else.
A shocking quote at the start of Chapter One is from Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Obama, June 24, 2010: “Our national debtis our biggest national security threat.” Incidentally, on PBS’s Charlie Rose I saw Secretary James Baker say, “We’re broke.”(June, 2012) In his book, Sen. Coburn writes that “America is already bankrupt.” These statements may be and are unsettling, but the light at the end of the tunnel is the chance we have to elect Governor Romney and a host of Republicans at all levels.
But first, the bad news, which is that we are in a spending and entitlement crisis; our government debt and entitlement obligations are already slowing our economy by twenty-five to thirty-three percent. In my opinion, the Obama administration’s trillion-dollar-plus deficits over the last three and a half years have suppressed the economy rather than stimulated it. Perhaps if our country had been at a low or moderate debt level, his policies might have worked. This spending binge must stop. I realize that both Republicans and Democrats have lacked spending discipline.
To get the latest figures on our government obligations, do a Google search for the U. S. Debt Clock. Right now the U. S. National Debt is $15,801,265.5↑↑, and increasing as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is $15,217,191, ↑↑↑. Unfunded liabilities (Social Security, prescription drugs and Medicare) total $119 trillion. I invite you to review that website from time to time to attempt to grasp the magnitude of our very precarious position.
Almost a third of our debt is held by foreigners. In April 2011 Standard and Poor’s (S&P), one of the larger rating agencies, downgraded the United States long-term credit outlook from “stable” to “negative,” and in August they reduced our rating from AAA to AA+.
The continuing crisis in Europe shows in real time the effects of high government debt and obligations. That can and will happen to us unless we take decisive actions, such as the author suggests.
The world will have a liquidity crisis soon—sometime in 2013—when the planet’s liquid assets ($9 trillion) won’t be enough to fund sovereign debt requirements (around $13 trillion), a situation that will push interest rates up. The government may try to inflate its way out by printing money as it has done already, but if such a course of action is tried, much of our life savings will be wiped out. In the final stage, “the bottom would fall out of the middle class. Unemployment would soar, while the cost of living would increase.”