GAO: Government Finances are an Unmitigated Disaster
Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.
The Government Accountability Office has released its annual audit of the federal government’s most recent financial statements and the verdict is…awful.
Worse than awful, really. According to GAO auditors, Uncle Sam’s book are such a mess, “we haven’t yet been able to determine if the statements fairly present the government’s finances.”
Which is, or should be, shocking to everyone in official Washington. So where are the biggest problems? The GAO’s top three red flags are:
- Serious financial management problems at DOD
- Inadequate accounting for balances between federal agencies
- Weaknesses in the process for preparing the statements
And on top of all that, the government’s overall fiscal irresponsibility poses a serious risk, and then there are the black swan events that could upend the feds’ apple cart in an instant:
…there are other risks, such as health pandemics, cyberattacks, military engagements, and economic crises, that could affect the federal government’s financial position and condition and its financial management in the future. These risks are not fully accounted for in the government’s long-term fiscal projections.
In short, this GAO report is a harrowing ride through the incompetence, indifference, and expedience of federal spending. In a more rational world, these failings would grab the attention and action of policymakers in DC, and beyond. They are more likely to be promptly, completely, ignored.
Image Credit: By Jericho [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons