August 13th, 2007

The Fiscal Clock is Ticking


photo credit: Neville_S

Comptroller General David Walker is at it again. He’s making more headlines, following up on an interview several months ago, when he discussed the “fiscal cancer” plaguing our society.

In his latest interview, Walker compares our situation to that of Rome before it fell:

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.”

Michael Panzner, author of the book Financial Armageddon took note of this interview as well. Panzner’s summary at the end of the post is a good diagnosis for the situation that Mr. Walker describes: “Tick, tick, tick…”.

As I discussed on my last post about Mr. Walker’s subject matter, the collectors will soon come calling. The game heated up a bit last week when China threatened to do just that! And all our president can say in response is that it would be “foolhardy“…

Chris has posted some good videos of Mr. Walker’s recent media push, as he’s trying to get the word out:

“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.

We’d do well to listen.

Tick, tick, tick…

15 Responses to “The Fiscal Clock is Ticking”

  1. Dan
    August 13, 2007 at 10:06 pm #

    eh, comparing to the Roman Empire is one thing, but to think America will fall as easily as the Roman Empire did is to not understand that today’s world is vastly different than that of the times of the Roman Empire.

    1. The Nation-State did not exist back then, and neither did Nationalism (and her cousin Patriotism), at least not to the extent it exists today. Power, strength, and longevity stem from nationalism, even when one’s country is rotten to the core (not saying America is yet to that point).

    2. The world today is far more interconnected than in the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire fell because it had no lasting external economic support like America has today. Our world is so interconnected that, for instance, a French bank tightening its lending rules affects the American market adversely. Conversely a boom in the Asian market keeps our tight market moving. The Roman Empire never had this kind of external strength.

    What I’m basically saying is that our world today will not allow America to fall. We’re all too interconnected.

    Further, this kind of talk is not too dissimilar from all those scare-mongers who are frightened by a few million immigrants from Mexico somehow tainting and destroying white Anglo-Saxon culture.

    No, America will not fall. It will continue to rot, however, unless we change our hearts and stop the violence.

  2. Chris
    August 13, 2007 at 10:51 pm #

    @Dan:

    You have not studied the topic of empire and it shows. Only your ignorance prevents you from seeing that the discussion of these facts is not “scare-mongering” . Americas (and the worlds) financial collapse is a mathematical certainty if we keep on our present course.

    Watch the videos referenced in the post. Everyone agrees with Mr. Walker because the facts are indisputable.

  3. Connor
    August 13, 2007 at 11:32 pm #

    eh, comparing to the Roman Empire is one thing, but to think America will fall as easily as the Roman Empire did is to not understand that today’s world is vastly different than that of the times of the Roman Empire.

    As Ezra Taft Benson noted, history repeats itself. It’s repeating itself now, for we have chosen not to learn from it. Despite technological advances and social progress, we’re committing the same national blunders that Rome did.

    So yes, the world is vastly different, but we’re perpetuating the same mistakes that have brought down previous civilizations, including that of the Roman Empire.

    The Nation-State did not exist back then, and neither did Nationalism (and her cousin Patriotism), at least not to the extent it exists today.

    Is that why it is a common trait in both nation states to deify past presidents/emperors, downplaying or omitting their follies and setting them up as exemplars of virtue and leadership? After all, we place such men on our coinage as symbols of national reverence for their legacy.

    Granted, Germany is the shining star in the book of nationalism, but America follows closely behind. However, we are here talking about fiscal policy, something that only slightly relates to nationalism. It relates to the extent that the State finds itself superior to the economy that buoys it, to the point that it can shave down the precious metal in its coins (as did the Romans) or inflate the economy with fiat paper money (as we did just a few days ago, yet again).

    Both the USA and the Roman Empire promoted and expanded its empire while draining national resources, ignoring domestic problems, and trumpeting up the need to do so in order to convince a sheep-like citizenry.

    The comparisons are all too eerie. Both Regan and Benson have commented on it, and it’s happening right before our eyes.

    The world today is far more interconnected than in the Roman Empire.

    This is the only reason that our eventual decline is being slowed. But as foreign markets are abandoning the dollar in favor of other currencies (such as the Euro), the faith in our fiat funny money declines and becomes more and more worthless (currently 96% worthless compared to its original 1913 value). The dollar hegemony will come to an end. At this point it is only a matter of time, as we play the game of Risk and use our military to back our debased dollar. So much for a sound currency.

    What I’m basically saying is that our world today will not allow America to fall. We’re all too interconnected.

    This is absolutely not true. The Euro continues to gain strength against the dollar, attracting nations and economies to use it as a world reserve instead of our fiat greenbacks. More and more markets will continue the shift, which will lead to a “run” (or as China would prefer, a “nuclear option”) on the dollar. Nations cannot exist without government; government cannot exist without an economy; an economy cannot exist without money that is deemed as worthy of exchange. People are losing faith in the dollar, and it will have dastardly consequences for our country.

    Further, this kind of talk is not too dissimilar from all those scare-mongers who are frightened by a few million immigrants from Mexico somehow tainting and destroying white Anglo-Saxon culture.

    These topics are entirely different. Not only that, but this topic is 100% supported by evidence, logic, and historical precedent. Nowhere is it written that the American empire will last forever. Nowhere is it written that the dollar will be the world’s reserve currency forever. Nowhere is it written that all is well in our fiscal situation.

    Orwell said that telling the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act. Arming people with truth and helping them to understand our economic crisis is anything but fearmongering.

    No, America will not fall. It will continue to rot, however, unless we change our hearts and stop the violence.

    Violence is only the half of it. A purely dishonest monetary system based on politicians being able to print money and inflate the economy, laying the burden of the inflation tax on the shoulders of their children is equally destructive to life, liberty, and our pursuit of happiness. That’s what Mr. Walker is trying to get Americans to learn…

  4. Dan
    August 14, 2007 at 9:40 am #

    Connor,

    As Ezra Taft Benson noted, history repeats itself. It’s repeating itself now, for we have chosen not to learn from it. Despite technological advances and social progress, we’re committing the same national blunders that Rome did.

    Ezra Taft Benson is not the first, nor the only one who has noted that history repeats itself. We’re committing some of the same blunders Rome did. The path of the American empire will not follow the same path of the Roman empire, Connor.

    However, we are here talking about fiscal policy, something that only slightly relates to nationalism.

    No, C.G. Walker who you quote talks about far more than just the fiscal blunders. He’s trying to compare the whole systems.

    The comparisons are all too eerie. Both Regan and Benson have commented on it, and it’s happening right before our eyes.

    You mean Ronald Reagan (again with the misspelling—what’s going on dude!)? Ronald Reagan the man who expanded America’s empire? Ronald Reagan who is the epitome of the Roman deified leader?

    You talk the talk, Connor, but then you show that you do not understand what you are actually talking about.

    But as foreign markets are abandoning the dollar in favor of other currencies (such as the Euro), the faith in our fiat funny money declines and becomes more and more worthless (currently 96% worthless compared to its original 1913 value).

    That’s capitalism for you. This is the kind of system you want, no? True competition. (Again, I love seeing capitalists decry capitalism at work) :)

    This is absolutely not true. The Euro continues to gain strength against the dollar, attracting nations and economies to use it as a world reserve instead of our fiat greenbacks.

    But Connor, what does any of this have to do with the “fall” of the American empire? What you are describing is the rest of the world flexing its economic muscles and realigning the balance. How does this make America “fall?” How does this destroy our country in the same way the Roman empire was destroyed? Are you saying that the only way America survives is if it is forever on top of the world?

    Nations cannot exist without government; government cannot exist without an economy; an economy cannot exist without money that is deemed as worthy of exchange. People are losing faith in the dollar, and it will have dastardly consequences for our country.

    Really, what “dastardly consequences” will a weakened dollar have for our country?

    And nations cannot exist without a government? Of course nations can! Governments can exist without economies. And economies can exist without money. Clearly your capitalistic drives have forgotten the days of bartering. You don’t need money to make the world go round. It makes it easier, of course, but it isn’t real.

    These topics are entirely different. Not only that, but this topic is 100% supported by evidence, logic, and historical precedent.

    No it is not. You have not described reality, Connor. You’ve argued here that for America to survive (i.e. not “fall”) it must remain on top, in a position where the dollar is the strongest currency. This is a load of crock. America will survive just fine if it is not on top of the world, if the dollar is not the strongest currency out there. Or are you saying America is weaker than the weakest country in the world? Because even a country like Chad, with a very weak currency somehow still survives, still exists. Please be more realistic, Connor.

    Nowhere is it written that the American empire will last forever. Nowhere is it written that the dollar will be the world’s reserve currency forever. Nowhere is it written that all is well in our fiscal situation.

    Who said otherwise?

    Orwell said that telling the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.

    It’s too bad then that you are not telling the truth here, but are adding to the obfuscation and fear-mongering.

  5. Connor
    August 14, 2007 at 10:41 am #

    We’re committing some of the same blunders Rome did. The path of the American empire will not follow the same path of the Roman empire, Connor.

    True. Few, if any, have claimed that our situation matches that of Rome’s exactly, point for point. But the scriptures warn of us the demise of past civilizations with critical elements that will serve for our own destruction, despite any changes, progress, or developments that make our own situation different from theirs. The same is true with the Roman empire—the main elements that caused their destruction are causing and will eventually cause (unless we remedy them) the demise of our own nation.

    No, C.G. Walker who you quote talks about far more than just the fiscal blunders. He’s trying to compare the whole systems.

    Granted, Mr. Walker does mention other elements of Roman society in an attempt to paint a picture, but his expertise and the bulk of the article is about fiscal policy and matters pertinent to his office at the GAO. While he can speculate or opine about the political civility and other matters, the reason he is here quoted and looked to as a reliable source is his expertise in assessing fiscal policy and its long term effects.

    Ronald Reagan the man who expanded America’s empire? Ronald Reagan who is the epitome of the Roman deified leader?

    You talk the talk, Connor, but then you show that you do not understand what you are actually talking about.

    Yes, that Reagan. To be sure, he did his part in expanding the empire and spreading our military might across the world, but that does not mean that his quote is rendered invalid. Truth is truth, regardless of its source. The comparison still stands.

    That’s capitalism for you. This is the kind of system you want, no? True competition. (Again, I love seeing capitalists decry capitalism at work)

    What a silly argument! Yes, it’s capitalism at work. And no, I am in no way decrying capitalism. Your assessment that I am doing so shows a lack of understanding about the true nature of the problem. The issue here is a weak monetary system that has come about as a result of government corruption, intervention, and irresponsibility. True capitalism thrives without such governmental impositions, and it is in no way the market’s fault that the dollar is doing so poorly. Capitalism means little when we’re talking about faith-backed fiat dollars enforced by brute strength of our military and economic sanction power.

    But Connor, what does any of this have to do with the “fall” of the American empire?

    Rolf Nef:

    When empires fall, their currencies fall first. Even clearer is the rising debt of empires in decline, because in most cases their physical expansion is financed with debt.

    Ron Paul:

    When gold was used, and the rules protected honest commerce, productive nations thrived. Whenever wealthy nations – those with powerful armies and gold – strived only for empire and easy fortunes to support welfare at home, those nations failed.

    John Keyes:

    The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.

    Thomas Jefferson:

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.

    John Adams:

    All the perplexities, confusion and distresses in America arise not from defects in the constitution or confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, as much from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.

    What does any of this have to do with the fall? Again, Bastiat noted that a sound economic policy is the base of any political policy, and without honest money and economic integrity, a nation is doomed for eventual destruction. Sure, they may postpone their demise in any way possible, most often through force of action, but their is certain when founded on incorrect principles.

    How does this destroy our country in the same way the Roman empire was destroyed? Are you saying that the only way America survives is if it is forever on top of the world?

    A country is only intact when it can maintain its sovereignty. Sovereignty is nothing more than the right to self-govern. A nation whose currency collapses and finds itself in debt to foreign states loses the ability to govern itself.

    It is for this very reason that we as individuals are counseled to get out of debt as fast as possible. Inasmuch as we are in debt to another, we are in bondage. The Lord would make us free, but we cannot be free when we assume debt. Similarly, a nation loses sovereignty when its economy crumbles, the collectors come calling, and other forces (higher powers such as multilateral committees and international banks) dictate policy and law for those in need of a rescue.

    One need only look at the intervention of the IMF and World Bank, swooping into countries with economic turmoil and dictating what policies must be put into place for them to qualify for assistance. These nations lose their sovereignty in the process. In a sense, that nation is destroyed and merely becomes a subset of a larger governing body.

    But this is not to say that our government will always go on. Duane Crowther compiled numerous quotes from Church leaders and scripture in his book Prophecy: Key to the Future. I don’t have the book with me right now to pull quotes from, but it’s an excellent resource for understanding what will become of our nation as the last days approach.

    Really, what “dastardly consequences” will a weakened dollar have for our country?

    Are you serious? The consequences are myriad. Nothing good can come from a debased dollar, decreased purchasing power, eroded savings, monstrous debt, skyrocketing inflation, and everything else that comes with the corruption of currency.

    And nations cannot exist without a government? Of course nations can! Governments can exist without economies. And economies can exist without money. Clearly your capitalistic drives have forgotten the days of bartering.

    Nations cannot exist without government, for without the order of government (even if that government be nothing more than a mutual understanding between citizens), anarchy reigns.

    Governments cannot exist without economies, for without an economy they cannot tax their citizens to maintain the programs and offices they exist to fulfill.

    Economies cannot exist without money, even if that money is nothing more than the barter of goods. Money is nothing more than a medium of exchange, no matter if it is gold, paper, or seashells. An economy is built upon the principle of exchange, using money.

    You’ve argued here that for America to survive (i.e. not “fall”) it must remain on top, in a position where the dollar is the strongest currency.

    I have argued no such thing, and apparently you have completely misunderstood the intention and content of this post. I have nowhere stated that America must remain on top, and have nowhere stated that the dollar must remain the world reserve currency.

    What I have stated is that we need sound money and honest fiscal policies that restrict inflation, reduce debt, and allow capitalism to truly work. Our government’s intervention into these areas of the economy have created a catastrophic fiscal situation that, if not remedied, will have some very serious consequences.

    Do we think that we can continue to spend money we don’t have?

    It’s too bad then that you are not telling the truth here, but are adding to the obfuscation and fear-mongering.

    It’s too bad that you have completely misunderstood me, and have accused me of obfuscation and fear mongering, for I have spoken nothing but truth backed by historical precedent and logic.

  6. Dan
    August 14, 2007 at 12:06 pm #

    Connor,

    But the scriptures warn of us the demise of past civilizations with critical elements that will serve for our own destruction, despite any changes, progress, or developments that make our own situation different from theirs.

    But the scriptures do NOT prophesy of the destruction or collapse of America. Even our modern prophets do not warn of our destruction as a nation-state.

    Yes, that Reagan. To be sure, he did his part in expanding the empire and spreading our military might across the world, but that does not mean that his quote is rendered invalid. Truth is truth, regardless of its source. The comparison still stands.

    Actually it does render it invalid, because as an empire builder, blatantly galavanting around the world causing a ruckus, he is not one who can authoritatively warn about empire building. He is an empire builder!

    A country is only intact when it can maintain its sovereignty. Sovereignty is nothing more than the right to self-govern. A nation whose currency collapses and finds itself in debt to foreign states loses the ability to govern itself.

    Then no nation on this planet is actually governing itself, and most likely no nation has ever been able to actually govern itself. This is a weak argument to make, and it still doesn’t show how America will “fall.” Bear in mind that when we talk of a nation-state falling, we’re talking about its utter demise, akin to the Roman empire, and not a breakup like that of the Soviet Union. America is not anywhere close to falling like the Roman empire.

    Money is nothing more than a medium of exchange, no matter if it is gold, paper, or seashells. An economy is built upon the principle of exchange, using money.

    No, Connor, it is not. I recommend you go take an economics class. There are various kinds of economic systems, and a monetary system is one of them. A monetary system is not used in all economic systems. You label “trade” as “money” but that label is wrong and incorrect. Money is a form of trade within the monetary system.

    It’s too bad that you have completely misunderstood me, and have accused me of obfuscation and fear mongering, for I have spoken nothing but truth backed by historical precedent and logic.

    No you have not, but you’re religiously convinced of your ways. I’m done here.

  7. Michael L. McKee
    August 15, 2007 at 6:10 am #

    Connor:

    It has been some time since I last participated in your efforts to enlighten and inform. Fortunately, I am currently involved in exploiting the Capitalist system. I have taken time to peruse your work occasionally and have been hoping you would be able to do so without the constant injection of immature emotionalized gibberish offered by pseudo intellectuals who attempt to pass their invective off as legitimate debate.

    While I realize the antagonistic behavior of some of your adherents seems to propel the conversation, I find the constant participation of some to actually be antithetical to your participatory approach. The constant attempt by some to challenge everything you say is, in my opinion, a hindrance to progress. You are being forced to defend rather than inform. The adversary is masterful at seeking out those who have a propensity toward self promotion, and he often utilizes them in subtle ways to further his cause of confusion and distraction.

    I have noted in the past that you certainly do not need me to defend you as I am able to recognize the warrior-like spirit you possess, and I am certain you are capable of defending yourself against all forms of adversarial challenges, but I do hope you will inform at least one of your participants that he needs to take his last three word sentence seriously.

  8. Kelly Winterton
    August 15, 2007 at 12:52 pm #

    Some of the contributors to this blog ought to read what John the Revelator says about our current economic situtation. It can be found in Revelation chapter 18 (the whole chapter).

  9. Curtis
    August 15, 2007 at 3:19 pm #

    Kelly,
    Revelation 18… that would be current yes, but mostly our future economic situation. The wealthy merchants of the earth are still selling their merchandise and living high on the hog.

    Dan,

    you said, “But the scriptures do NOT prophesy of the destruction or collapse of America. Even our modern prophets do not warn of our destruction as a nation-state.”

    I think there is a lot in the scriptures that prophesy the destruction or collapse of America. For example, 3 Nephi 16:

    13 But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel.
    14 And I will not suffer my people, who are of the house of Israel, to go through among them, and tread them down, saith the Father.
    15 But if they will not turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, I will suffer them, yea, I will suffer my people, O house of Israel, that they shall go through among them, and shall tread them down, and they shall be as salt that hath lost its savor, which is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of my people, O house of Israel.

    Then there’s Mormon 5:

    22 And then, O ye Gentiles, how can ye stand before the power of God, except ye shall repent and turn from your evil ways?
    23 Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power, and at his great command the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll?
    24 Therefore, repent ye, and humble yourselves before him, lest he shall come out in justice against you—lest a remnant of the seed of Jacob shall go forth among you as a lion, and tear you in pieces, and there is none to deliver.

    Then there’s D&C 84:

    114 Nevertheless, let the bishop go unto the city of New York, also to the city of Albany, and also to the city of Boston, and warn the people of those cities with the sound of the gospel, with a loud voice, of the desolation and utter abolishment which await them if they do reject these things.
    115 For if they do reject these things the hour of their judgment is nigh, and their house shall be left unto them desolate.

    Jeremiah 30:

    11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

    D&C 87:

    6 And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with camine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations.

  10. Dan
    August 15, 2007 at 3:40 pm #

    Curtis,

    All those scriptures are conditional. I’m talking about prophecies of certainty. America will not be destroyed. That much I can gather from the prophecies in the scriptures and modern day prophets.

  11. Dan
    August 15, 2007 at 3:42 pm #

    Mr. McKee,

    have been hoping you would be able to do so without the constant injection of immature emotionalized gibberish offered by pseudo intellectuals who attempt to pass their invective off as legitimate debate.

    Hmmm, do you even read your own stuff before posting to make sure you root out hypocritical comments? You see, instead of actually contributing to the debate, Mr. McKee, all you do is pass judgment on contributors to Connor’s post. Are your words not an “injection of immature emotionalized gibberish?” After all, what exactly does your comment have to do with the topic of this post?

  12. Curtis
    August 15, 2007 at 4:04 pm #

    Dan,
    You’re right. They are all conditional. The problem is, I can see us totally filling and meeting the conditions! Here for example in Ether 8:

    22 And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not.

    Our nation today is filled with these secret combinations and nothing is stopping them as far as I can see.

  13. Curtis
    August 15, 2007 at 4:06 pm #

    Dan,

    “You see, instead of actually contributing to the debate, Mr. McKee, all you do is pass judgment on contributors to Connor’s post.”

    I’m with you here Dan.

    Mr. McKee, please keep your judgements of Dan to other formats and stick to the posted topic please.

  14. Carissa
    January 10, 2008 at 8:23 am #

    David Walker on Glenn Beck

    Can anyone really claim to have a solution to this mess, other than Ron Paul?!

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  1. Connor’s Conundrums » Prophetic Quotes on America’s “Destiny” - August 15, 2007

    […] response to Dan’s comment in which he requested “prophecies of certainty”, the following quotes (certainly not a […]

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