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In this immensely timely book, Andrew Yarrow brings the sometimes eye-glazing discussion of national debt down to earth, explaining in accessible terms why federal debt is rising (and will soon rise much faster), what effects it may have on Americans if debt is not brought under control, why our government borrows, and what it will take to pay it all back.
The picture Yarrow paints should concern all Americans. Specifically, he brings to light how rising Medicare, Social Security, and other spending on one hand, and insufficient government revenues on the other, make a mockery of fiscal responsibility. Deficits and debt, Yarrow asserts, are crowding out spending on needed investments in science, environment, infrastructure, and other domestic discretionary programs and could severely harm our nation’s and our citizens’ future. But he makes clear that this does not have to be a doomsday scenario. If we act in a bipartisan fashion to restore fiscal health, our legacy to the next generation can be much more than trillions of dollars of IOUs.
The View from Washington: Six Democrats and Six Republicans Talk About Debt xi
What Are Deficits and Debt, and Why Are They Growing? 1
Balancing and Unbalancing Our Budget: A History of Government Debt in the United States 28
How Deficits Are Funded 48
How Deficits and Debt Affect America and You 58
The Potential Dangers of Doing Nothing, or Fiddling While Our Economy Goes Up in Smoke 70
The Politics of Deficits and Debt 81
What Can and Should Be Done to Reduce America's Deficits and Debt? 93
Concluding Thoughts: A Nation That Balances Its Books and a Government That Invests in America's Future 133
Posted May 28, 2008
We are faced with a myriad of pending catastrophes, from global warming to a nuclear winter. But perhaps one the biggest, but least often reported dangers is the pending economy meltdown as a result of retiring Baby boomers---the largest population yet to exit our national stage. I should know I¿m one of the graying Boomers. But unlike the other potential disasters which face us, there is no real debate here. It will happen as a matter of natural fact. In reality, it is already happening as the first wave of ¿My Generation¿ begins to retire. Our children, their children, and even their children face a staggering debt which will¿not could---cripple their economy and subsequent quality of life. We currently have the power to solve this dilemma, but lack the collective willpower. Why? In an effort to fully understand the magnitude and consequences of our current domestic economic policy in layman¿s terms, I turned to Andrew L. Yarrow¿s book, ¿Forgive Us Our Debts: The Intergenerational Dangers of Fiscal Irresponsibility¿. I won¿t kid you, it¿s a tough subject, but Yarrow has done a great job of explaining how we got to where we are where we¿re going and what we can do about it short term and down the road. Yarrow offers excellent examples, backed by current data to support his arguments in an easy to understand format. So, if you¿re like me and want to know for the sake of your children and their future, where we¿re headed, I strongly recommend ¿Forgive Us Our Debts¿ by Andrew L. Young.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.