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I.O.U.S.A. (2009)

David Walker (Peter G. Peterson Foundation) , Bob Bixby (Concord Coalition) , Patrick Creadon  |  PG |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Walker (Peter G. Peterson Foundation), Bob Bixby (Concord Coalition)
  • Directors: Patrick Creadon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: PBS (DIRECT)
  • DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001P9G3HE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,681 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I.O.U.S.A." on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

America is on the brink of a financial meltdown. I.O.U.S.A. boldly examines the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the United States. Burdened with an ever-expanding government and military, increased international competition, overextended entitlement programs, and debts to foreign countries that are becoming impossible to honor, America must mend its spendthrift ways or face an economic disaster of epic proportions.

Over 125 minutes of bonus materials, including exclusive interviews with Warren Buffett, Alan Greenspan and others.


"I.O.U.S.A accomplishes an amazing thing. It explains the national debt." --Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun Times

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manditory for every citizen November 7, 2008
By RLeone
Verified Purchase
It is unfortunate that only 10 people were in the theater besides my wife and I to watch this documentary film. The past head of the GAO for the last 3 presidents is the 'star' of this film and he presents the case about the national debt in a logical and yet terrifying manner. This is a must see for every high school student in America. Unfortunately, this will never happen. The film does present a method to save the country, but it will come at a cost that probably few in this land of ours will want to pay. But,if we don't, there is no doubt that a payment of some kind will occur, but it will be disastrous. Once you see this, you will begn to change your personal financial decisions with a wary eye on the future. Don't see this at your peril.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an outstanding and informative film April 22, 2009
I.O.U.S.A. educates people about the very real and very dangerous financial problems our government is facing. The producers of the film pull no punches here and they don't sugar-coat it; and that was the right thing to do. The way Americans live today is essentially "living for the moment" without thinking of the importance of saving money for a rainy day; and the film goes into great, great detail highlighting that the American government does the same. I will tell you just some of the points made by this movie; although it will seem as if I've given it all away I assure you that I haven't.

The film starts with cameramen asking people just how much they know about the federal deficit, the federal debt, the difference between the two and more. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people simply didn't know the answers to these questions. This is no laughing matter. These topics are highly relevant in these harsh economic times when America is at a true crossroads; the nonpartisan film shows that we and our government have to choose between spending and saving wisely or being reckless with our money as we have been.

In addition, the interview footage we get here is extraordinary. Peter Peterson contends that out biggest threat is our own financial turmoil, not terrorism (I would rank the two about equal, though). I also appreciated the footage with former Comptroller General Of The United States, David Walker. David Walker speaks in plain English about the dangers of America's national debt, the ballooning national trade deficit and the increasing budget deficit. David Walker and his colleagues including Robert Bixby, head of The Concord Coalition, go on "fiscal wakeup tours" that never make the news although they should have been reported.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must See October 26, 2008
This film is a must-see for every American. It highlights the unfunded national liability, in addition to the national debt, that nobody is talking about. We need to take action now or have the debt take the world and our grandchildren down with it.
~Jim Bennett
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendously important film May 1, 2009
This film is tremendously important and talks about a subject every American needs to know about: the looming debt crisis. Yes, everyone knows about the subprime loan crisis, but fewer know about (or are willing to acknowledge) the biggest subprime borrower of all: the U.S. government. Most people have a vague sense that something is wrong with the size of the national debt and the Federal deficits, but this movie really shows the full extent of the the problem.

This movie's primary message is that, unless something changes really quickly, there is another subprime crisis just waiting to happen: the national debt and the governments' unfunded liabilities (especially Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) are ticking time bombs. In other words, if you're not worried yet, you should be; the movie effectively demonstrates that, unless these problems are acted on quickly, the next generation will almost certainly have a lower standard of living than the current generation.

This film is an extremely well-done, high-quality documentary that addresses a crucial issue. It also does an extremely good job of being non-partisan; the film deliberately avoids taking a position on issues like big government vs. small government, the welfare state, tax cuts, etc. It merely argues that we need to pay for the government we actually have; most people are trying to have their cake and eat it too in the sense that they want ever-increasing government benefits and ever-decreasing taxes. (Consider that Bush pushed through a large tax cut and then dramatically increased government spending).
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IOUSA October 19, 2008
Scary! This is an unsavory subject every American needs to know about. It is an eye-opening lesson about our national debt.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I. O. U. S. A. is a wake up call from some of the government experts and policy consultants (not lobbyists) who have been warning the President for years about this coming crisis. Philanthropist Peter G. Peterson put $1 billion of his own money in this organization and hired America's Watchdog, GAO Comptroller General David Walker to head up the effort.
This movie is a "must watch." CNN ran a shorter version on a recent Sunday with several of the stars live.
This is real, it is disturbing and it is timeless. The government was already in serious debt BEFORE the credit crisis hit the fan. We won't get out of this easily nor will most investment advisors even address it.
I will bet your advisor sat you down to discuss your "risk tolerance" years ago and you agreed that you could stand a 10% short-term decline but that 20% would be troubling. In the past seven months the stock market fell 45% and no one called you and the market is about to fall further and you probably have not reallocated your portfolio to gold, silver and inverse or bear market funds. The losses are so bad your advisor doesn't want to discuss such a painful outcome with you.
Watch this film and you will understand that it is unlikely that you will see much of the money you had one or two years ago ever in your lifetime.
It's troubling for the government but it is tragic for you.
Bill Donoghue, Chairman, W. E. Donoghue & Co., Inc. Norwood Massachusetts
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars JUST EXCELLENT
This is an excellent documentary that every american citizen must see. America must wake up before is too late.
Published 6 days ago by Andrés
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Watch Documentary
You need to watch this documentary! It's now dated, but the concepts are solid. After watching this, you'll want to vote every last rascal out of office.
Published 13 days ago by Daniel J Salsbury
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great movie for congressmen and women to see.
Published 15 days ago by Andy Khan
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 1/2 years later: it's even worse now!
"I.O.U.S.A." (2008 release; 85 min.) is an eye-opening documentary on the unsustainable path that this country is on relative to its overall debt and fiscal deficits. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Paul Allaer
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend!
I use this video every year in my Economics class when we talk about debt. Its one of the better documentaries I have found in the last ten years that does a really good job of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Christopher P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie - Now Pay Down That Debt!!!
Please raise income taxes on the rich!! The only hope America has.
Published 1 month ago by Point bound
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Recommend this for viewing.
Published 1 month ago by justalittle
5.0 out of 5 stars All About The Federal Debt
I.O.U.S.A. is a documentary about the Federal Debt which amount to $9.6 Trillion during the time it was released. Read more
Published 1 month ago by DESERTMAN40
5.0 out of 5 stars Very true and sad story. Nothing will change until term limits are ...
Very true and sad story.
Nothing will change until term limits are place on congressmen. Lobbyist write and dictate policies.
Published 1 month ago by Lee Hankins
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It was just ok.
Published 2 months ago by himdownstairs
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Topic From this Discussion
I never heard of this Movie until after it left theaters.
I, too, am trying desperately to figure out how to see it. I did a Fandango search and it is coming back to Seattle for a free showing on Nov 15th. I want to see it NOW and I want to buy this for so many people. This is the most effective way to get this message out, esp was we enter into a... Read More
Nov 5, 2008 by Ronald J. Vodicka Jr. |  See all 3 posts
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