Law Religion Culture Review

Exploring the intersections of law, religion and culture. Copyright by Richard J. Radcliffe. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Book Review: Comeback America: Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility (2009) by David M. Walker.

Alert the media!

David M. Walker claims he has solved the the country's deficit and debt crises in Comeback America: Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility.

His solution: cut spending and raise taxes.

How did this prescription possibly elude everyone else?

The answer is that it hasn't. What has been elusive is leadership. One party wants to cut taxes and the other wants to increase spending (and some want both). The result is a balance sheet that isn't. Walker lays out a parade of horribles regarding the resultant national debt and unfunded obligations. (E.g., pp. 5-25.) This is not a news flash.

Too, Walker offers some political proposals, such as term limits and other anti-incumbency measures, and constitutional amendments. (pp. 193-96.) However, unless those in power and those who put them in power get serious about this mess, nothing will change. Walker, who has been a Washington-insider for many years, most recently as CEO of the Government Accountability Office from 1998 to 2008, knows this as well as anyone. I admire his apparent optimism, but this book comes across as a simplistic antidote to a poison that has probably irreparably corroded the system.

Walker himself concedes: "All of this is easy to say, but it will be tough to accomplish." (p. 192.) "[E]asy to say", yes; but far more than "tough to accomplish."

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