Making Tough Choices: Presentation by the Honorable David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States   [open pdf - 29KB]

"It is a pleasure to be here and to have the opportunity to address AARP's annual meeting as a member of this panel. I have been a member of AARP for about two years. More importantly, I have worked with AARP in several government and private sector capacities on a number of issues of mutual interest and concern in the past, and I expect to continue to do so for many more years in the future. As Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO, I and my fellow GAO colleagues are in the truth, transparency, and accountability business. Importantly, at GAO, we are professionals and not politicians. Therefore, I'm here today to tell you the truth about several important issues. First, the financial condition of the United States government is worse than advertised. Our nation's real fiscal challenge is not today's deficits and debt levels; it's where we are headed in the future if we don't start making tough choices soon. The truth is, irrespective of the costs associated with Iraq and the Global War on Terrorism, the federal government faces large and growing structural deficits in future years due primarily to known demographic trends and rising health care costs."

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