There is certainly no better time for the release of former Government Accountability Office (GAO) head David M. Walker’s latest book, Comeback America: Turning the Country around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility than this. With the national debt at over 12 trillion dollars, America needs more sensible voices like Walker’s to help America stage the comeback to sound financial principles that is so fervently needed.
The GAO is a research arm of the U.S. Congress.
With over 35 years of experience in both the private and public sector, Mr. Walker is well qualified to comment on the financial practices and policies of the U.S. government. As the former Comptroller General and head of the Government Accountability Office, he has firsthand experience analyzing and reporting the federal government’s financial situation. Mr. Walker is currently the president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
During a speech he gave at the National Press Club’s Newsmakers press conference to promote his new book, Mr. Walker focused on three areas that are in urgent need of reform: policy, operational and political, and offered solutions to the problems that he brought up.
America’s dependence on foreign lenders is one of the greatest problems that Walkers urges rectified. He notes that “What threatens our future are the known structural weaknesses.” He cites the precariousness of the situation by emphasizing that should inflation remain at the historically low level it is currently at, America would still be paying 12% of the budget in interest payments.
On other issues such as taxes and health care, he notes that “The numbers don’t come close to working.” There was and is no way to grow, inflate, tax, cut, or reform the government out of the national debt. And, while in some places the money is falling short, in other areas of spending, money is being wasted.
He is quick to note that there is not one lone solution that will solve all these problems. Rather, we “must make tough choices.” One of the many viable solutions that Walker advocates is the reestablishment of tough, statutory budget controls to impede the profligate spending of the government. He also recommends a simplification and diversification of the tax structure while putting an express limit on national debt.
While a majority of his talk echoed with dire warnings, Walker ended by noting that many of the American people are ahead of their elected official in knowing what to do. It’s “not going to be easy, but it’s necessary,” he said of the reforms and strategies needed to save the nation that he has said bears “striking similarities” to the collapsing Roman Empire.