I.O.U.S.A. educates people about the very real and very dangerous financial problems our government is facing. The producers of the film pull no punches here and they don’t sugar-coat it; and that was the right thing to do. The way Americans live today is essentially “living for the moment” without thinking of the importance of saving money for a rainy day; and the film goes into great, great detail highlighting that the American government does the same. I will tell you just some of the points made by this movie; although it will seem as if I’ve given it all away I assure you that I haven’t.
The film starts with cameramen asking people just how much they know about the federal deficit, the federal debt, the difference between the two and more. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people simply didn’t know the answers to these questions. This is no laughing matter. These topics are highly relevant in these harsh economic times when America is at a true crossroads; the nonpartisan film shows that we and our government have to choose between spending and saving wisely or being reckless with our money as we have been.
In addition, the interview footage we get here is extraordinary. Peter Peterson contends that out biggest threat is our own financial turmoil, not terrorism (I would rank the two about equal, though). I also appreciated the footage with former Comptroller General Of The United States, David Walker. David Walker speaks in plain English about the dangers of America’s national debt, the ballooning national trade deficit and the increasing budget deficit. David Walker and his colleagues including Robert Bixby, head of The Concord Coalition, go on “fiscal wakeup tours” that never make the news although they should have been reported. The statistics we also get along the way are presented neatly with graphs and charts that are easy to understand; the points being made are rather gloomy but all too true. These issues demand immediate attention.
The movie also contends that American financial problems have four primary sources: a budget deficit issue, a savings deficit issue, a trade deficit issue and a leadership issue. The film also deals with entitlement programs including Medicare. Just how all these come into play I will not go into here so that you can have plenty of new material to uncover when you watch this movie. There’s quite a bit more interview footage in this movie.
The DVD also boasts some wonderful extra features including more talking with everyday people like me; and I especially liked the features entitled “Panel At The Premiere” and “More From Leading Economic Experts.”
Overall, I.O.U.S.A. fascinates me and the issues are so critical that this film should be mandatory viewing for all Americans. The film was produced largely before the current economic crisis began but we still see some commentators predicting the house of cards could well fall. I highly recommend this film.