The United States of America owes a lot of money, and just being able to understand the gravity and vast immenseness of its current fiscal circumstances requires a bit of an education. The documentary film 'I.O.U.S.A.' explores the present day impact the U.S. national debt has on the whole world, and attempts to provide that educational experience. Featured in this film is a two-man team of real people, former United States Comptroller-General David Walker, and Director of the Concord Coalition, Robert Bixby. The Concord Coalition is a grassroots advocacy group dedicated to fiscal responsibility. Together, the two work their way across the USA to confront the citizenry about the seriousness of the national debt, and bring to light some little-known and astonishing facts related to it.
'I.O.U.S.A.' was considered for an award in the Documentary category of the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. At that time, the national debt was about 9 trillion dollars. At present, it is north of 16 trillion dollars -- about $53,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country. According to Bixby and Walker, there are four factors influencing our debt picture: The economy, the budget, the savings rate, and the balance of payments. However much the country borrows to fund tax cuts, welfare, and military spending, those amounts do not come anywhere near challenging the 53 trillion in unfunded promises the U.S. government has made to its own citizens in the form of Medicaid, Medicare, and social security. The film makes it clear that such programs can continue only by increasing taxes threefold, or by eliminating all other spending.
The last one-third of the documentary is a vivid warning to the viewer driving home the point that people need to start saving more so they can begin to own their debt. They also need to elect leaders who will do something about the inherent unfairness of the tax system while spending less.