Copyright 2012 by John T. Reed

David M. Walker was United States Comptroller General (Congressional, not executive branch position) from 1998 to 2008 and is Founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative.

On 6/6/12, he spoke at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco and I attended. I could have finished about two-thirds of his sentences. He is an honest guy and studied the same data I did and came to almost identical conclusions. If you reader of my writings on the U.S. debt and impending hyperinflation had been sitting next to me at the speech, they would have been whispering, “He sounds like you” repeatedly.

Not exactly. He and I seem to be quite congruent with regard to the deficit/debt problem is the U.S. But his solutions are of the “politics is the art of the possible” genre, e.g., raise the retirement age of Social Security, means test Medicare, etc.

I present my policy solutions in web articles and in my book How to Protect Your Life Savings from Hyperinflation & Depression.

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Walker wants to make his policy solutions become actual policy. Good luck with that. I consider such things a waste of time because the public simply does not see the need.

I set forth my policy solutions—which are yank-the-bandaid-off, hardcore libertarian—in my various articles and books as an intellectual exercise and to make the point that:

As you can see when you consider what the real solutions are, it’s not gonna happen. There are no grown-ups in DC protecting you, so you’d better be your own grown-up.

I then preach my how to save your individual self solutions in my articles and book. Walker, as far as I know, does not go into how you can save yourself from the near certain financial doom toward which the politicians are now taking us. In short, he wants to save you by saving the country through better policies. I think that is a waste of time, at least until after the hyperinflation/wage-and-price controls/capital controls/rationing. Then, people’s minds will be focused and they will understand that we could not continue on the path we were on in 2012.

I want to save you by telling you individual actions you can use to protect your life savings if not that of the American people as a group. And I try to motivate you to take action while you still can.

Walker says the problem is caused by lack of leadership. My wife agrees. Yeah, fine. Not enough Scott Walkers, Bobby Jindals, John Kasichs, Mitch Danielses, and Chris Christies at the federal level.

But leadership is too fuzzy a comment for me, and I graduated from what many say is the best leadership school in the world: West Point. Don’t tell me about leadership. Show me your results. If you search for the word leadership in the search box at the top of each page of my web site, you will find the various articles where I wrote about what leadership is and is not.

In an email, a West Point graduate reader recently criticized civilian colleges for too much navel gazing compared to the normal day at West Point. He also spoke repeatedly of West Point leadership training. I responded that West Point did too much navel gazing about leadership and was not winning enough wars which is what they are supposed to be studying.

I think the best chance of enacting policies like walker’s is a third party that embraces them and gets on the ballot in every Congressional district. First, third parties scare the Democrats and Republicans into looking at the party platforms of the third parties and possibly adopting those planks. Second, the top two parties used to be third parties so the idea of a third party is to become a first party and all first parties did that in the past.

There was a serious third party called Americans Elect this year. Wikipedia says Walker was one of their possible presidential candidates. (America Elect was a flop. They could not find a viable presidential candidate. A lot of donors’ money up in smoke.)

I waited afterward to ask Walker one question. When it was my turn, he spoke before me saying he had spoken to me before and remembered me.

I have NO idea what he is talking about. If he is right I can only guess it must have been a prior Commonwealth Club lecture. He said he had spoken there 8 or 9 times. I do not remember faces, but I do remember names and life stories. I do not remember his.

Seeing the bafflement on my face he insisted he had spoken to me before and remembered me.

So I told him my author name—John T. Reed—thinking it might make him recall details of our prior meeting. He made no comment in response. So I proceeded to tell him I had written a book about the debt crisis. The one question I wanted to ask was that I had predicted the bond market would stop buying our bonds in 3 to 5 years because that’s when your 104% debt-to-GDP ratio (current) would reach 138%—about the level of Greece when they started needing bailouts. They got them—because they were too big to fail. We will not—because we are too big to bail out.

He said I was leaving out the state and local debt in the 104%-of-GDP figure and that the total government debt in America meant that we only had one or two years left. I was not able to ask his reasoning and I do not know what it could be other than “bankruptcies” of the localities and states causing the world bond market to run away from U.S. federal bonds before the debt-to-GDP ratio reaches 138%.

But I was surprised that he said the fuse was shorter. I thought he would say we have more time. He most certainly did not. He says we have less.

We also discussed somewhat the puzzling rush of Europeans and others to the “safety” of the dollar. I said they must be grading U.S. bonds on the curve. He immediately agreed. I further said that the fact that U.S. bonds were “safer” than European bonds or the “safest” bonds did not necessarily mean they were safe enough. He agreed.

I have not read his book, but I assume it is similar to what he said in his speech. Good stuff in terms of the debt problem and the political solutions. I am not interested in the art-of-the-possible solutions. We don’t have time for that shit and I cannot pretend I agree with all that Marxist crap—safety net, means testing, progressive income tax. We are going to get a failed bond auction followed by hyperinflation. Apres that, a deluge of unknown character. We could turn into the Soviet Union, the Fourth Reich,Pre-New Deal America, or Hong Kong before 1997. How do you prepare for that? Hell if I know. I am moving money to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Swiss francs. Hopefully, they will give me a good seat from which to watch America fight over socialism versus freedom.

There were TV cameras at Walker’s talk so I suspect it will be on C-Span.

John T. Reed