I highly recommend that you take a few minutes to look through this research report from Mary Meeker. Some amazing data and detail on just how screwed our country’s finances are. This PPT can help inform your opinions about a whole host of issues, starting with government employee unions, the budget, entitlements and the effectiveness, or not, of those who went to Washington with BIG TALK about taking these issues on.

After reading this report, one thing is clear. It’s decision time for America. Here are a few lowlights, via Business Insider,

• Spending as a percent of GDP rose 3 percent each year from 1790 and 1930. Worse: It rose 24% in 2010.
Here’s a great breakdown of America’s biggest costs:
• Debt levels will be three times current levels by 2030. Entitlements and interest alone will exceed total revenue by 2025.
• Only 1 in 50 Americans needed Medicaid when it was first created in 1965, 1 in 6 Americans receives Medicaid now.
• Extended unemployment benefits could set back America Inc. $34 billion in the next two years alone.
• The only good investments: technology, education and infrastructure.
• The crucial reforms: entitlement and tax policies
• There is no quick-fix to America’s deficit problem. While raising taxes could help, the only real solution is cutting costs.
• Why we should cut Medicare benefits by 53%
• Why we should increase the retirement age to 73 or cut Social Security benefits by 12%.

USA Inc.is a non-partisan report that looks at the U.S. federal government (and its financials) as if it were a business. Mary Meeker, partner at KPCB and former financial analyst at Morgan Stanley, created and compiled the report with the goal of informing the discussion about our financial situation and outlook. USA Inc. examines the country’s income statement and balance sheet, aiming to interpret the underlying data and facts, and illustrate patterns and trends in easy-to-understand ways. The report also analyzes the drivers of federal revenue and the history of expense growth, and discusses basic scenarios for how revenue and expense growth might change to help America move toward positive cash flow.

USA Inc. – A Basic Summary of America’s Financial Statements