Voice of the People
US Wants Justification: We Want A True Accounting
By Thomas Emmon Pisano
In the New Year 2008, America wants to see an accounting in full of what our government has done with our dollars, loved ones, and our nation's resources in general. Has the federal government protected all of us? Have they acted in all our best interests? Has Washington run our country into the red or into the black? The first thing I would like to know, concerning the American Dream, is; if America were a business, are we operating at a profit? Did the government operate at a loss or did it make money for us last year? Did they spend our money wisely? How much did our government create and how much did our government destroy? It is not just the financial questions that need answering. There are a thousand questions that the federal government of the United States must be held accountable to answering; and this to the satisfaction of all the people of our country and to the world for that matter. Oversight, waste, pilfering, and greed are the major problems that have infected the bloated budget of this country; our money is being spent like there was an endless supply in our government's treasury. The government borrows money shamelessly. Are they aware of the consequences of their actions? At this moment in our history, our finances are floating on the backs of bonds to other countries. This is a shameless and dangerous waste that is flaunted into the faces of the American citizen. The point is that the governments, local, state, and national, take money from us and seldom have to show us an accounting. In the computer age, the federal government is incapable of giving us a straight answer about all that has been squandered during the last eight years. What about the human lives that are being lost, maimed, and ruined through our government's incompetence and stupidity concerning the war in Iraq and other places? Do we accept their claims and excuses as gospel? The people will not accept that the United States of America would be dirty of covering up mistakes and feeding us the party line when confronted concerning the facts and questioned about the truth of our expenditures. We must watch and be vigilant when it comes to men and women spending other people's money and wasting other people's lives. An open accounting of which government official sanctioned what spending and who is responsible for that fiasco of a war we are fighting in Iraq. Whose big idea was that? Many times government officials like the President are allowed to pass the buck when it comes to poor decisions made by that office. It is now time for the responsible parties to give an accounting for their actions especially when lives are lost due to the incompetence of our leaders. Thirty thousand plus people have been ruined in this unfortunate conflict and countless billions have been wasted in a war that should never have been. The President; the commander in Chief, and his advisors are responsible for the damage done by this unwholesome war. They are not going to stand in front of the American people and tell us it was something that was necessary, not to me. They aren't going to tell me that lie. I know the real and hard facts about this loss to the America I know; we have been "ripped off" in so many ways that the government does not realize where its losses really are. There are too many tentacles on this bureaucratic monster. The right hand doesn't know what… no collection of clichés will describe "Bush's Folly;" also known as; the war in Iraq and the Middle East. Either George W. Bush is the worst president, through sheer arrogance, ignorance, and stupidity, we have seen in modern times or he is a very slick con man who has drained the purse of America in very subtle ways. Point is, I want to know in detail who got what. What contractors received the billions upon billions of the taxpayer's dollars? Did that money go back into our economy? The government spent our money; they should account to the people for its expenditure. Moreover, if they (the agencies who are spending money for such items as the war) should be found negligent in the expenditure of those funds, return them to the coffers of our government. It should roll down to the person who received the funds for services to the United States Government. That end contractor should be responsible for the return of the monies paid to that company for the faulty or overpriced services. If you received contractor money and didn't deliver the goods you should have to pay the American people back that money you accepted under false pretense or go to jail. I am quite sure the government bureaucrats will say that they have all the governments expenses documented in some large tombs that can be accessed on line or through some other method or means, maybe the GAO has all the answers. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is a branch of the government that keeps track of what the government is spending and how it is spent. It is known as the investigative arm of congress. The Government Accountability Office is supposed to help congress and the government become easily accountable to the American people. The GAO has watchdog groups that are responsible for protecting us from oversights and theft within the financial structure of our government. The GAO must meet the Congress's need for reliable, timely, and relevant information on government operations in order to avoid allowing unscrupulous financial activities from taking place. Here is what the GAO says about the federal government, the congress, the presidency, and the way the department of defense does business. By the way, this all goes back to whether the government is using sound business practices in its basic operation. This excerpt is from the summery to the GAO's Long-Term Fiscal Challenges: GAO-08-847T June 5, 2008.‘The Congress and the President need to have reliable, useful and timely financial and performance information to make sound decisions on the current and future direction of vital federal government programs and policies. Unfortunately, except for the 2007 Statement of Social Insurance, GAO was again unable to provide assurance on the reliability of the consolidated financial statements of the U.S. government (CFS) due primarily to certain material weaknesses in the federal government's internal control. GAO has reported that unless these weaknesses are adequately addressed, they will, among other things, (1) hamper the federal government's ability to reliably report a significant portion of its assets, liabilities, costs, and other related information; and (2) affect the federal government's ability to reliably measure the full cost as well as the financial and non-financial performance of certain programs and activities. This testimony presents the results of GAO's audit of the CFS for fiscal year 2007 and discusses the federal government's long-term fiscal outlook.For the 11th consecutive year, three major impediments prevented GAO from rendering an opinion on the federal government's accrual basis consolidated financial statements: (1) serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense, (2) the federal government's inability to adequately account for and reconcile intra-governmental activity and balances between federal agencies, and (3) the federal government's ineffective process for preparing the consolidated financial statements. In addition, financial management system problems continue to hinder federal agency accountability…This is one of the problems with the federal government; they put in place these checks and balances and when the leaders wish to dip into the till they shut off the accountability so no one knows that they are stealing. Does that sound crazy? Maybe, if I didn't find the GAO lacking in power due to pure government manipulation. That governmental agency has had its hands tied for eleven years. Why is that? If you mess up your accounting, at home your life is in chaos and there is an incredible amount of stress. This is not so for the United States Federal Government. If they do not account for their actions in writing whom are they going to answer to if they don't report what they do? No body, out of sight out of mind like ostriches with our heads buried in the sand. I've used a lot of clichés to say one thing plain and simple; George W. Bush and his accomplices stole large amounts of money from the taxpayers of this country. Where is our money? Didn't the people of the United States pay that money into the Treasury? Like I said we want an accounting, justification and we want the Government Accountability Office to do its job like it was designed to do, protect the American tax payer from pilfering and fraud disguised as honest activity. The executive branch, the military, and congress spend our money like drunken sailors. This is why George W. Bush was able to drain the financial coffers when he went into office; he and his cohorts found a loophole around the United States Government Accountability Office.Thank you
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Mr. Thomas Emmon Pisano, an electronics-engineer-turned professional writer, serves as US correspondent for The Seoul Times. A New Jersey native he has lived in California. He has started his writing career in 2003 and has authored four books including “No Murder Too Small” and Big Crimes Small Miracles.”