Skip to comments.Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned
Posted on 08/13/2007 5:35:11 PM PDT by Sir_Humphrey
The US government is on a burning platform of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the countrys top government inspector has warned.
David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his countrys future in a report that lays out what he called chilling long-term simulations.
These include dramatic tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt.
Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were striking similarities between Americas current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government..
Sound familiar? Mr Walker said. In my view, its time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time..
Mr Walkers views carry weight because he is a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office, often described as the investigative arm of the US Congress..
While most of its studies are commissioned by legislators, about 10 per cent such as the one containing his latest warnings are initiated by the comptroller general himself..
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Walker said he had mentioned some of the issues before but now wanted to turn up the volume. Some of them were too sensitive for others in government to have their name associated with..
Im trying to sound an alarm and issue a wake-up call, he said. As comptroller general Ive got an ability to look longer-range and take on issues that others may be hesitant, and in many cases may not be in a position, to take on..
One of the concerns is obviously we are a great country but we face major sustainability challenges that we are not taking seriously enough, said Mr Walker, who was appointed during the Clinton administration to the post, which carries a 15-year term..
The fiscal imbalance meant the US was on a path toward an explosion of debt. .
With the looming retirement of baby boomers, spiralling healthcare costs, plummeting savings rates and increasing reliance on foreign lenders, we face unprecedented fiscal risks, said Mr Walker, a former senior executive at PwC auditing firm..
Current US policy on education, energy, the environment, immigration and Iraq also was on an unsustainable path..
Our very prosperity is placing greater demands on our physical infrastructure. Billions of dollars will be needed to modernise everything from highways and airports to water and sewage systems. The recent bridge collapse in Minneapolis was a sobering wake-up call. .
Mr Walker said he would offer to brief the would-be presidential candidates next spring. .
They need to make fiscal responsibility and inter-generational equity one of their top priorities. If they do, I think we have a chance to turn this around but if they dont, I think the risk of a serious crisis rises considerably.
Can this really happen to us on our watch?
'Nuff said. Another Clintonista holdout that W. failed to purge.
And don't think, Mr. Grant, that we missed the reference to "imperial Rome = imperialist America =
...inter-generational equity ...
The most glaring tip off, i.e. income redistribution.
“Learn from the fall of Rome..”
One of the many differences between us and Rome is that the latter did not have a death wish while we do. It is called globalization, multiculturalism, PC and the desire for diversity and not unity.
Rome had its own special vices, however some of the ones you mentioned they faced as well. And inevitably the result will be the same
so why did he have to get FT to run his story? /rhetorical question.
Don’t lie to yourself, High-On-One’s-Laurels...all the signs are there and you’d rather blame the currently popular enemy than see the larger problem. Both parties are equally complicit in that problem and our nation is imperiled by it.
Can you act on that information or would you rather see everything brought down just to see one’s traditional enemy denied victory?
I’m watching to see if we lose a third space shuttle. I see it as a microcosm.
Any one example is meaningless, but many small measures can add up to something more meaningful than the dramatic parallels that Walker is making.
Walker is right. Our entitlement programs with an unfunded liability of $60 trillion and a flood of immigrants, legal and illegal, combine to make a giant train wreck ahead. It may already to too late to avoid the consequences. Congress must act prior to 2017 to “fix” Medicare and SS. It is just a matter of what “fix” they employ, but they must do something.
I hear alot of this “Fall of Rome” meme rattling around from the left these days. High taxes, lack of entreprenuerial spirit, moral bankruptcy, a weakened military, a loss of cultural identity- all these define the Democrat party, so they must be experts on the “Fall of Rome”. They are plotting it every day. The antidote to decline is liberty, decentralized government, low taxation, the entrepreneurial spirit, traditional morality and an elite volunteer military. Check, check check check. Sounds like conservatism.
May all the doofus bellyaching stop right there.
Rome became liberalized and lost her ability to wage war. So much so that a vagabond like Attila the Hun kicked Rome’s ass.