Fiscal Wake-Up Tour
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The Fiscal Wake Up Tour was a joint public engagement initiative by The Concord Coalition, The Brookings Institution, and The Heritage Foundation. Former U. S. Comptroller General David M. Walker was an advisor and participated in each of the Tour's public events. The purpose of the Tour was to educate Americans about their nation's true long-term financial condition and large and growing fiscal imbalance and to encourage Americans to demand action. The tour conducts a series of town hall forums and editorial board briefings around the country. By uniting with analysts from across the political spectrum on the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour, Heritage hopes to encourage a spirit of bipartisan honesty and frank discussion.
The Tour began in 2005, and covered over 40 cities, making the following statements:
- The combination of the "big three" entitlements (Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid) will double from the current 8 percent of GDP to 15 percent when today’s newborn graduates from college, to nearly 20 percent of GDP when today's college graduate reaches retirement in 2050.
- The unfunded federal future obligations of the federal government are now the equivalent of a mortgage of over $50 trillion ($38.8 trillion of which is due to Medicare and Social Security). This translates into a financial burden of $170,000 for each American.
- Without reform of entitlements, balancing the budget would mean driving up taxes dramatically to levels never seen in the US.
I.O.U.S.A., a 2008 documentary on the tour