America's Chapter 11

Fri Jul. 14, 2006 3:58 PM EDT

Batten down the hatches, mates; it's almost over. According to a new report an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the U.S. government is bankrupt—or, at least, it will be soon. Battered by a growing budget deficit spurred by tax cuts we can't afford and an unsustainable commitments to welfare and pension pay-outs, the authors say, the country is nearing insolvency.

So what to do? An article in The Telegraph recounts the report's "terrifying" suggestions: "One solution is an immediate and permanent doubling of personal and corporate income taxes. Another is an immediate and permanent two-thirds cut in Social Security and Medicare benefits." Right… well, for those of you willing to go down with the ship, just stick tight and keep paying your share of the damage. I'll call you from Tehran.

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