"It's the number one fiscal challenge for the federal government, it's the number one fiscal challenge for state governments and it's the number one competitive challenge for American business. We're gonna have to dramatically and fundamentally reform our health care system in installments over the next 20 years," Walker tells Kroft.
And if we don't?
"And if we don't, it could bankrupt America," Walker argues.
You're probably expecting to hear from someone who disagrees with the comptroller general's numbers, projections, and analysis. But hardly anyone does. He is accompanied on the wake-up tour by economists from the conservative Heritage Foundation, the left-leaning Brookings Institution, and the non-partisan Concord Coalition. The only dissenters seem to be a small minority of economists who believe either that the U.S. can grow its way out of the problem, or that Walker is over-stating it.
"The Wall Street Journal for example calls you 'Chicken Little,' running around saying that the 'sky is falling, the sky is falling,'" Kroft remarks.
"Unfortunately they don't get it. I don't know anybody who has done their homework, has researched history, and who's good at math who would tell you that we can grow our way out of this problem," Walker replies.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke validated much of Walker's take on the situation at congressional hearings this year, and so did ranking Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee. Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota is the chairman.
Sen. Conrad thinks David Walker is "providing an enormous public service."
Asked if he agrees with Walker's figures and his projections, Sen. Conrad says, "I do. You know, I mean we could always question the precise nature of this projection or that projection. But, that misses the point. The larger story that he is telling is exactly correct."
Conrad acknowledges that most people in Washington are aware how bad the situation is. "They know in large measure here, Republicans and Democrats, that we are on a course that doesn't add up," the senator tells Kroft.
"Why doesn't somebody do something about it?" Kroft asks.
"Because it's always easier not to. 'Cause it's always easier to defer, to kick the can down the road to avoid making choices. You know, you get in trouble in politics when you make choices," Sen. Conrad says.
Asked if he thinks taxes should be raised, the senator says, "I believe first of all, we need more revenue. We need to be tough on spending. And we need to reform the entitlement programs … we need to do all of it."
But he admits he doesn't think there's a consensus for raising taxes.
"Any politician who tells you that we can solve our problem without reforming Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is not telling you the truth," Walker told an audience at the University of Denver.
Over the next year, the nation's top accountant will be traveling to the early primary states, telling voters that we need to begin raising taxes or government revenues and put a cap on federal spending if we want to maintain our economic security and standard of living.
"If you tell them the truth, if you give them the facts, if you explain this in terms of not just numbers but values and people, they will get it and empower their elected officials to make tough choices," Walker argues.
Asked if he knows any politicians willing to raise taxes or cut back benefits, Walker says, "I don't know politicians that like to raise taxes. I don't know politicians that like to cut spending, but I think what we have to recognize is this is not just about numbers. We are mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren at record rates, and that is not only an issue of fiscal irresponsibility, it's an issue of immorality."
Produced by Andy Court