Secretary of the Treasury, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, is required annually to submit financial statements for the U.S. government to the President and the Congress. Since 1997, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been required to audit these statements. And it’s my understanding that the government has failed each and every such audit. The most recent report, covering 2008, marks the 12th year in a row in which the government’s consolidated audit statement received a judgement of “no comment” from auditors.
Here’s an excerpt from the report you might find interesting:
“Material weaknesses discussed later in our report continued to (1) hamper the federal government’s ability to reliably report a significant portion of its assets, liabilities, costs, and other related information; (2) affect the federal government’s ability to reliably measure the full cost as well as the financial and nonfinancial performance of certain programs and activities; (3) impair the federal government’s ability to adequately safeguard significant assets and properly record various transactions; and (4) hinder the federal government from having reliable financial information to operate in an efficient and effective manner. We found the following:
Certain material weaknesses in financial reporting and other limitations on the scope of our work resulted in conditions that continued to prevent us from expressing an opinion on the accompanying accrual basis consolidated financial statements for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2008 and 2007.
…The federal government did not maintain effective internal control over financial reporting (including safeguarding assets) and compliance with significant laws and regulations as of September 30, 2008.”
Accountability and frugality apparently have no meaning to most of the elected officials and salaried bureaucrats at any level of government. And as they gorge themselves on the fruits of our labor and spend the economy into ruin, what are we the people going to be left with in the end?