Comparisons of America to Rome — especially in the last few years — pop up in the news like bystanders at a crime scene. But never has someone shouting from the sidelines possessed such believability as the comptroller general of the U.S., David Walker, otherwise known as the head of the GAO, which is the research and investigation arm of Congress. Usually the GAO waits for direction from Congress on what to study, like say how Katrina rebuilding funds are being used. But Walker and the big brains at GAO decided on their own to simulate America’s future under the current circumstances. What they see in their crystal balls and flow charts is chilling: Dramatic raising of taxes, slashing of services and dumping of Dollars held by foreign investors.
(When China threatens to sell off their U.S. currency holding, estimated at nearly a trillion greenbacks, it’s not a little garden hose their threatening with; it’s a freakin’ cannon).
The GAO found many similarities between Rome’s circumstances just before it fell and America’s right now. It’s not a hypothetical. America won’t be sacked by marauders anytime soon (unless you’re one of the “patriots” guarding our borders from people who want to pick our fruit and beautify our landscapes, in which case you believe that America is already being overrun), but the conditions are ripe for an awfully hard fall.
China is determined to be the dominant world power of this century and they’re just waiting until America teeters at the edge — perhaps after the next 9/11-topping terrorist attack — to provide the nudge that sends her into a spiral.