I rarely step into the political world on this blog (other than to advocate on behalf of financial measures that would benefit my fellow Americans), but while I was driving today a commercial came on the radio that was so glaringly stupid and mistake ridden that I just had to post about it.
The radio spot was advertising Dinesh D’Souza’s newest documentary, 2016, which attempts to make President Obama out to be the overseer of America’s Armageddon. I’m not going to comment either way, that is just the plot.
Regardless of your politics I think both sides need to be accurate when making their points. I have not seen the movie, so perhaps what I’m about to blog about has been “caveated” enough to resemble something that is coherent, but given that the following quote was the big draw of the commercial…I doubt it. I’ve attended speeches by former Comptroller of the Currency David Walker in the past and was generally impressed, but he has made a huge mistake in his analysis of the US Debt Situation and D’Souza has no problem exploiting it. Here is the quote from Hotair – which appeared in the radio spot and presumably appears in the movie:
Former U.S. Comptroller David Walker has warned that the U.S. could slide into a debt scenario similar to what Greece is experiencing.
“The truth is if you count total U.S. government debt as compared to many of the European nations that are in the news, we’re already worse than they are, and we’re two years away from where Greece was when it had its crisis,” Walker said in a recent interview with CYInterview.com. …
He’s been warning of fiscal troubles since 2007, when he told CBS’s Steve Kroft in a “60 Minutes” segment, “I would argue that the most serious threat to the United States is not someone hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan, but our own fiscal irresponsibility.”
Do you see the error? Walker is not the first to make it, Democrats and Republicans seem to fall all over themselves promulgating the same thing, it’s just that Walker repeats the error at every speaking engagement. Walker, the Former Comptroller of the Currency should know better, after all he’s been involved with our nation’s currency for many years.
Walker compares the United States to many European Nations and specifically Greece, this is his biggest error. What is so wrong with this statement? Everything. As I’ve pointed out in this blog many times, the United States is monetarily sovereign – meaning it can print its own currency. Greece and member Euro nations CANNOT print the Euro, this makes all the difference in the world as Greece CAN default (just like California can, as they USE the Dollar, they don’t ISSUE the Dollar) and the United States can’t default. The irony is that the only way the United States could actually default on its debt is by congress voting not to fund it and the only party that has made it clear that debt default is a political option are congressional members of what has become known as the Tea Party – the same Tea Party to whom the movie 2016 was first debuted. Quite literally the crux of D’Souza and Walker’s argument is that Obama MUST be voted out to avoid financial armageddon, yet those who D’Souza would vote in are the only one’s on record who actually COULD make a U.S. default occur – it is truly maddening. Mind you, I’m not saying either party WOULD vote to allow this.
Folks, don’t confuse your household budget with that of the United States. Yes, the US has enormous problems and yes, there are many reasons that Obama should be one of those people held responsible (Timothy Geithner anyone?), but let’s at least have a conversation about who should be President using common sense. Let’s not lie and scare people with falsities using clever propaganda tools. The American people are smart enough to have a civil debate. And yes, just because we CAN print currency on demand, it doesn’t mean we should – but let’s at least debate THAT, not the falsity that the United States is the next Greece – it’s just not true.
For the record – I am neither a Democrat or Republican and believe that the phrase “Lesser of two evils” doesn’t begin to describe the choice America is faced with.
Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF