Monday, March 09, 2009


An 11-page Citizen's Guide provides clear resources to understand and explore our federal government finances. Links to that and other resources here.

Here's a confidence builder that our government will solve all our economic problems. From the Journal of Accountancy, March 2009:

"For the 12th consecutive year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said it could not express an opinion on the consolidated financial statement of the U.S. government—other than the Statement of Social Insurance—because of numerous material internal control weaknesses and other limitations.

Acting Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, the head of the GAO, said in a press release that the agency’s ability to render an opinion on the accrual-basis consolidated financial statement was hampered by three major issues that include “serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense, the federal government’s inability to adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal agencies, and the federal government’s ineffective process for preparing the consolidated financial statements.”

Dodaro also noted material weaknesses related to improper payments, information security and tax collection activities. He also noted that at least three major agencies (Defense, Homeland Security and NASA) failed to receive clean opinions."

Spoiler warning:

Chart 2 -- "Debt Held by the Public" (trend line looks like a rocket launching into space)

Chart 5 -- "Current Trends Are Not Sustainable"

Exhibit -- 2080: Total Government Cost is More Than Three Times Revenue

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