Hide the Debt
You shouldn’t go around touting that you balanced your budget when your deficit is $44 billion.” Good advice, no? Well, Sheila Weinberg said it first.
Ms. Weinberg has taken on the world’s most yawner of a topic, accounting, and is trying to get your attention. If we don’t (or can’t) follow our governments’ accounts, politicians and bureaucrats will rob us blind.
She founded the Institute for Truth in Accounting in 2002. And she’s kicked up a ruckus. According to a recent Institute report, our federal financial hole is over $53 trillion. To fund our politicians’ promises and pay off debt and other bills, everyone in America would have to send a check to D.C. for $176,700.
“If a corporation did this, they’d have to shut down,” Weinberg says. “But it’s just common practice for the federal government. . . .”
Are states in better shape? Well, take Illinois. Weinberg calls it the worst mess in the country. Sure, the state’s constitution requires a balanced budget, but lawmakers have hid both bills and borrowing, and managed to fabricate a surplus out of a $44 billion deficit.
Thankfully, Ms. Weinberg has blown the lid off this story . . . and she intends to bring her work to a government near you. I call this heroic accounting .
I can’t think of any movies where an accountant comes into a business, or a government, and saves the day. But maybe there will be one, someday. It’ll be about Sheila Weinberg.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.