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Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

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THE FACTS. THE FUTURE. THE FIGHT TO FIX AMERICA—BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. In the words of Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, the United States is “an empire on the edge of chaos.” Why? Glenn Beck thinks the answer is pretty simple: Because we've turned our backs on the Constitution. Yes, our country is financially broke, but that's just a side effect of our broken spirit, our bro THE FACTS. THE FUTURE. THE FIGHT TO FIX AMERICA—BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. In the words of Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, the United States is “an empire on the edge of chaos.” Why? Glenn Beck thinks the answer is pretty simple: Because we've turned our backs on the Constitution. Yes, our country is financially broke, but that's just a side effect of our broken spirit, our broken faith in government, the broken promises by our leaders, and a broken political system that has centralized power at the expense of individual rights. There is a lot of work ahead, but we can't move forward until we first understand how we got here. Starting with the American Revolution, Glenn takes readers on an express train through 234 years of history, culminating with the Great Recession and the bipartisan recklessness of Presidents Bush and Obama. It's the history lesson we all wished we'd had in school. (Did you know, for example, that FDR once made a key New Deal policy decision based on his lucky number?) Along the way, you'll see how everything you thought you knew about the political parties is a lie, how Democrats and Republicans alike used to fight for minimum government and maximum freedom, and how both parties have been taken over by a cancer called “progressivism.” By the end, you'll understand why no president, no congress and no court can fix this problem alone. Looking toward them for answers is like looking toward the ocean for drinking water—it looks promising, but the end result is catastrophic. After revealing the trail of lies that brought us here, Broke exposes the truth about what we're really facing. Most people have seen pieces of the puzzle, but very few have ever seen the whole picture—and for very good reason: Our leaders have done everything in their power to hide it. If Americans understood how dire things really are, they would be demanding radical reform right now. Despite the rhetoric, that's not the kind of change our politicians really believe in. Finally, Broke provides the hope that comes with knowing the truth. Once you see what we're really up against, it's much easier to develop a realistic plan. To fix ourselves financially, Glenn argues, we have to fix ourselves first. That means some serious introspection and, ultimately, a series of actions that will unite all Americans around the concept of shared sacrifice. After all, this generation may not be asked to storm beaches, but we are being asked to do something just as critical to preserving freedom. Packed with great stories from history, chalkboard-style teachable moments, custom illustrations, and Glenn Beck's trademark combination of entertainment and enlightenment, Broke makes the case that when you're traveling in the wrong direction, slight course corrections won't cut it—you need to take drastic action. Through a return to individual rights, an uncompromising adherence to the Constitution, and a complete rethinking about the role of government in a free society, Glenn exposes the idea of “transformation” for the progressive smokescreen that it is, and instead builds a compelling case that restoration is the only way forward.


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THE FACTS. THE FUTURE. THE FIGHT TO FIX AMERICA—BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. In the words of Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, the United States is “an empire on the edge of chaos.” Why? Glenn Beck thinks the answer is pretty simple: Because we've turned our backs on the Constitution. Yes, our country is financially broke, but that's just a side effect of our broken spirit, our bro THE FACTS. THE FUTURE. THE FIGHT TO FIX AMERICA—BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. In the words of Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, the United States is “an empire on the edge of chaos.” Why? Glenn Beck thinks the answer is pretty simple: Because we've turned our backs on the Constitution. Yes, our country is financially broke, but that's just a side effect of our broken spirit, our broken faith in government, the broken promises by our leaders, and a broken political system that has centralized power at the expense of individual rights. There is a lot of work ahead, but we can't move forward until we first understand how we got here. Starting with the American Revolution, Glenn takes readers on an express train through 234 years of history, culminating with the Great Recession and the bipartisan recklessness of Presidents Bush and Obama. It's the history lesson we all wished we'd had in school. (Did you know, for example, that FDR once made a key New Deal policy decision based on his lucky number?) Along the way, you'll see how everything you thought you knew about the political parties is a lie, how Democrats and Republicans alike used to fight for minimum government and maximum freedom, and how both parties have been taken over by a cancer called “progressivism.” By the end, you'll understand why no president, no congress and no court can fix this problem alone. Looking toward them for answers is like looking toward the ocean for drinking water—it looks promising, but the end result is catastrophic. After revealing the trail of lies that brought us here, Broke exposes the truth about what we're really facing. Most people have seen pieces of the puzzle, but very few have ever seen the whole picture—and for very good reason: Our leaders have done everything in their power to hide it. If Americans understood how dire things really are, they would be demanding radical reform right now. Despite the rhetoric, that's not the kind of change our politicians really believe in. Finally, Broke provides the hope that comes with knowing the truth. Once you see what we're really up against, it's much easier to develop a realistic plan. To fix ourselves financially, Glenn argues, we have to fix ourselves first. That means some serious introspection and, ultimately, a series of actions that will unite all Americans around the concept of shared sacrifice. After all, this generation may not be asked to storm beaches, but we are being asked to do something just as critical to preserving freedom. Packed with great stories from history, chalkboard-style teachable moments, custom illustrations, and Glenn Beck's trademark combination of entertainment and enlightenment, Broke makes the case that when you're traveling in the wrong direction, slight course corrections won't cut it—you need to take drastic action. Through a return to individual rights, an uncompromising adherence to the Constitution, and a complete rethinking about the role of government in a free society, Glenn exposes the idea of “transformation” for the progressive smokescreen that it is, and instead builds a compelling case that restoration is the only way forward.

30 review for Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    This book is the Road to Serfdom pt. 2, albeit not as complicated. If you don't like Glenn you still owe it to yourself to read it. He does something very few writers do and thats not take political sides. In this book he looks at the numbers and the policies of the leaders and shows the pain they have caused. Repubs don't fare well, and they shouldn't, and that includes Reagan! Glenn is very hard on Bush for one thing and applauds some of the things Clinton did. He shows the slight of hand used This book is the Road to Serfdom pt. 2, albeit not as complicated. If you don't like Glenn you still owe it to yourself to read it. He does something very few writers do and thats not take political sides. In this book he looks at the numbers and the policies of the leaders and shows the pain they have caused. Repubs don't fare well, and they shouldn't, and that includes Reagan! Glenn is very hard on Bush for one thing and applauds some of the things Clinton did. He shows the slight of hand used by politicians to make themselves seem better than they really are. Presidents keep trying differing forms of socialism and they do nothing but create economic slavery. No one gets off the hook with Glenn, and I wish people would see that rather than broad brushing him. The people are on the hook for this as well, we overspend right a long with Washington. People of the Tea Parties have signs that say Gov. Keep your hands of my Medicare. (DA) Follow the plan Glenn lays out in the last third of the book, it will seem extreme but the future will be very difficult if we don't change and soon. More government intrusion is never better for the individual. What they need is for us to be is in debt, hungry, and stupid. Two down 1 to go. What I didn't like is that some of the stuff in this book is a rehash of his Arguing with Idiots book, there is plenty of new stuff that could be covered rather than repeating stuff.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda

    Another book in true Glenn Beck form. Once again, he's fighting to save America. The book is written in a somewhat 'textbook' format, with lots of little diagrams and inserts on each and every page to better illustrate and provide little bits of info, quotes, and facts on related topics. The first part of the book focuses on the American PAST, the Founding Father's intent, various presidents, our Constitution and Declaration of Independence, etc. Then he discusses the ever-growing financial debt Another book in true Glenn Beck form. Once again, he's fighting to save America. The book is written in a somewhat 'textbook' format, with lots of little diagrams and inserts on each and every page to better illustrate and provide little bits of info, quotes, and facts on related topics. The first part of the book focuses on the American PAST, the Founding Father's intent, various presidents, our Constitution and Declaration of Independence, etc. Then he discusses the ever-growing financial debt, budget, pay-as-you-go spending, and the cover-up of the sorry state of the federal government's finances. Finally, THE PLAN, his suggested EIGHT steps that must be be followed to lead us on our way out of this national decline. He discussed our rights as man, faith in America, separating federal from state governments, etc. He maintains that the title of the book "Broke" is not simply a reference to our financial situation; it's a comment on our entire society. Quite a lot of effort on his part. If only our lawmakers and politicians spent this much thought on the state of our country! Favorite Quotes: "Why would we think our spiritual neglect today will get some sort of free pass from God when no other generation throughout history ever has? IF you believe, as I do, that the Founders' work in creating this nation was divinely inspired, then you should also believe that God is not going to look kindly at the dismantling of what He created. If we want a different result than other civilizations, then we need to make different decisions. Virtue must replace vanity; godliness must replace greed and gluttony, fear and trembling must replace power and arrogance. God set this nation apart and God expects us to take care of the gifts we are given. But don't expect to see punishment through fire or flood if we don't---God allows us to reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of our own decisions. To God, none of us is too big to fail. The path toward healing does not begin with some unnamed hedonistic progressive activist---it begins with you. Now, at this point you may be saying to yourself: 'This is a cool story and all, Glenn, but isn't this a book about fixing our economy?' Yep, it sure is---but our financial renewal cannot begin without a spiritual renewal. We are broke because we are broken. We are like a ship lost at sea, bobbing in the waves and moving in whatever direction the prevailing wind blows. To reach our destination we need a North Star---a fixed object that can lead us in the right direction. And that North Star is God." p 248 "State governments were free to put as much or as little separation between themselves and religion as they desired---it was only the power of the federal government to mandate a 'national' religion that concerned the Founders. So where does the famous 'separation of church and state' line come from? It was actually in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in 1802. The Baptists, concerned that the government might interfere with their right to worship, had appealed to Jefferson for advice. In assuring them that their rights were as unalienable as the rights of any religion, he wrote the Baptists and told them that the first amendment ensured their freedom and that there was a 'wall of separation between church and state'...that would prevent the government from ever interfering in their right to worship the way they pleased. Like many of the words of our Founders, the meaning of Jefferson's letter has been completely changed over the years to suit the agenda of those who would prefer that he was talking about religion infiltrating our government instead of the other way around." p 251-2 " We all know that famous phrase from the Declaration of Independence, but it's funny how, over the years, people have lost sight of four important things about it: 1. We are 'created' equal. We don't live as equals or die as equals; we are only created that way. 2. We have the right to 'pursue' happiness, not a guarantee of it. 3. Our rights are 'unalienable' which means they cannot be taken or given away by any man or government. 4. Only five words were capitalized: Creator, Rights, Life, Liberty, and Happiness. I don't believe that was an accident---the Founders were ensuring that everyone understood that those words deserved a common level of respect. Our rights come from our Creator, and those Rights provide us with access to Life and Liberty and the ability to pursue Happiness. " p 219-20 " Ayn Rand once pointed out another great way to distinguish whether a right is in accordance with the constitution: simply ask the question 'at whose expense?' after the right is proposed. For example, try asking that question after someone proposes a universal right to a college education. 'At whose expense?' Asking that same question about individual rights yields an entirely different answer. Your right to life and liberty does not come at the expense (financial or otherwise) of anyone else." p 225-6 "Those who push so-called positive rights are really pushing the idea that people have a right to things like health care, welfare, affordable housing, etc. In other words, the things that government attempts to provide through entitlement programs. The reason they use the term 'positive rights' is that it implies the opposite 'negative'. What they don't tell you is that negative rights are also commonly known by another name: 'natural rights.' Those are the unalienable rights that come directly from the Creator. Positive rights, on the other hand, don't come from your Creator, they come from man and, consequently, can be taken away by man. Take government-mandated health care, for example. That is clearly a positive right because it immediately fails the Ayn Rand test (...at whose expense?) But, there's another big difference between positive and natural rights: responsibilities. Positive rights don't demand any. Natural rights, like the right to life, for example, imply that we all have a duty upon us to not take that right away from someone else." p 228

  3. 4 out of 5

    Avel Rudenko

    One of the best political books I have ever read. If everything Mr. Beck said was obviously wrong I would still read his books because they are extremely entertaining. This is probably his second best only to "Arguing With Idiots". It is definitely more polical then his others and a lot less comedy i.e. "ADD Moments" although more "Teachable Moments" and the like. After all, his show is an entertainment show. The layout and graphics make for very enjoyable and easy read. The extensive footnotes One of the best political books I have ever read. If everything Mr. Beck said was obviously wrong I would still read his books because they are extremely entertaining. This is probably his second best only to "Arguing With Idiots". It is definitely more polical then his others and a lot less comedy i.e. "ADD Moments" although more "Teachable Moments" and the like. After all, his show is an entertainment show. The layout and graphics make for very enjoyable and easy read. The extensive footnotes (54 pages of them) make way for authenticity. It not only states the problems we have today, but also shows how we arrived here and, most importantly, shows us the U.S. how to solve the problems. This is a masterpiece on the American condition and offers a window of opportunity to alter the course of destruction that the human condition has wrought on societies time and time again, since the fall of Greece in ancient times. The bell curve of history (an interesting chart) is not inevitable if we are on God's side. The similarities of the factors causing the fall of Rome to our current condition are awe-inspiring. The authors, Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe, offer a number of teachable moments and I quote ".....putting people to work in unproductive government jobs may be good for headlines, but it leads to a major strain on private businesses, since those jobs must eventually be paid for via taxes. It's subsidized employment, and it's a lot different than the true entrepreneurial employment that drives real growth". This should be a school book in every classroom. Not Marxist jargon!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    4.5 stars. Let me first preface this by saying that, while I am a conservative, and like Glenn Beck generally, he can be a bit of a kook-a-doodle. However, this book really ought to be required reading for all Americans. It just so happens that I was reading this while the newest U.S. budget was being introduced, along with all the protests in Wisconsin, and it was amazing the rhetoric that I could cut through just by being an INFORMED CITIZEN. Not only did I have the historical background of ho 4.5 stars. Let me first preface this by saying that, while I am a conservative, and like Glenn Beck generally, he can be a bit of a kook-a-doodle. However, this book really ought to be required reading for all Americans. It just so happens that I was reading this while the newest U.S. budget was being introduced, along with all the protests in Wisconsin, and it was amazing the rhetoric that I could cut through just by being an INFORMED CITIZEN. Not only did I have the historical background of how we got to this appalling place in our country's fiscal history, I liked that Beck gave a game plan for the way out. So I could easily spot those politicians that are just talking heads, giving the same old game plan, and resurrecting the same old "us vs. them" mentality, which will do nothing to solve this problem. And it is a HUGE, TRILLION DOLLAR problem. And while Beck is obviously a conservative, he really doesn't let anyone off with a free pass. No matter what party affiliation you align yourself with, this book is incredibly important so that change can be effected (and soon). Recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    This book is AMAZING! Perfectly describes the history of debt in America and the progressivism that drives it, our current problems with debt, and a suggested plan on how to fix it. Perhaps you feel that you are just one voice out of 300 million people and cannot make a difference in shaping the political landscape of this country. Perhaps you feel like it is futile to get involved in politics. Perhaps you feel like things are so out of control that you have given up hope of ever reigning in the This book is AMAZING! Perfectly describes the history of debt in America and the progressivism that drives it, our current problems with debt, and a suggested plan on how to fix it. Perhaps you feel that you are just one voice out of 300 million people and cannot make a difference in shaping the political landscape of this country. Perhaps you feel like it is futile to get involved in politics. Perhaps you feel like things are so out of control that you have given up hope of ever reigning in the ever increasing size and power of the federal government. This book will change how you feel! I have a better understanding of the situation in our government and how we arrived at the horrible mess it is in now - but more importantly I have an understanding of what I can personally do to make a positive difference. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone! It's time we take back our country from those who would spend it into oblivion!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Here is the problem as I see it: Americans want two things at the same time. On the one hand, "we" want good schools, police officers, fire stations, mail, well-maintained roads and bridges, an unbeatable military, a 'smart grid,' environmental protections, and a strong social safety net that includes housing, medical care, and food security. We want NPR, community grants, scientific research, FEMA, the CIA, the FBI, and NASA. On the other hand...we don't want to pay for it. Or, to be more speci Here is the problem as I see it: Americans want two things at the same time. On the one hand, "we" want good schools, police officers, fire stations, mail, well-maintained roads and bridges, an unbeatable military, a 'smart grid,' environmental protections, and a strong social safety net that includes housing, medical care, and food security. We want NPR, community grants, scientific research, FEMA, the CIA, the FBI, and NASA. On the other hand...we don't want to pay for it. Or, to be more specific, we don't want to pay for the things that we don't want to pay for. The schizophrenia of surveys over the decades have been remarkable: We the People balk at cutting nearly every program offered by local, state, and federal government ("Not that one! It's so important!") but we also react with rage when we are told that we, personally, need to pay for them through tax revenue. (Wanting other people to pay--'We Are the 99%!' is just the latest iteration--is also quite American). One of my favorite sci-fi novels of all time is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. Heinlein coined the phrase, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch," abbreviated as TANSTAAFL, and he was correct: you want Social Security? Pay for it. Stealth fighters? Pay for them. Federal housing projects? Pony up. An EPA? $$$. It goes on and on and on. People say they want all of these things, but they essentially want them for free, or--better still--they want someone else to foot the bill. As a nation, we face a choice with regard to our national government. We can either have high taxes and high services, or low taxes and low services. We can't have both. You can't cut and spend; it's insanity. Since 2000, through the era of George Bush II, and right up until today with the Obama administration, we have spent like drunken sailor on shore leave (a state I am personally familiar with), and wracked up a national debt the likes of which our nation has never seen. We are trillions of dollars in debt with no relief on the horizon. The amount we are paying on interest alone is staggering, and should we no longer be the safest bet in the world, we will pay even more in interest as other nations find safer harbors to park their cash in. On top of that Keynesian nightmare, our entitlement programs--Medicare in particular, but Social Security as well--will consume more and more of the government's revenues, leaving few choices other than raising taxes, cutting services, or assuming even more debt. Even if we tax the rich at higher rates, even if the economy grows vigorously (which I find unlikely, sad to say), even if we institute a value added tax, or a national sales tax, or whatever else is being floated around out there...it will not be enough. This is not my opinion, people: it's just plain old boring math. Washington is spending too much. It is utterly unsustainable. Period. The question is, what can we do about it? I am far from an economist. I'm not even good at math, but I can read, and think, and analyze the problem. In my opinion, what we need to do is this: reduce the size and scope of Washington dramatically. Go back to the primacy of the states; let them figure out how to do many of the things that Washington is currently failing to do. Return to Constitutional government. Restore the republic. This problem that we face--an ever expanding, endlessly voracious, bottomless pig of a government--is the creation of both Democrats and Republicans, and has come into being over the past 80 years. We can't fix this over night. Likewise, it's important to recognize that the programs and spending that are breaking our nation's backbone weren't designed with nefarious intent (a place where Mr. Beck and I disagree): FDR was facing an unimaginable financial and social crisis when he crafted the New Deal. President Johnson was looking at 5 and 6% yearly growth in our economy; why wouldn't he think Washington could pay for everyone's medical care and win a war on poverty? President Obama, in early 2009, was staring into the abyss of another Great Depression. The designers of these programs were not bad people; they simply couldn't see the future. (George Bush II, on the other hand, cut taxes then put two wars and a new prescription drug benefit on our nation's credit card. His administration and their allies in Congress were profligate spenders. He deserves our scorn and condemnation for his shortsightedness far more than President Obama does for trying to stave off economic collapse with an expensive stimulus plan). Well, the future is now. Here we are. It's just math. And the clock is ticking. We don't have decades to solves these issues. In eight years, when my oldest daughter is going to be a freshman in high school, Medicare--all by itself--is going to consume 92% of federal tax revenue. 92%! Right now, this moment, our federal debt is equal to our GDP. It will never be easier than it is today to address these issues. The answer, in my opinion, is to de-fund Washington in an orderly yet speedy fashion, and let the people in the states decide what they want to do. Follow the Constitution. Let states become the laboratories of innovation with regard to social spending programs. As the man said in Full Metal Jacket, "It's a giant shit sandwich, and we all get to take a bite." The good news is that none of what I've discussed above will happen. None of the current Republicans running for President (with the possible exception of Ron Paul) will ever talk about these 'third rail' issues. Large businesses and corporations want tax loopholes, corporate welfare, and influence over legislation, so the GOP isn't going to touch any of this. The Democrats want votes, so they'll promise everyone anything they want: a house, a doctor, a check, you name it. There is an old saying from the Romans, and I am afraid that it is relevant for my beloved United States of America: the mills of the gods grind slow, but they grind exceeding fine. We are being ground, slowly but surely. America is not inevitable. Talk about an inconvenient truth. (I suppose I should mention, I liked this book. I like Glenn Beck. I don't see Progressives hiding behind every tree, nor do I think there are vast, conspiratorial networks planning one world government hiding behind the mask of...well, everyone. What I find in books like this, on both the left and the right, are sins of omission rather than outright fabrications. Mr. Beck tells many truths in his books, but he doesn't tell everything that's true. The more I read politics and history on both sides of the political divide, the more capable I am of identifying gaps in the authors' arguments. I found much to agree with in Broke, not because I read it here for the first time, but because I've read it in so many other places, too. With that said, like most political ideologues, Mr. Beck can be characterized not only by what he includes, but by what he leaves out. None the less: good book from a good guy.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rama

    Restarting the Economic Machine of America Broke - Restarting the Economic Machine of America: The author Glenn Beck explains why he believes the American economy and America as a country has become weak and arrived at the state of being completely broke. What Americans can do to restore the pride of Old Glory? The author emphasizes the importance of understanding the economic policies that has faltered in the last 234 years, beginning with the American Revolution and ending with what he refers t Restarting the Economic Machine of America Broke - Restarting the Economic Machine of America: The author Glenn Beck explains why he believes the American economy and America as a country has become weak and arrived at the state of being completely broke. What Americans can do to restore the pride of Old Glory? The author emphasizes the importance of understanding the economic policies that has faltered in the last 234 years, beginning with the American Revolution and ending with what he refers to as the recklessness of Presidents Bush and Obama. This isn't exactly a new theme for Beck who has been predicting an economic crisis for several years. To fix ourselves financially, the author argues that we have to fix ourselves first. That means some serious introspection and a series of actions that will unite all Americans around the concept of shared sacrifice. The book is described in three sections; it begins with American history since revolution, the American constitution, and in the second section, the economic policies of several past presidents and Obama. Finally in the last section the author suggests a plan and describes how his understanding of religion, government, and family plays a role in fixing our current problems. He suggests that we believe in America as a global leader and reshape the government to work with the people. Decentralize power and authority, cut spending, stop printing money and create policies that support a sound currency. And finally live your own life so that you are not dependent on the government. Some of his suggestions in his plan are controversial but the author makes it clear that sound conservative values are the only way to get back to our past glory. Many readers who watch him on Fox News Network regularly know that sometimes his arguments are outlandish but most of the time he tells the truth and discusses the issues freely and honestly.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Terry Cornell

    A much better book than Beck's 'Arguing with Idiots'. Although published in 2010, the book shows not much has changed with our federal government, other than the deficit continues to grow by leaps and bounds. We not only are broke, but our government is broken. Beck leaves out much of his quirky humor he displayed in his 'Idiot' book. Beck covers the budgetary history of our country through the administrations which I found revealing and entertaining. He then goes into great detail revealing the A much better book than Beck's 'Arguing with Idiots'. Although published in 2010, the book shows not much has changed with our federal government, other than the deficit continues to grow by leaps and bounds. We not only are broke, but our government is broken. Beck leaves out much of his quirky humor he displayed in his 'Idiot' book. Beck covers the budgetary history of our country through the administrations which I found revealing and entertaining. He then goes into great detail revealing the specifics that went in to the great financial crisis we are still suffering from today, and our broken government system that encourages the current quagmire. Beck then produces his fairly explicit plan to fix D.C., and our federal spending problem. Beck dishes out plenty of blame to both parties, and although I don't agree with all of his recommendations, several are worth considering. Term limits, and a balanced budget would be great starts! Written in an easy to understand format, I would recommend this book for anyone interested in our government's spending addiction and some ideas on how to fix it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marc Larsen

    America is broke. And Glenn Beck knows how it happened, why, and how we as a people can fix it. The national debt is currently in the range of 13,000,000,000,000 dollars. In 1900, the richest man in America could pay off the national debt. Now, the two richest men in the United States, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, pooled every cent they had, they could pay the interest for 3 months. So obviously there is some sort of issue with our debt here. A lot of it has to do with too much spending. People America is broke. And Glenn Beck knows how it happened, why, and how we as a people can fix it. The national debt is currently in the range of 13,000,000,000,000 dollars. In 1900, the richest man in America could pay off the national debt. Now, the two richest men in the United States, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, pooled every cent they had, they could pay the interest for 3 months. So obviously there is some sort of issue with our debt here. A lot of it has to do with too much spending. People like Obama have plans to spend way too much money on things we don’t need. We are spending more money on social security than we are national defense. Obama has a plan to spend 42 trillion dollars. That is way too much money. How would we ever pay that off? Progressives like him are a danger to you and me. Especially trying to pay everyone the same amount of money, no matter what job they have. This book is entertaining, revealing, interesting, and a good book, no matter what.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    I think this is probably Beck's best book to date. This book takes a nonpartisan look at spending in Washington and its' impact on our country. Unlike the description above, Republicans and Democrats are both skewered, as they should be, for irresponsible and unsustainable spending and the danger it has put our country in. I think the other interesting aspect is looking at the personal debt in the country. I have been reading this book with another incredibly interesting read called Living Large I think this is probably Beck's best book to date. This book takes a nonpartisan look at spending in Washington and its' impact on our country. Unlike the description above, Republicans and Democrats are both skewered, as they should be, for irresponsible and unsustainable spending and the danger it has put our country in. I think the other interesting aspect is looking at the personal debt in the country. I have been reading this book with another incredibly interesting read called Living Large: From SUVs to Double Ds---Why Going Bigger Isn't Going Betterand it gives an excellent picture of the US right now, as almost a culture of entitlement and a lack of control for immediate gratification.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Stockett

    This book was excellent. It was filled with history about how our country got to where it is today followed by a few common sense solutions. It delves into ideas such as how the government defines surplus and deficit (it's not as common sense as you think, and it involves some tricky accounting), the role of taxation in our economy and the credit rating of our country. This book was filled with facts. It has 50 pages of footnotes at the end for those who want to verify sources. I really liked the This book was excellent. It was filled with history about how our country got to where it is today followed by a few common sense solutions. It delves into ideas such as how the government defines surplus and deficit (it's not as common sense as you think, and it involves some tricky accounting), the role of taxation in our economy and the credit rating of our country. This book was filled with facts. It has 50 pages of footnotes at the end for those who want to verify sources. I really liked the fact filled approach. Fan of Glenn's previous books will note that he has abandoned some of his attempts at humor and gone straight for information. I appreciate that approach but it did make the book a bit heavier. I would recommend it for anyone interesting in politics or the future of our country.

  12. 4 out of 5

    travelgirlut

    I think I learned more from this book about our government and how it works (or doesn't currently) than I ever learned in school or from the media or anywhere else. It was a real eye-opener. It also was very frustrating to me to read about all the problems our politicians (who we elected) have gotten us into, and it makes it feel impossible to fix. What can I do as one lowly person to fix all the problems our country has? I think a lot of issues we have today are caused by ignorance, plain and s I think I learned more from this book about our government and how it works (or doesn't currently) than I ever learned in school or from the media or anywhere else. It was a real eye-opener. It also was very frustrating to me to read about all the problems our politicians (who we elected) have gotten us into, and it makes it feel impossible to fix. What can I do as one lowly person to fix all the problems our country has? I think a lot of issues we have today are caused by ignorance, plain and simple. If everyone read this book, whether you agree with it or not, we'd have a much more informed voting pool and our elected officials would be fighting for things that matter. On a side note, I was surprised that a book that was all about how our country is going broke is printed in full color. This has to have been en expensive book to publish!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Lingle

    Please read this book if you plan to Vote in 2012--it should be required reading for everyone who is planning to VOTE in the 2012 presidential election. Packed with great stories from history, chalkboard-style teachable moments, custom illustrations, and Glenn Beck’s trademark combination of entertainment and enlightenment, Broke makes the case that when you’re traveling in the wrong direction, slight course corrections won’t cut it—you need to take drastic action. Through a return to individual Please read this book if you plan to Vote in 2012--it should be required reading for everyone who is planning to VOTE in the 2012 presidential election. Packed with great stories from history, chalkboard-style teachable moments, custom illustrations, and Glenn Beck’s trademark combination of entertainment and enlightenment, Broke makes the case that when you’re traveling in the wrong direction, slight course corrections won’t cut it—you need to take drastic action. Through a return to individual rights, an uncompromising adherence to the Constitution, and a complete rethinking about the role of government in a free society, Glenn exposes the idea of “transformation” for the progressive smokescreen that it is, and instead builds a compelling case that restoration is the only way forward.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Very good read - A MUST read for EVERY American today - kinda like a text book - 3 Sections - 1)The Past is Prologue: a little American history in politics, economics, etc - 2)The Crime of the Century: Truth, Cover-up & How it Happened - 3)The Plan: Steps to get us out of our current problems - 50 pages of citations to review and verify, "Facts can be Stubborn Things" Very good read - A MUST read for EVERY American today - kinda like a text book - 3 Sections - 1)The Past is Prologue: a little American history in politics, economics, etc - 2)The Crime of the Century: Truth, Cover-up & How it Happened - 3)The Plan: Steps to get us out of our current problems - 50 pages of citations to review and verify, "Facts can be Stubborn Things"

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Should be mandatory reading for anyone who works for the Federal Government or who provides funding to the Federal Government.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    If you don't hold Beck in high esteem, read this anyway. I was almost willing to give this 5 stars, except a few pages with too many numbers/budgets had my eyes glazing over. BUT forget that - Beck puts forth, quite simply (unlike our government, who is in denial) all the facts about our $13,000,000,000,000 (that's TRILLION, count the zeros) debt, how we got there, why it's still getting larger (Obama's $42 trillion budget! what is he thinking???), and what we can do about it. We'd better start If you don't hold Beck in high esteem, read this anyway. I was almost willing to give this 5 stars, except a few pages with too many numbers/budgets had my eyes glazing over. BUT forget that - Beck puts forth, quite simply (unlike our government, who is in denial) all the facts about our $13,000,000,000,000 (that's TRILLION, count the zeros) debt, how we got there, why it's still getting larger (Obama's $42 trillion budget! what is he thinking???), and what we can do about it. We'd better start learning Chinese - other countries will no longer have to invade us to bring us down, they can just buy us out. The prevailing sense of entitlement in America is also disheartening and guess what? That's where more than half our budget goes - to entitlements like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare; programs that have NO money in them, only IOU's for the next couple decades because Washington has already spent it. Meanwhile, defense and education, for example, get the dregs of our tax dollars. Our government is WAY too big, too centralized, and enjoying too much power over things that should be allotted to our states to take care of. We need to make them accountable for their spending, among other things. I always enjoy Beck's historical references, quotes and stories. If you're not one to pick up a book like this, at least read some of my favorite Beck passages or quotes from others in the book: On welfare and "rights": To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his father has acquired too much, in order to spare to others who (or whose fathers) have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, "to guarantee to everyone a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." - Thomas Jefferson For progressives, the welfare state is ultimately not about meeting the immediate needs of the destitute; it's about ensuring that citizens serve the interest of state instead of the other way around. Their objective is to create mass dependence on the government in exchange for individual liberty...Not only are autopilot entitlements out of control, but we also now have more people dependent on the government than people paying taxes to support it. Ayn Rand pointed out a great way to distinguish whether a right is in accordance with the Constitution: simply as the question "at whose expense?" after the right is proposed. (such as FDR's ridiculous Second Bill of Rights - the right to food, clothing, and recreation)...at whose expense are those things provided? Asking that same question of individual rights yields an entirely different answer. Your right to life and liberty does not come at the expense (financial or otherwise) of anyone else...If you still think you'd like to experience "freedom from want" then consider...there is one group of people who enjoys it every day: prisoners. Food? Covered. Shelter? Taken care of. Medical treatment? Totally free. Money? Not necessary. Prisoners have all of their material needs met, but are they really "free"? Of course not. One thing that has been lost over time is that the American Dream is a dream by individuals to be able to accomplish whatever they want. Too often it's our government coming out with legislation to "help people fulfill the American Dream" when, by their actions, they are ensuring that can never happen. A push toward equality is the worst thing that could ever happen to the Dream. How many people do you know who dream of the day that they can finally be mediocre? Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents."...he meant that, unlike his motherland, nobility in America wasn't based on birthright: it was based on individual success and achievement. So-called "positive rights" (the right to health care, welfare, affordable housing, etc.), by their very nature, infringe on liberty. To give something of value to someone, you must take something (in this case, wealth) from others. Entitlements don't just mandate receiving; they also mandate giving. How is a doctor free to pursue his or her life and career if the government has regulated virtually every aspect of the industry, including the fees they can charge? On privatizing: Profit motive has a funny way of making companies act efficiently...there's also the monopoly issue. When the federal government does something, it not only generally has a monopoly, it also has an unfair advantage because it doesn't have to worry about making money. What entrepreneur is going to compete with the government when he knows that he is up against a nearly limitless pile of money? Dwight D. Eisenhower once defined something that he called "The Great Equation": Spiritual force, multiplied by economic force, multiplied by military force is roughly equal to security. If one of these factors falls to zero, or near zero, the resulting product does likewise. (not looking so good for us, huh?) There is no money left. The mandatory spending (entitlements) is so large that it takes away from any ability we have to even choose what things should be priorities for us. That's why the debate on those programs needs to change from "You can't take away my benefits" to "If we pay your benefits, we can't have a court system." Progressives have had a century to tangle us up in regulations, massively complex tax laws, and crushing federal benefits that make any small business owner think twice about their career choice. They've evolved original intent, tarnished the reputation of our Founders, and successfully fooled millions of Americans into making a false choice between "the greater good" and their own good. (They choose their words very carefully and prey on emotional/moral aspects of an issue, rather than the practical side.) On taxes or "redistribution" of funds: Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises once said that, "the only way progressives know to do away with poverty...is to take away-by means of progressive taxation-as much as possible from the well-to-do. In their eyes the wealth of the rich is the cause of the poverty of the poor." That cause-and-effect relationship is, of course, completely untrue. It's like making the claim that skinny people cause the fat of the obese. Even if you eliminated all the skinny people (or forced all of them to become fat themselves), there is no reason to think that the fat people wouldn't just stay that way. (I love this analogy, btw.) Every time there's a budget crisis you hear a similar refrain: It's time to make the rich pay their fair share! But there are two problems with that logic. First, the wealthy already are paying more than their "fair share": The top 1 percent pays 35 percent of the taxes and the top 10 percent in income pay a whopping 71 percent of the federal income taxes. And second, putting the whole financial burden on the rich won't solve the problem. Even if the federal government were to take every single penny from the top 1 percent of earners, it would yield only a little less than $2 trillion. The government spends that in eight months. And therein lies the whole problem: There aren't enough rich people to solve our problems. That's why instead of trying to destroy them, we should be figuring out how to make more of them. Ok, just a couple more and two that may just sum up his whole point: Our Founders believed that individuals control the government, no the other way around. As French theorist Frederic Bastiat wrote, "Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws [to protect themselves] in the first place." But the best evidence of all showing how our Founders viewed individual rights is the Constitution itself. At the time of its drafting, most of the Founders did not want to include a Bill of Rights...to them it was obvious that the government should not infringe on individual rights, since the Constitution did not grant that power to them. As Ayn Rand wrote, "The government was set to protect man from criminals - and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government. The Bill of Rights was not directed against private citizens, but against the government-as an explicit declaration that individual rights supersede any public or social power." "Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem...From time to time we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?" -Ronald Reagan Ok, I think that's enough to mull over... I hope these aren't confusing. Beck puts all these quotes in better context. We just need to stop electing or re-electing irresponsible spenders! Make them accountable or get someone new in their position who can do the job correctly.

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Johnson

    This book should have been titled "Everything Progressives Do is Bad and Everything Bad Was Done By Progressives." Glenn Beck hates progressives and that is what this book is really about. While there are good points in the book, it is full of fallacy and some outright falsehoods and that is a shame. I agree with Beck that our national debt is a serious problem and I wish our government would balance the budget and pay it off. Beck believes the only way to do that is to have a government that sp This book should have been titled "Everything Progressives Do is Bad and Everything Bad Was Done By Progressives." Glenn Beck hates progressives and that is what this book is really about. While there are good points in the book, it is full of fallacy and some outright falsehoods and that is a shame. I agree with Beck that our national debt is a serious problem and I wish our government would balance the budget and pay it off. Beck believes the only way to do that is to have a government that spends its budget on national defense and nothing else. Everything else should be left to the states. Beck's idea of a national government is limited even more than the men who wanted to stay with a strengthened version of the Articles of Confederacy rather than a Constitution in 1789. I would love to read a book about the national debt that recognizes that liberal, progressive, and conservative taxpayers all should have a say in how our government spends our tax dollars; one that provides a solution for a balanced federal budget that would represent a compromise everyone could live with. This isn't it. Unfortunately, as polarized as our country is in 2018, I don't believe there will be such a book any time soon. Glenn Beck's book is basically a 350-page strawman argument. He tells the reader what progressives think and then argues a case against that. But Glenn Beck doesn't actually know what progressives think, and a lot of his arguments depend entirely on twisted logic that makes no sense at all. If you agree with Glenn Beck already, then this book was written for you. Just don't try verifying any of the information he provides.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alex Shrugged

    This is a highly produced and well organized book on the issues we are messing up within government concerning overspending and destroying the private sector. If you have been listening to Glenn Beck's radio show then you are already familiar with these idea. Thus you may not benefit from this book. You already know it, but it can serve as a reference if you are having a debate with others who disagree. Although I cannot imagine why people would disagree, I have noticed that people do, often lou This is a highly produced and well organized book on the issues we are messing up within government concerning overspending and destroying the private sector. If you have been listening to Glenn Beck's radio show then you are already familiar with these idea. Thus you may not benefit from this book. You already know it, but it can serve as a reference if you are having a debate with others who disagree. Although I cannot imagine why people would disagree, I have noticed that people do, often loudly, with no real facts behind them. Providing them with facts usually does not cure their problem, but it seems like it is out duty to try.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Lots of information (and opinion, lol!). The design and heft make it feel like a college textbook, which, imo, was unnecessary. (Maybe he felt it would lend credibility? Or he could charge more per copy that way? Or maybe it was an ACTUAL textbook? Idk) The main beef I had is that there are a billion little pop-outs of antecdotes, blurbs, quotes, statistics, etc. that really inhibit the flow if you try to read them with the accompanying paragraphs. I gave up part-way through and read only the mai Lots of information (and opinion, lol!). The design and heft make it feel like a college textbook, which, imo, was unnecessary. (Maybe he felt it would lend credibility? Or he could charge more per copy that way? Or maybe it was an ACTUAL textbook? Idk) The main beef I had is that there are a billion little pop-outs of antecdotes, blurbs, quotes, statistics, etc. that really inhibit the flow if you try to read them with the accompanying paragraphs. I gave up part-way through and read only the main text; then did another pass through the book reading all the pop outs and taking in the graphics. Probably less impactful to do it that way, but I enjoyed the book more.

  20. 5 out of 5

    SusanCope

    Glen Beck is a nationally-syndicated radio and talk show host. He is a true scholar of American history and the constitution. Glen's books are filled with facts, charts, quotes, and foot-notes. He clearly explains complicated issues. He makes all this very interesting to me, a person who has never spent time studying the past. In this particular book, he explains why the national debt is everybody's business!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    I’m sympathetic to many of Mr. Beck’s points and ideology. In fact, I endorse some of his policy points. I can appreciate the historical perspectives and lengthy citations, but ultimately this book is just another in the propaganda machine from the right during President Obama’s presidency. I wish that Mr. Beck and other conservative commentators had the gumption to stand up for their beliefs now rather than only in hindsight in order to make money.

  22. 4 out of 5

    James Cowan

    I'm not sure how many ways you can say the same thing over and over again, but there are clearly more ways than I knew of. There are some undeniable and troubling truths about our financial condition in this book, but I found it short on resolutions and a little too long on hyperbole.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Tailor

    Glenn does a great job researching the elephants in the room. This book was eye-opening.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book overall, and consider it a very useful piece of literature. The book is split into 3 parts, although the first two are very similar in nature. The first two look at the America's dire financial situation as of 2010; it's only gotten worse) and how it came to be. Gives a brief survey of economic history from the American Revolution to today. It is very well-researched; it has over 50 pages of citations in the endnotes (which, if you watched Glenn Beck's show I was pleasantly surprised by this book overall, and consider it a very useful piece of literature. The book is split into 3 parts, although the first two are very similar in nature. The first two look at the America's dire financial situation as of 2010; it's only gotten worse) and how it came to be. Gives a brief survey of economic history from the American Revolution to today. It is very well-researched; it has over 50 pages of citations in the endnotes (which, if you watched Glenn Beck's show when the book first came out, he made sure you were well aware of it! lol). Very informative and, as far as I could tell, nothing that raised my eyebrows. The third section is on how to solve the problem, and this was the section I was worried about before reading. Having watched Glenn Beck's brief but surprisingly popular show on Fox News, I know that, while Glenn Beck is far more intelligent and well-informed than people give him credit for (he's one of those people who says crazy things but usually ends up being right about them), he is pretty far on the libertarian spectrum. I mean, Ron Paul libertarian (for those who actually listen to Ron Paul's beliefs beyond "no more wars!" and "liberty"). I was surprised that, while he did not hide his belief in strict federalism, state's rights, etc., his approach was far less extreme than simply cutting all the entitlement programs and eliminating half the government. He does recommend significant changes (flat tax, term limits for congressmen), but it was much more well thought out than expected. It wasn't trying to take America to a less-racist version of 1900 overnight (which is kind of what i got from his show). Indeed, if he had his way over time government would get smaller and smaller as it once was, but the approach he takes, though by no means timid (he suggests a lot of serious reforms and cuts), was surprisingly well-balanced. On little points here and there I differ with him. I think he's naive to suggest we could all just become religious again (doesn't matter what religion, mind you). With enlightenment and reason and stuff, that ship has sailed. This may surprise some who have read my other reviews, but I as a devout Christian am not to upset about that. Religion doesn't save anyone. I don't want people to be religious. I want people to come to know God through the Lord Jesus Christ (an invitation open to any and all), and if they don't, then I'd rather they be upfront about it and not leave us wondering about their spiritual state (or using "religion" as an excuse evil, which has been done so often). And for he record, I do think government has more of a place than Glenn Beck does. I by no means subscribe to all or even most of his beliefs. Nevertheless, the approach he takes in this book is one that I am very comfortable with, and I think it may open a lot of peoples eyes. It is worth a read for sure.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    This book is full of things that I didn't know about how our government was set up, and about how it is being run now. It also has a plan to restore America. I hope everybody can get a chance to read it. his is a well written, well researched, and well laid out examination of the crisis we are in, how we got here, and how we can get out. Read it and you'll take away 10 key points: 1. There are very few things happening today that haven't happened to someone, somewhere before. History is a great t This book is full of things that I didn't know about how our government was set up, and about how it is being run now. It also has a plan to restore America. I hope everybody can get a chance to read it. his is a well written, well researched, and well laid out examination of the crisis we are in, how we got here, and how we can get out. Read it and you'll take away 10 key points: 1. There are very few things happening today that haven't happened to someone, somewhere before. History is a great teacher - if you take the time to listen. 2. There is no such thing as a "living Constitution", only a living God. Our rights do not come from the government, they come from our Creator. 3. Nowhere are you guaranteed equality of outcome - only equality of opportunity. Chasing the false mirage of equal outcomes is bankrupting our country and eroding our soul. 4. The States must reassert their rights. Everything not explicitly delegated to the Federal government in the Constitution is reserved to the States and/or the people. Not some things, not most things, not everything but the "big stuff" - EVERYTHING. 5. Entitlement spending will destroy this country if left unchecked. It cannot be sustained. We can either reform it now or watch it collapse later - either way, it CANNOT be sustained. 6. The answer to our budget crisis is simple - we need to spend less than we make. Anything else is just meant to obscure what is really going on in Washington. Ignore it all. We just need to spend less than we make. End of story. 7. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, should pay taxes. If you don't have skin in the game, you don't care about the final score. We all live here - we should all help pay the bills. 8. Digging out from under the mountains of debt we face will not be easy. It will be painful and require sacrifice on everyone's part. The sooner we face those facts and set ourselves on a road to fiscal sanity, the sooner we can get past the sacrifices required. 9. You can't separate the fiscal crisis we face from the moral crisis we face as a country. If we lose the unique American culture that celebrates Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - spending programs and debt ceiling ultimately won't matter. 10. Where there is truth, there is always hope.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is an outstanding political science book! It is split into 3 parts; The Past is Prologue, The Crime of the Century, and The Plan. Part 1 is a review of history and a look at how Progressives in both parties have gotten us to this point. If you're someone that still buys into the Republican vs. Democrat game, it's time for you to move on. For anyone that thinks Beck is some kind of Republican hack, you're an idiot, there's no nice way to put it. Beck presents the unedited truth about all admi This is an outstanding political science book! It is split into 3 parts; The Past is Prologue, The Crime of the Century, and The Plan. Part 1 is a review of history and a look at how Progressives in both parties have gotten us to this point. If you're someone that still buys into the Republican vs. Democrat game, it's time for you to move on. For anyone that thinks Beck is some kind of Republican hack, you're an idiot, there's no nice way to put it. Beck presents the unedited truth about all administrations, even Reagan doesn't really get off easy. The chapter that evaluated Bush's performance was probably the most eye opening of all. I had always wanted to give Bush a chance (I never voted for him for the record), but this just sealed it for me. Bush was worse for this nation fiscally then Bill Clinton. Part 2 is the shortest part and evaluates the ugly realities of our fiscal mess, folks it's not pretty! Part 3 is as it states the plan for fixing America. And it's one heck of a plan. He goes after everything in here, philosophical and substantive and he even takes on defense spending. Large cuts are proposed everywhere. Every chapter is followed up by some outstanding reading recommendations. He probably recommends 10,000 additional pages of reading in this part of the book. If you are someone that thinks Beck is a complete idiot, you need to do your homework and listen to him a little. Maybe read this book! He is one of the few Americans that really gets it right now. Even if this book wasn't totally written by him (one must accept that his staff of researchers probably assisted on this text), the substance inside is incredibly useful for any American concerned about his/her country. My only complaint is the way the book is sourced, don't get me wrong it's well researched and sourced (54 pages of citations), there is no subscript notation in the body to indicate when the citation is applied. The citations in the back of the book refer to the citation within the body, it's a little annoying, but you can get past it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    I watch very little TV and I try not to pay a heavy amount of attention on what’s on the daily news sites. What I'm far more interested in the underlying trend of society and human behavior that is driving the news. With that being said the only knowledge of Glenn Beck was a few mentions by friends and turning on the TV in the hotel room and listening to his crazy rants on TV. First reaction was shock, then concern, then an understanding of his motives. This deserves a whole other topic. I tried I watch very little TV and I try not to pay a heavy amount of attention on what’s on the daily news sites. What I'm far more interested in the underlying trend of society and human behavior that is driving the news. With that being said the only knowledge of Glenn Beck was a few mentions by friends and turning on the TV in the hotel room and listening to his crazy rants on TV. First reaction was shock, then concern, then an understanding of his motives. This deserves a whole other topic. I tried to look at the book objectively. I thought the underlying message is on point, and correlates to why societies collapse and much other books and observations over the past few years. Government is broken period and this is on both sides. It’s not a republican or democrat issue. We have to take a hard look in the mirror and fix ourselves first and accept full responsibility for our actions before we can even begin to correct the direction of where the country is heading in. We will have to wake up and understand that the sacrifices that have to made by "all" of us will not be pretty and very painful. The debt that we have been building up over the many decades is breaking our country, and leaving us in a position of weakness not strength. We have lost faith in ourselves as a people and become very complacent/ We have lost trust in our politicians that we have given power to enact our will. Concentration of power has shifted over time to the Federal Government. Understand history and why sociteties collapse having that much concentration of power and becoming indebted to that kind of power is not a good move for our country. It needs to shift back. While I do not agree with all his solutions and his book was repetitive. It was still an interesting read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    The parts I found most interesting was the history portion and how we got where we are today (hint: I think Woodrow Wilson is part of the problem). I thought that in terms of the modern presidents he remained fairly non-partisan with a fairly robust criticism of Bush and the Republican congress especially in regard to medicare prescription drugs. He was surprisingly fair to Clinton and almost implies that impeachment and perjury blocked needed entitlement reform during the late nineties. The acc The parts I found most interesting was the history portion and how we got where we are today (hint: I think Woodrow Wilson is part of the problem). I thought that in terms of the modern presidents he remained fairly non-partisan with a fairly robust criticism of Bush and the Republican congress especially in regard to medicare prescription drugs. He was surprisingly fair to Clinton and almost implies that impeachment and perjury blocked needed entitlement reform during the late nineties. The accounting section is intriguing, but the technical components didn't seem to fit with the rest of the book, but was probably a good edition to fill out the information in the book. The part I found interesting, but I disagree with the most is his policy prescriptions. He spends a fair amount of time discussing items such as term limits, limiting the ability of Congress to campaign and adding Constitutional elements to curb Congressional irresponsibility. Although I think those might be effective I believe in going the other direction, for example, Tom Delay has suggested repealing direct election of Senators and increasing the size of the House of Representatives which I think would be more effective. Beck did propose something that I think might work is having Congress meet for shorter periods of time, and if you look at successful state legislatures they use a similar model. Overall I would say this is a mixed bag in terms of policy prescriptions, but is worth a quick read for the concise information and a non-technical 10000 foot view of how the United States has gotten into its current position.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I think this book is so important for Americans to read. It is well researched with references listed clearly. It is also pretty easy to read because of the entertaining style and the interesting layout. I found the book bipartisan - he illustrates mistakes made by presidents from both political parties. He also suggests cuts in everything from federal education spending to national defense. The first half of the book is about the fall of previous nations and how we got into the situation we are I think this book is so important for Americans to read. It is well researched with references listed clearly. It is also pretty easy to read because of the entertaining style and the interesting layout. I found the book bipartisan - he illustrates mistakes made by presidents from both political parties. He also suggests cuts in everything from federal education spending to national defense. The first half of the book is about the fall of previous nations and how we got into the situation we are in in America. This section is a bit depressing and tedious - it seems repetitive because it goes through president after president and what each did to facilitate our enormous debt and entitlement attitude. I was almost relieved to finish it because it was discouraging. The second half of the book outlines Glenn Beck's suggestions for long-term improvement. I found the solutions very sensible and well thought out, although again I was discouraged because the people that need to enact those changes will not benefit by doing so. It's going to take a lot of work to elect people that are motivated to make the tough decisions.

  30. 4 out of 5

    John

    Honestly, I've never expected much from Glenn Beck as an author, but he really impressed me with this one. BROKE strikes me as the kind of book every American ought to read. I can't imagine a more incisive summary as to the deterioration of America's fiscal responsibility throughout the past hundred years. Furthermore, Beck doesn't hestitate to spread blame on both sides of the political fence, thereby providing the book with a welcomely non-partisan feel--though it's certain to rankle anyone wh Honestly, I've never expected much from Glenn Beck as an author, but he really impressed me with this one. BROKE strikes me as the kind of book every American ought to read. I can't imagine a more incisive summary as to the deterioration of America's fiscal responsibility throughout the past hundred years. Furthermore, Beck doesn't hestitate to spread blame on both sides of the political fence, thereby providing the book with a welcomely non-partisan feel--though it's certain to rankle anyone who takes offense to positive references of God or writers like Ayn Rand. Beck's writing style is simplistic, sure, but he deserves kudos for somehow managing to make a book about the history of our national debt not only interesting, but downright entertaining. BROKE is a first-rate history and economics lesson rolled into one. Difficult subject matter expertly tackled at the layman level. It also provides a well thought-out plan for reversing the disasterous course America now finds herself on...though I'm way too cynical to think people will heed it in time for it to do much good.

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