Patrick Creadon, the director behind Wordplay, leaves the fun and games behind and brings us this timely primer of America's fiscal disarray. To be clear, this is not a documentary about the current sub-prime mortgage-driven crisis, though that is mentioned. Instead, it's an insightful and easily digestible big-picture look at how much damn debt our country has, and the problems we're facing because of it.
A film about our country's finances could be a huge snooze, but Creadon keeps it lively. Like An Inconvenient Truth, I.O.U.S.A. breaks down a massive problem using snappy charts, animation, and archival footage to balance out talking heads like Warren Buffett and Robert Rubin.
Then again, the basic facts are stark enough to make you put down the popcorn and sit up straight in your theater chair. Consider: The national debt is (currently) just over $10 trillion. We owe a lot of that to China (and we'd better hope they don't want it back in the near future). We're importing and buying more than we export and sell. Thanks to programs like Social Security, we're facing $50 trillion-plus in unfunded promises. Overall, we're facing a "potential fiscal meltdown of our country," and cutting the budget a bit won't fix it. Yikes. (And good luck, Obama!)