Screening Alert: I.O.U.S.A. with Rep. Jim Cooper in the House
by Jim Ridley
on Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 8:46 AM
And you thought your Visa bill was bad. I.O.U.S.A., the new documentary by director Patrick Creadon (Wordplay), aims to send folks shrieking down the aisles about the U.S. budget deficit and consumer debt, sounding the alarm about what former U.S. Comptroller General Dave Walker calls "a fiscal cancer that threatens the future economic well-being of our country, children and grandchildren." The movie will screen 7 p.m. tomorrow, Aug. 21, at Green Hills and Opry Mills, with a live town-hall meeting broadcast afterward in theaters across the country.
Joining Walker in a live televised panel discussion from Omaha will be Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway; William Niskanen, chairman of the CATO Institute; Bill Novelli, CEO of AARP; and Pete Peterson, senior chairman of The Blackstone Group and chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. The Green Hills screening will be attended by U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, who brought Walker to Nashville last year on his "Fiscal Wake-Up Tour."
Of the movie, our critic Michelle Orange wrote:
Both a handy election primer and a bowel-rattling cry of fiscal doom, I.O.U.S.A. is an Inconvenient Truth for the debt crisis, a plainly mapped and charted argument against our current economic course. Wordplay director Patrick Creadon has gathered some heavy-hitting policy players, including former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, former secretaries of the treasury Robert Rubin and Paul O’Neill (who sets the record straight about his unceremonious departure from the Bush administration in 2002), and hella-rich dude Warren Buffett, to ponder the issues of perceived wealth, how the United States managed to amass nearly $10 trillion in national debt, and where the current slide will leave our cash-rich nation in the next generation. Volcker calls former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker the Paul Revere of the coming disaster, and the film follows Walker and Concord Coalition executive director Robert Bixby as they thread the country on a 'Fiscal Wake-Up Tour.' Creadon lays out several economic weak spots, homing in on the explosion in foreign-held debt and trade deficits, but missteps with a brief and almost facile look at China, comparing the frugality of factory workers who earn $10 a day with Americans addicted to spending money they don’t have. China’s boom is undeniable but not uncomplicated, beginning with the labor atrocities that have made much of its prosperity possible.