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FRONTLINE: Ten Trillion and Counting (2009)

n , a , n , a  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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FRONTLINE: Ten Trillion and Counting + Frontline: Inside the Meltdown + Frontline: The Warning
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Product Details

  • Actors: n, a
  • Directors: n, a
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: June 16, 2009
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001UW59K8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,520 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

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 administration, and on the growing chorus, that without fiscal reform the US government may face a debt crisis of its own in years to come that make the current financial problems look almost painless by comparison.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars America's Economic and Ethical Crossroad August 10, 2009
Verified Purchase
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 in 1776 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."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Woes of the Budget May 28, 2010
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
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horned Bush and Haloed Obama June 22, 2009
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Million Reasons to See This January 23, 2011
It's called the "boob tube." It's a reference to the inane shows that pass for entertainment on television. It suggests that any time spent on it is time wasted, nothing learned. Whoever espoused this position never counted on programs like Frontline from the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). It is a treasure of information and professional journalism. This edition of Frontline is no different.

Forrest Tucker analyzes our ten trillion dollar debt, and examines its consequences on our citizens and the nation, our present and our future. Greg Ip of the Economist, David Leonhardt of the New York Times, David Wesel of the Wall Street Journal, and author Matt Miller explain how it happened. They tell the story of a surplus economy with the end of the Clinton administration, through 8 years of Bush, to the deficits that President Obama finds bedevilling his presidency today, and it tells us how we got there.

George W. Bush has learned well from his father. "Read my lips; no new taxes," is the phrase that sealed his father's fate when he followed contrarian advice raising taxes to contain deficits and address a recession. His son would not make the mistake of doing what was economically sound over what was politically expedient--ever. Neither would he make the mistake of tolerating a differnce of opinion. Paul O'Neill, his first Secretary of Treasury is fired in November of 2002 after he strenuously objects to borrowing money for a war while reducing taxes. Larry Lindsay, Bush's economic advisor is sacked when he mentions that the Iraq war will cost at least 50 billion dollars. Speaking truth to power is not always the path to steady employment.

In his first few months in office, George W.
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