We will make this very short tonight and hopefully convince you to go see the movie (documentary) I.O.U.S.A. which opens tonight in 400 cities across the country. This is an exclusive one night event in select movie theatres nationwide. It starts around 8 PM and will last 85 minutes. As most of you know, we are somewhat obsessed with the debt we are generating in this country hoping that our grandchildren will be able to pay it off someday. We are sure this documentary will be dealing with the same subjects we discuss constantly. The subjects should include the national debt, the enormous deficits (budget, trade, and current account), the hidden cost of the Iraq War, the outrageous promises that have been made in our entitlement programs, as well as the record total debt incurred in this country. Hopefully, they will discuss the things we can do to change course.
If you Google IOUSA (or go in through Yahoo) you will find where the movie will be shown in your area tonight at 8:00 PM ET/ 7:00 CT/ 6:00 MT/ and tape delayed at 7:30 pm PT. The average ticket price ranges between $11.50 to $20, depending on location. You can search through zip codes or just scroll down the 400 cities to find a theatre near you. The people involved in this movie are Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway; William Niskanen, chairman of the CATO Institute; Bill Novelli, CEO of AARP; Pete Petersen, senior chairman of the Blackstone Group and chairman of the Peter G. Petersen Foundation; and Dave Walker, president and CEO of the Peter G. Petersen Foundation and former U.S. comptroller General. We have quoted Dave Walker in our recent past comments when he was traveling across the country warning the U.S. citizens about this debt crisis. This same crew of financial experts and policy experts will conduct a live discussion right after the movie which will be narrated by Becky Quick from CNBC.
To give you an idea of just how badly our leaders have been hiding the truth, there was an editorial in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month that described what Congress did to hide the problems of Medicare. They decided to "willy-nilly" deactivate an important "trigger" that would control some of government's Medicare cost. When Congress decided to add a prescription drug benefit to Medicare they also decided to add a "trigger" that was supposed to force some future Congress to address the program's long-term insolvency. "The trigger kicks in if Medicare's Trustees project for two years in a row, that the program will draw more than 45% of its funding from general government revenue-instead of from payroll taxes, or premiums and co-pays from beneficiaries. This has happened for the last two years and probably will happen every year for the foreseeable future. And when it does, the White House is required to write up 'corrective' legislation." The House however, voted that the "trigger" wasn't needed although the trigger would slow the spending growth enough to shut off the 45% "trigger" and transfer the additional cost to the beneficiary.
Hopefully, the documentary, I.O.U.S.A., will expose tactics like this and show the U.S. public that the leadership of this country is an even larger problem than the onerous debt.