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FRONTLINE: Ten Trillion and Counting
FRONTLINE Ten Trillion and Counting
Actor: n/a
Director: n/a
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Documentary
NR     2009     1hr 0min

All of the measures by the feds to stem the tide in the financial meltdown have added hundreds of billions of dollars to our national debt.  FRONTLINE reports on how this debt will constrain and challenge the new administr...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: n/a
Director: n/a
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Special Interests, Television, Documentary
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/16/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

America's Economic and Ethical Crossroad
Doctor A. | San Diego, CA United States | 08/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Frontline offers an objective and fact-based presentation of America's current economic and social crisis. Beginning with Reagan's attempt to borrow our way to prosperity while dismantling appropriate federal regulation, then moving into the casino capitalism of Bush/Cheney, this documentary precisely traces the sequence of events that have lead to our current ethical and financial debacle. The issues raised in this documentary are of greater magnitude than simple dollars & cents or an economic down turn. As is also well illustrated in David Callahan's best-seller "The Cheating Culture," America's moral meltdown is indeed bigger than Enron or the housing bubble.

When legal guidelines are lacking and mandates for transparency in corporate and governmental affairs are absent, we open the door to abuse, greed and corruption. This is as true today as it was in 1929. Even the champion of free-market ideology, Adam Smith, wrote that appropriate governmental controls are necessary to limit the excesses and abuses of the "invisible hand" of the market. The issues raised in this eye-opening Frontline video bring to mind a timely quote by Justice Louis Brandeis "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.""
Horned Bush and Haloed Obama
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 06/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The work begins and ends with Obama. However, as you watch, the work makes it clear that the current president is not responsible for the astronomical debt.

The work spends one-third of its time blaming George W. Bush. In fairness, the work shows how Bush the Son learned never to increase taxes via his father's lost election. However, the work says W. knew that you can't fight a war and reduce taxes simultaneously. Treasury Department heads are interviewed saying they were glad W. fired them because they could not promote his policies with integrity. The work says Bill Clinton faced a law stating that the federal government could not spend money if it did not have a source for that spending. Although many Republicans have promoted small spending, the work emphasized that Bush the Son NEVER vetoed a spending bill. The work implies that W. ran up bills and did not care about the consequences. Several Republicans who favor small government were interviewed condemning W. and his practices.

The work stated that there was no deficit problem when W. first entered office. Although I view the work as condemning Bush the Son, I see that it never gives Bill Clinton any credit for that previous great financial status. The work implies that W. was never punished for his poor policies. However, I would say the landslide elections of Democrats in 2006 and 2008 were the punishment for the last administration. Like everyone, I worship Obama. Still, many have noted that Bush's failures may have created the space in which Barack the bruthaman could win the election.

The work mentions many of the difficulties that Obama faces as president. However, they quote him sounding so smart, realistic, and professional that it made him look like he would be the perfect person to correct these problems. I imagine that many viewers will leave this work saying, "Obama is the man! This reminds me of why I was so happy to vote for him in the first place!" If you think 'Rack and Michelle are the grooviest things since extra-large Reese's butter cups, this will only re-affirm your position.

The work presents Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as the problems that are and will cause a crisis for the government. However, the work skips something crucial. It says we owe this debt to Chinese and other foreign investors. As I watched this, I wondered, "What if the Chinese say, 'Sorry, America! We want to focus on our own country. We no longer want to give our money to you.'"? To me, that is the main problem with the deficit and the work does not answer that concern."
The Woes of the Budget
Michael A. Saxton | USA | 05/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am a big fan of PBS Frontline documentaries as they seem, at least in my opinion, to be a bit more unbiased than most. This is especially true of political documentaries. Most people know our deficit is high, we hear it all of the time but it tends to go in one ear and out the other. Most Americans are not aware of exactly how far in debt this country is and they don't quite understand the ramifications, especially for future generations, of such a staggering deficit.

While I don't feel that this documentary necessarily portrays President George W. Bush as a villain (one of the interviews specifically mentions that he believed he was protecting this country from terrorism and that he felt safety was important, whether or not one agrees, at least he took a stand for what he believed in), it does outline the massive amount of spending and the fiscal irresponsibility of his administration which caused the debt to soar whereas the United States had surplus at the time he took office. Matter of fact, his own party accused him of being "the largest spender since World War II".

When President Barack Obama entered office, he inherited a mess. This documentary does mention that he had wanted to get the Democrats and Republicans working together instead of the separation but unfortunately, the party lines have become even more sharp. He truly has a daunting task ahead of him. Now, over a year into his presidency, people are starting to shift the blame onto Obama and his administration for not doing enough.

Two other documentaries to watch in conjunction with this one (they are both PBS) are Frontline: Inside the Meltdown and Frontline: The Warning as together, they explain a bit more about how this economic crisis came to be (and it wasn't just the fault of George W. Bush). Also, which I think is even a little more eye opening, is that some of the estimates at the time of this video have come to pass (i.e. they estimated that unemployment would rise to the double digits and at this point it has and is still climbing).

Mike Saxton, Author of "7 Scorpions: Rebellion"