Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Comeback America

David Walker’s book, Comeback America, is filled with doom and gloom about our country’s economic state. He paints a rough picture of the pile of debt and the “borrowing is okay” mindset America has. Though he provides some potential solutions, the brunt of Walker’s focus is on the problems facing our nation.

Comeback America centers on irresponsible government spending, with special emphasis on social security, health care, and the pentagon. Walker’s credentials on this topic are high – he’s US Comptroller general and head of the Government Accountability Office. He has a genuine interest in our country’s fiscal responsibility, and he fills the book with appalling statistics (such as, if America’s debt was divided over the number of households in the country, each one would owe $483,000). Walker also avoids aligning himself with a political party throughout the book: he was a fan of Bush Senior and Clinton’s economic policies, upset with Bush Junior’s, and hopeful, but worried, about Obama’s.

As I was reading Comeback America, I knew what I was learning was important, but despite my efforts to engage, I was mostly bored with it. Walker’s writing is clear, but not particularly inspiring. Walker often gives speeches dealing with the same issues Comeback America does, and I would’ve rather heard him speak on them: his passion for the subject likely comes across better in speech than in type.

It’s difficult for me to settle on a fair rating for this book. Comeback America is not what I’d call an enjoyable read—something that is actually acknowledged by the author in the epilogue of the book—but I did learn a lot, and it’s made me think about the problem of excessive spending and how to deal with it. I give it a 3/5, but know what you’re getting into if you pick it up.

Watch Jon Stewart’s interview with David Walker

Buy the book

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