GAO says US could fall like Rome

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by trendy, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. trendy


    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 country’s top government inspector has warned.

    David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s 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 America’s 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, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time.”

    Mr Walker’s 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”.

    “I’m trying to sound an alarm and issue a wake-up call,” he said. “As comptroller general I’ve 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 don’t, I think the risk of a serious crisis rises considerably”.
  2. Here here, good article.
  3. I rec that all Americans read Walker's 'Wake Up Tour'.

    Mind Blowing....

  4. Read the source, the very foundation that explains the fall and decline of the Roman Empire.

    Read Gibbons.

    Most "elite" universities include this book in their core.

    I had to read it a few times after college, had to revert back to the notes that were given to decode and show similar patterns in the US.

    No new text written, about the "decline" of the US, comes close to the original Text Gibbons wrote. They are written for Asses of masses who cannot decode Gibbons.

    Rome’s fall, he stated, was due to Germanic Invasions, decline in public morality, and the rise of Christianity.

    He also hints at a few others, but the US GOV idiot is far off in his "rehtoric".

    Once again, assesssssssss please the masses that are idiots.

  5. The critically acclaimed book "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss also decoded the fall of Rome and the US.

    On a more serious note, every empire falls / will fall. It is an inevitable occasion brought about by 2 key factors. 1) the citizens become very fat, very happy and eventually very oblivious to what occurs inside and as well as what occurs beyond their borders. 2) At this stage, the corrupt will always rise to power to enrich themselves and their friends at the expense of the empires health.

    Those are the primary reasons empires fall.

    If Hannibal and the Carthaginians had waited a few centuries before attacking Rome, every two bit historian would be attributing the demise of Rome on Hannibal. If the Soviets had won the cold war, "Vietnam" would have been blamed for the US demise. Empires ebb and flow. Unless the US can keep crude pegged to the USD, the next century belongs to the Indian and Chinese empires of old.
  6. That the mighty US empire has not crashed and burned yet is a monument to the strength of free enterprise and innovation.
    The only thing that will save it now is massive spending controls on government and massive tax cuts. A good start would be to immediately cut the size of federal and state government by 50%.

    De-regulate minimum wage and open up the Mexican border states to free flow of people for U.S. based reverse-maquiladoras. Time to make China compete for the orders.
  7. Sponger


  8. I dont think that america is a empire in the true sense of the word. is more like a hyperpower.

    In many ways, the metaphor of empire is seductive. The American military has a global reach, with bases around the world, and its regional commanders sometimes act like proconsuls. English is the lingua franca, like Latin. The U.S. economy is the largest in the world and American culture serves as a magnet. But it is a mistake to confuse primacy with empire.

    The United States is certainly not an empire in the way we think of the European empires of the 19th and 20th centuries, because the core feature of that imperialism was political power. Although unequal relationships between the United States and weaker powers certainly exist and can be conducive to exploitation, the term imperial is not only inaccurate but misleading in the absence of formal political control.
    To be sure, the United States now has more power resources relative to other countries than Britain had at its imperial peak. But the United States has less power - in the sense of control over other countries' internal behavior - than Britain did when it ruled a quarter of the globe.

    For example, British officials controlled Kenya's schools, taxes, laws and elections - not to mention its external relations. America has no such control today. In 2003, the United States could not even get Mexico and Chile to vote to support a second resolution on Iraq in the U.N. Security Council.
  9. Great post. But even a "hyperpower" can implode.

    As corrupt and moribund as American seems to be, imo it will still create a vacuum in world politics if it self-destructs (or is maimed by terrorism).
  10. If we fall, The rest of the world will disintegrate and die of disease and starvation.
    If that happens we will still rule.

    #10     Sep 5, 2007