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When I heard that the Comptroller General and head of the Government Accounting Office (GAO), David Walker, has resigned, I had to write about it. Walker was one of my favorite guys in government, probably due to the fact that he's not a politician. He was the chief accountant for the federal government. He's beholden to no political party. Walker was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1998, and continued serving through the Bush administration until now.
Because David Walker is not a politician, he doesn't engage in political spin. Instead, he has the refreshing habit of telling the plain, unvarnished truth. You can hear him tell some of the truth on Glenn Beck's show here. Please watch the video before you read the rest of this column.
The unspun truth about the state of the federal government's finances is pretty disturbing, and paints a pretty grim picture of america's future, which is why politicians like to cover it up. The politicians who cover it up the most are those politicians who intend to pursue the same irresponsible fiscal policies that led us this far off the rails. You can tell these politicians by their lingo. They tell you they want to raise taxes and increase government spending dramatically, although they use code words to disguise those facts. For instance, they'll talk about "investing" in this or that government program. They think you are too stupid to realize that means raising taxes and increasing government spending. If you elect these politicians, you prove them right. You ARE too stupid. When the government gives you "free stuff", it isn't free at all. YOU pay for it.
What David Walker knows is that unrestrained government spending and the expansion of entitlements is going to bankrupt this country. That is the bottom line, and that is what the pro-big government pols don't want you to know. This is an enormous issue, and we have two presidential candidates in the Democratic party who not only don't want to acknowledge it, they want to ADD MULTIPLE NEW ENORMOUS ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS TO THE ALREADY STAGGERING COMING ENTITLEMENT TSUNAMI. Our financial house is on fire and they want to throw more wood on the blaze. This is irresponsibility on an unprecedented level (okay, maybe not unprecedented. Bush's liberal spending spree threw wood on that fire too). I'm not sure if the Republican presidential candidate understands the enormity of the fire either, but at least he's not chopping up more kindling to throw on.
As David Walker points out, every year we don't act drives us $2-3 trillion deeper in the hole, which already stands at $56 trillion. Do you see any politicians talking about it ? Facing it ? Or do you see politicians promising people the moon instead ? That type of feel-good politics does every one of us a disservice, but the disservice it does to us is nothing compared to what it will do to our children. These chuckleheaded pols actually call you selfish if you resist all this entitlement expansion, and they have over half the country brainwashed into thinking the same way. That takes some real chutzpah, because what is truly selfish is burdening future generations with the tab for OUR spendthrift ways. We want to ride the gravy train and let our sons and daughters pay for it. What could be more selfish than that ?
Reuter's reports that David Walker has resigned to head up the newly formed Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Walker said, "As Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO, there are real limitations on what I can do and say in connection with key public policy issues, especially issues that directly relate to GAO's client -- the Congress. My new position will provide me with the ability and resources to more aggressively address a range of current and emerging challenges facing our country."
I look forward to hearing from him. Somebody in this country has to start dealing with reality, unless we are ready to forfeit the american dream and all start wearing Che t-shirts instead. I'm not even close to ready for that. How about you ?