Frontline's "Ten Trillion and Counting"

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
cat233's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 20 2008
Posts: 575
Frontline's "Ten Trillion and Counting"

Last night on PBS's Frontline I watched, Ten Trillion and Counting.  While many of the numbers and concepts are very fuzzy, it still got the message through that the US cannot stay on its current path.

They also showed the room from which the US debt is sold, that was interesting to see. 

I am visiting my parents, they watched as well.  I had yet to convince them to watch the CC, but this opened the door and will do so now.  I threw my arms up in victory when my father asked what Chris thinks we should do.


You can watch the full program online here.


The journey begins as FRONTLINE correspondent Forrest Sawyer takes viewers to
a secret location: the Treasury's debt auction room, where the U.S. government
sells securities backed by the "full faith and credit of the United States." On
this day, the government is auctioning $67 billion of Treasury securities. The
money borrowed will be used to fund services and programs that the government
cannot pay for through tax revenues alone.

Observers warn that the United States' reliance on borrowing to fund
essential programs is a dangerous gamble. For
the first time, investors are beginning to question the ability of federal
government to meet its growing financial obligations, and fading confidence can
have dire consequences. "You might have a situation where there is one day when
the government says we need to sell several billion dollars of bonds, and nobody
shows," Economist reporter Greg Ip tells FRONTLINE. "No money to pay the
Social Security checks, no money to give to the states for their Medicaid
programs. Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut."

Yet more borrowing is exactly what the Obama
administration plans to do
: hundreds of billions to bail out the banks and
other financial institutions; tens of billions more for the auto industry; $275
billion for homeowners and mortgage lenders; and a giant $787 billion stimulus
package to jump-start an economy spiraling downward. Just like the Bush administration before it, Obama and his
team are going to borrow big.

"That's the paradox of the situation that we're in now," observes Matt
Miller, author of The Tyranny of Dead Ideas. "Government has got to run
big deficits to stimulate the economy, deficits that would have been unthinkable
... because government's the only entity with the wherewithal to prop up a
demand in the economy when businesses and consumers are all pulling

Quote from Frontline






Alex Szczech's picture
Alex Szczech
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 31 2008
Posts: 105
Re: Frontline's "Ten Trillion and Counting"

Cat, thanks for the heads up. That looks interesting, I'll have to watch it online when I get a chance.  Glad to hear that your parents are now receptive to viewing The Crash Course.

fortytwo's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 24 2009
Posts: 35
Re: Frontline's "Ten Trillion and Counting"

I'm watching it now.  I recommend it for everyone.

Another interesting part of their narrative- they portray the problem as a consequence of politics (voters will pull support from those who raise taxes as well as those who cut services) that we (the voters) caused.

This is indeed a powerful critique for mainstream media. 

fortytwo's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 24 2009
Posts: 35
Re: Frontline's "Ten Trillion and Counting"

Wow-  look at what a buzz this show has generated in the blogosphere:

One dominant theme in people's comments in blogs seems to be: we're screwed.  Almost every comment makes a point of how Frontline didn't go far enough.  

The rest of the country is starting to wake up-  fast.

Also- consider writing a letter/comment to Frontline here:

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2606
Re: Frontline's "Ten Trillion and Counting"

Is it just me or is there a glimmer of hope here?  Not that the collapse won't happen, but that the word is starting to get out.

It seems that bits and pieces of the truth are starting to bubble up into the mainstream more and more.  PBS yesterday - maybe a segment on a prime news show tomorrow.  I'm starting to see similar articles pop up on CNN and MSNBC with a bit more frequency.

In any event, now that the in-laws have watched the Frontline piece and are going to watch the Crash Course maybe we won't be seen as the Doom and Gloomers in the family anymore.

Mike Pilat's picture
Mike Pilat
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 929
Re: Frontline's "Ten Trillion and Counting"

Thanks for posting! I'm definitely going to check this out tonight...Public perception has a VERY strong influence on the way things turn out and the MSM seems to be a decent tool to assess that!

Damnthematrix's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Frontline's "Ten Trillion and Counting"

Obama's economic strategy a 'way to hell'

By Emma Alberici for AM

Czech Prime Minister, Mirek Topolanek, whose country
holds the revolving European Union (EU) presidency, has condemned US
President Barack Obama's economic recovery plans as a "way to hell".

Mr Topolanek, whose government had just suffered a vote of no
confidence in its own parliament, said the combination of economic
stimulus and protectionism in the US would undermine the global
financial recovery.

He was speaking at the European Parliament just hours after Mr Obama
had called on all countries to bear the burden of spending to stimulate
the world economy.

Mr Topolanek's outburst in the European Parliament comes just a week
before Mr Obama is scheduled to visit Prague, part of his first visit
to Europe as the American President.

The Czech Prime Minister added further weight to the suspicion that
there are increasing divisions between continental Europe and Britain
and the US on which route to take toward economic recovery.

Mr Topolanek attacked America's growing budget deficit and the Buy
America campaign. He said Mr Obama's decision to spend his way out of
the mess was the road to hell, and he remarked that the EU's vote not
to do the same was the right one.

"Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary, talks about permanent
action and we, at our spring council, were quite alarmed by that," he

"He talks about an extensive US stimulus campaign. All of these steps, their combination and their permanency, is a way to hell.

"We need to read history books, and revisit the lessons taught by history."

There is a political dimension to Mr Topolanek's words, given the
recent vote of no-confidence in the Czech Parliament, but Geoff Mead of
the Press Association in Brussels does believe they reflect a
prevailing view in Europe.

"His choice of phrase was very unfortunate and will not be welcomed even by those member states," he said.

"And there are many who agree with his basic underlying point, which
is simply that we don't want to go down the US road - a road followed
by Britain - and that is to plough much more money, another fiscal
stimulus, into the economic crisis."

The man who is so concerned about pumping taxpayers' money into the
world economy may be forced to leave office in June amid a crisis of
confidence in eastern Europe over the handling of this economic crisis.

Two days ago the Hungarian Prime Minister said he planned to step
down and the Government of Latvia changed earlier this month as it
considers approaching the International Monetary Fund for a second
round of emergency loans.

Latvia has just reported a 12 per cent decline in economic growth,
the worst performer in the EU. Its new Prime Minister is Valdis

"There is a quite serious fear, both in Brussels and in the region,
for example if Latvia's economy would collapse, so would the economy of
other Baltic states and some economies in the region, including
Sweden's, which would be heavily affected by this," he said.

"So it's not basically bailing out one country; it's bailing out a whole region."

The controversy between Europe and the US does not bode well for
next week's G20 summit in London, which will attempt to reach a
consensus on the best way out of the global economic crisis.

Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 4 2009
Posts: 2606
Re: Frontline's "Ten Trillion and Counting"

Sad that a Czech understands the situation better than 53% of voting Americans. 

At least those voting Americans addicted to hopium............

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments