Why should you care about the national debt, now at $9.6 trillion and mounting? Warren Buffett can clue you in next week.

The billionaire investor and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway is scheduled to take part in a live discussion Thursday on America's economic crisis and how to change course with the national screening of the documentary, "I.O.U.S.A."

The discussion, broadcast via satellite after screenings in Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo, Layton, West Jordan and Sandy theaters, also features other notable financial leaders and policy experts: William Niskanen, chairman of the CATO Institute; AARP CEO Bill Novelli; Blackstone Group senior chairman Pete Peterson; and former U.S. Comptroller General Dave Walker, president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

"I.O.U.S.A" is a film that follows Walker as he travels the country trying to explain to people what he says are the nation's unsustainable fiscal policies. The film, which premiered at Utah's Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, examines the consequences of — and solutions to — the United States' rapidly growing national debt, especially as questions have arisen as to whether the government can make good on obligations that include Social Security benefits.

The film is produced by Christine O'Malley and directed by Patrick Creadon, the couple who also created the award-winning documentary "Wordplay" about Will Shortz, The New York Times crossword editor and National Public Radio personality.

The event begins at 6 p.m. at the following theaters: Century 16, 125 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City; Cinemark 24, 7301 S. Jordan Landing, West Jordan; Union Heights 16, 7670 S. Union Park Ave., Sandy; Tinseltown, 720 W. 1500 North, Layton; Tinseltown Newgate, 3651 Wall Ave., Suite 1038, Ogden; Cinemark 16, 1200 Town Center Blvd., Provo.

Tickets are $12.50 and can be purchased on the Web by going to www.iousathemovie.com.

If you go ...

The documentary I.O.U.S.A and a subsequent discussion that includes billionaire investor Warren Buffett via satellite begins at 6 p.m. Thursday at the following theaters:

• Salt Lake City: Century 16, 125 E. 3300 South

• West Jordan: Cinemark 24, 7301 S. Jordan Landing

• Sandy: Union Heights 16, 7670 S. Union Park Ave.

• Layton: Tinseltown, 720 W. 1500 North

• Ogden: Tinseltown Newgate, 3651 Wall Ave., Suite 1038

• Provo: Cinemark 16, 1200 Town Center Blvd.


E-mail: jtcook@desnews.com