Synopses & Reviews
The bestselling Bankruptcy 1995
alerted the American public about the impending crisis from ballooning deficits and debt. In response, a new administration in 1993 cut costs and raised taxes, averting disaster. Today, Gerald J. Swanson claims America is teetering once again on the edge of a financial abyss. In three short years, as a result of exploding costs and crippling tax cuts, our nation is in imminent danger of collapse:
• Already, we are committed to spending $500 billion more this year than the federal government will take in—more than we could save from abolishing Medicare and Medicaid completely.
• The budget deficit is approaching 5 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—roughly equal to the deficit Roosevelt ran in the Great Depression.
• Our trade deficit is equally spiraling out of control—the United States buys $500 billion more foreign goods and services than it sells every year.
• Foreign investments, which once kept the U.S. solvent, have dropped precipitously with the decline of the dollar.
• Corporate pensions are facing a "perfect storm" for underfunding, low return rates and investment losses.
• Household liquidity is at its lowest level in U.S. history—and household debt is at its highest level in history.
• A Treasury Department study conducted last summer determined that our future obligations under Social Security and Medicare would add another $44 trillion in debt by 2041—1 1/2 times the GDP of the country.
As Americans confront sound-bite generalizations and posturing of politicians this election year, AMERICA THE BROKE is a critical wake-up call, offering a welcome infusion of common sense and clear-eyed realism. From how to balance the trade deficit to how to stem the red ink and pay down our debt, it provides a blueprint for rescuing our economy and putting the country back on the path to a fiscally sound future.
About the Author
GERALD J. SWANSON is a professor of economics at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he has been named outstanding teacher of the year. He is the author of Hyperinflation and The Business of Crime, and coauthor, with Harry E. Figgie, Jr., of Bankruptcy 1995.