Sunday, February 27, 2005 - U.S. Deficit builds house of cards

You know we have serious concerns when the accountant in charge of the federal treasury is sounding the alarms. Those so called tax cuts are really "birth taxes", because they are saddling Americans just being born with an impossible debt. - The Nation:

"By John Aloysius Farrell
Denver Post Washington Bureau Chief

Washington - The tremors struck Tuesday. The wise guys and gals here looked to one another, eyebrows up, hearts skipping, silently asking like Californians: 'Is this the Big One?'

It was not. Not this time. Not yet.

The reports that tripped the capital's economic and political seismographs - that the central bank of South Korea was shifting reserves from U.S. dollars into sounder currencies - were denied.

The dollar plunged. The stock market wobbled. But at the end of the day, our Asian creditors showed patience. The house of cards trembled but did not collapse. The party carried on.

The U.S. economy is a funny thing, says David M. Walker, the accountant in charge of the federal government's books. You can be cruising along, with low unemployment and a soaring housing market, cutting taxes and spending like crazy, feeling quite pleased with yourself, king of the world.

And then one day, some gnome in Hong Kong arrives at work, looks at the numbers on his screen, gnaws on his fingernails and concludes you're not so safe a bet anymore. You're carrying too much debt, importing too much oil, getting old with nothing in the bank."

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