by Jeff Woods
on Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 9:15 AM
During hearings on the economic calamity yesterday, Congressman Jim Cooper was at his snarling Blue Dog best. He seized his moment in the klieg lights to browbeat the Grand Pooh-Bahs of the Economy on the nation's coming fiscal crisis and what they're doing—or more precisely not doing—to head it off.
Cooper held up a copy of the official Financial Report of the United States Government and demanded to know why almost no one is trying to publicize its bad news before it’s too late.
“Why is this document so hidden? Because it contains such bad news,” Cooper told the witnesses—former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox and former Treasury Secretary John Snow.
“On your watch, did you do anything to publicize this report, to make sure that everybody in America knew the real story about the real numbers for America?”
Cooper proved his point and made Cox look silly in the process. The Financial Report is such a well-kept secret that Cox couldn’t hazard a guess as to the amount of the country’s “fiscal gap.” He couldn’t even give a ballpark number. It’s $54 trillion, Mr. Chairman.