Voice of the People
The Terrible Consequences of Runaway Spending in U.S. Government
By Thomas Emmon Pisano
Our founders had a dream and a plan for the course of our nation's government, and a vision for the future of our country. I know this fact; it was not their intention that our nation's treasury was to be ravished by underhanded elected officials. Is the government that is sitting now in Washington deceitful and less than honest with the people of our country or are they just a bunch of inept boobs trying to handle something that's far beyond their comprehension? I think the operators of the federal government have found a way to use and spend our money without having to account to us for one red cent. We do not see the abuse that has manifested in the finance departments controlled by our elected and appointed government leaders because they skillfully hide it from our everyday sight. We are being robbed as surely, as if we were being held-up at pen point by these unconscious, self-interested, and extremely shrewd politicians. They have found a way to strip the American government of its valuable funds, and perhaps other resources, without having to say one detailed word to anyone as to how and to whom these funds have been paid. Our noses have been rubbed in this legalized mire for the full course of the term of this soft-soap peddler of a president. I have read such documents as; the reports from the Office of Management and Budget and they read like travel brochures, with maps, charts and grafts. Where are the hard facts? (Example - 200 Phillips head screws cost how many dollars, who did we buy them from and where were they shipped to ;) the details. I may sound cynical when it comes to some of the things I have learned about our government's way of operating. Therefore, it is here that I would like to acknowledge the political figures that are working with a whole heart and thank them for striving as altruistically as is humanly possible. This financial disaster, run-a-way spending, exists and is pandemic throughout our government; not one person of influence will acknowledge that the problem exists. The downplay of the situation is in the works. The spin masters have planned it out so the American people are placated by fun and distracted by the things, which are more important to them; the rising food prices, the price of oil, the war in the middle east, and a multitude of other things which divert our attention from one of the true causes of our woes here in the United States. It is slight of hand, prestidigitation. You ask, what is the problem that you are so vehemently protesting against, repeatedly? I'll tell you, it is the lack of accountability in the federal government. Our money is spent without any Consolidated Financial Statements being sent to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the G.A.O. Not even those 'holier than thou' candidates for president (2008) have said anything about this hemorrhaging wound that has been leaking our hard earned tax dollars out into the pockets of those who have been privy to the secret knowledge of this little, but oh so profitable, loophole in our government's way of doing business; the lack of accountability and the cloaking of funds. 'The GAO examines the use of public funds, evaluates federal programs and activities, it also provides analyses, options, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make effective oversight, policy, and funding decisions. It is the watchdog arm of congress and has been called the American peoples friend in our government. In this context, the GAO works to constantly improve the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the federal government through financial audits, program reviews, and evaluations, through analyses, legal opinions, and investigations. The GAO's activities are designed to ensure the executive branch's accountability to the Congress under the Constitution and to the American people.' Originally, called the General Accounting Office it was established by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. It is now called the U.S. Government Accountability Office by an act established in July 2004 by the Human Capital Reform Act. What is it going to take for us to repair this extremely important problem? How long are we going to let this 'thief's' secret prevail? We cannot allow the cheats in the federal government to rob us blind any longer. We must, the people of America, stand up and call it for what it is; a joy ride at our expense. I have been looking at the GAO's reports and to tell you the truth it looks as though they have begun to give the GAO a lot of busy work since 2004. It was then that the federal government, through an act, changed the GAO ever so slightly, the political regime began to request a downsize to the GAO. Another observation I made while looking over the financial statement for 2007, there were no detailed figures, no ledgers. There were charts, graphs, and the like but no ledgers containing actual dollars and cents figures. For example I would like to see this sort of reporting; a contractor is hired by the U.S. Government and that contractor is paid for said services, how much, to whom, and how many. Where are those records? Are those records of how the money is spent with some accounting department not publicized? So far, on this journey of mine, I have not found such a thing as a ledger, at least not one accessible by me on the internet. Year after year, most of the government's departments are unable to send the Accountability Office any accurate financial statements. This office is responsible for protecting us from fraud, waste, and stupidity in the government, the GAO's need for accurate bookkeeping and documentation is essential. This office is also responsible for investigating the way our government does business. The way I see it, if someone won't tell you how they are spending your money, they may be doing something wrong with those funds. Think about it; for the last eleven years, the Federal Government of the United States of America has failed to send the U.S. Government Accountability Office any records as to how it has spent our money, and the GAO is powerless to do anything about it. The much sought after Consolidated Financial Statements are not forth coming and will continue to be a mystery as long as we allow our government to continue to do business as usual. . The U.S. Congress is supposed to enforce this action, but they do not. Why doesn't the Congress intervene and allow the GAO to perform its function, as it is supposed to do? Is it because some members of congress are reaping the rewards of this governmental loophole? Is this the best-kept secret on capital hill? Is the government saturated with rogues and scoundrels who are slurping from the trough of our treasury's funds? America wants to know what is happening to their money. What are we going to do to stop the fiasco that exists in Washington? I want our government to be healed of this political disease. I want fiscal accountability. Moreover, I am sure that if the average American were asked they would want the same. I spent quite a bit of time researching various aspects of our government's way of doing business; the vastness of this beast is mind-boggling. It would be so easy, because of its complexity, to steal from our government. The Department of Defense, for example, is so vast and so poorly managed that it is a breeding ground for '…fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement…' as per one of the GAO's financial reports. All anyone has to do is read any of the reports and studies from the GAO's Comptroller General's Office and you will see that there is a problem with our federal government's way of doing business. These giant departments (D.O.D, Social Services, Interior, etc.) implanted within the governmental machine are not able to do one of the most important and basic aspects of business; fiscal accounting. Any business worth its profit margin would iron out its accounting woes, if it had them at all. If giant businesses like General Mills and Boeing can create financial statements that accurately reflect their money's movement, then why can't the government of the United States of America? The federal government should take a lesson from the private sector. The conclusion and point to all this palaver is this, when an organization like the Federal Government of the United States grows to the size and density that ours has it develops some bad habits, and some of its internal workings need to be repaired. The thing I don't like about this is that the unscrupulous are taking advantage of those problems for their own profit and they gain at everyone else's expense.
|David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States Head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office|
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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.”