Budget Deficit

Kids Put Adults on Trial in Vintage 1986 Ridley Scott Commercial on the Deficit

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This vintage Ridley Scott commercial—in which the children of a post-apocalyptic future put adults on trial for failing to control the deficit—was deemed too hot for TV…in 1986. It feels awfully timely today.


Ridley Scott—W. R. Grace Deficit Trials by angelseyth

Dan Rather called it a political commercial on "the sticker shock and future shock of deficit spending." Paid for by the CEO of chemical company W.R. Grace, it was supposed to air after Reagan's State of the Union address. According to Rather, "The networks…don't want to open the door to just any advertiser who can afford the money to push his own ideas."

Get the whole backstory from a contemporary news segment below:

The saddest moment: When the prosecutor kid says dramatically, "By 1986, the national debt had reached 2 trillion dollars. Didn't that scare you?" Another $12 trillion later, the adults remain speechless.

The commerical is set in 2017, so now is probably a good time to start stockpiling fingerless gloves and hats with earflaps in preparation for the advent of deficit-induced neo-Victorian urchin chic. 

Via Michael E.