Today’s Dow Jones collapse of 350 points is but an indicator of the severe volatility and unmitigated destruction we can expect as this crisis enters the next phase. Former comptroller general of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) David Walker warns that it’s going to hurt:
“Here’s the bottom line. If you take the total liabilities of the United States – public debt, unfunded pensions, retiree health care, under funding with regard to social security, with regard to medicare, a range of commitments and contingencies – as of September 30 2010 we would have had to have had $61.6 trillion dollars in the bank in order to be able to defease those obligations.” Walker explained.
“The fact of the matter is that government has grown too big, promised too much and waited too long to restructure. Our problem is overwhelmingly a spending problem.” Walker, now the head of the fiscal advocacy group the Comeback America Initiative, told viewers.
“Lets understand something very simple. If you have escalating deficits and mounting debt, that means you have to increase the debt ceiling limit at some point and it means absent structural reforms in entitlement programs, defense and other spending, those represent deferred tax increases.”
“We are not exempt from a debt crisis,” he said. “We’re never going to default, because we can print money. At the same point in time, we have serious interest rate risk, we have serious currency risk, we have serious inflation risk over time. If it happens, it will be sudden and it will be very painful.”
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