I.O.U.S.A.

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Posted August 21, 2008 in Film

Dave Walker and Bob Bixby, the activist stars of Patrick Creadon’s unnerving documentary, have spent the last year on a Fiscal Wake Up Tour sounding the alarm. By 2050, 75% of the national budget will be allocated for Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. The remaining 25% must cover oh, say, everything else. If we follow our current pattern, the government will borrow the difference from China, Japan, and the oil-rich Gulf States, already holding the tab for 46% of our current debt. What happens to our economy if just one of the three refuses to keep bailing us out . . . or to collect? For an idea, consider Latin America. In the ’60s and ’70s, they were in debt to the US and the World Bank and found themselves in the jaws of loan sharks with the power to oust their leaders, pillage their resources, and ensure that the continent would spend the next half century playing catch up. Bixby and Walker break down the four major debt crises—trade, savings, loan, and leadership—and elucidate terms like the GDP versus the Trade Deficit. For his end, Creadon and co-writers Christine O’Malley and Addison Wiggin do their best to muck-up the clarity. The doc’s editing and structure are a mess, the tone skips from plaintive to jocular, and the man on the street pop quizzes seem designed to prove only that we’re a nation of idiots. In this election year, we’re ready to debate the solutions but Creadon lazily orders us to a website. I’d rather he budgeted the 10 minutes to spell out the tough decisions our country must make: Retool our health and retirement funds. Reclaim our factories. Readjust to the higher prices of American made goods. Pay extra now or pay exorbitantly later. (Amy Nicholson)

 


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