I.O.U.S.A. -- The Policy Discussion

Go to the I.O.U.S.A. -- The Movie page Watching the movie I.O.U.S.A. can be an exciting, but in some ways daunting experience because of the tremendous amount of information and concepts that are introduced. It can also be scary--because we all care about the future of the nation and the fiscal well-being of our children and grandchildren.

On this page, The Concord Coalition provides an opportuntity for you to explore the ideas of the movie in more detail.

Questions and Answers

Stars of the movie, former Comptroller General of the United States and current President of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation David Walker, and Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert Bixby, answer questions from around the country here.  

The Four Deficits

The movie I.O.U.S.A. is organized around the "four deficits" that David Walker first spoke of while he was Comptroller General of the United States. In a speech before the U.S. Naval Academy in March of 2007, Walker explained the interrelationship of these deficits-that "[t]ogether, these deficits have serious implications for our future role in the world, our future standard of living, our future domestic tranquility, and even our future national security."

The four deficits are: The Federal Budget Deficit, The Savings Deficit, The Trade Deficit, and The Leadership Deficit. These four deficits are interrelated and should matter to all Americans. Economically, these deficits matter because reduced national saving jeopardizes the future strength of the U.S. economy and standards of living. Ethically, these deficits matter because they result from choices made by current generations that involve large costs spread over future generations--Americans who as of yet have no political voice, except through their parents and grandparents. For more on the Four Deficits click here...

The Fiscal Wake-Up Tour

I.O.U.S.A follows The Concord Coalition's Fiscal Wake-Up Tour around the country. We started the tour because we believe that only with an engaged, informed and demanding public can the nation's fiscal challenges be met. The Tour's mission is to cut through the usual partisan rhetoric and stimulate a more realistic public dialogue on what we want our nation's future to look like, along with the required trade-offs. We believe that elected leaders in Washington know there is a problem, but they are unlikely to act unless forced to by their constituents. The Tour began as a series of public forums around the country and now, in addition to those forums, we are organizing in-depth local committees to futher focus attention on our nation's daunting long-term fiscal challenges.

For more on the Wake-Up Tour click here...