Skip to comments.$3,400,000,000,000 (TRILLION) OF TAXPAYERS' MONEY IS MISSING
Posted on 01/08/2003 8:41:53 PM PST by Uncle Bill
$3,400,000,000,000 Of Taxpayers'
Money Is Missing
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
By August Gribbin
$3,400,000,000,000(Trillion) of Taxpayers' Money Is Missing - Thread 1
GOVERNMENT CAN'T BALANCE BOOKS
The U.S. Government can't balance its books and can't properly explain how it spent $1.8 trillion last year or account for $1.6 trillion in such assets as parks, buildings, missile launchers, tanks and paper clips.
That's $1,800,000,000,000 in dollars and $1,6000,000,000,000 worth of things--a grand total of $3,4000,000,000,000.
The upshot is that, "once again, billions of taxpayer dollars were lost to waste, fraud and mismanagement," says Rep. Steve Horn, California Republican.
Mr. Horn, chairman of the House government reform and oversight subcommitte on government management, information and technology, gave that assessment yesterday as his subcommitte reviewed the government's attempt to produce a Consolidated Financial Statement.
It was the second time in U.S. History that the government has tried to comply with a 1994 law requiring it to account in a businesslike way for the revenues, expenditures and assets of the 24 Cabinet-level departments and agencies--a total of 70 agencies with some 2000 components.
And for the second time, the statement failed to meet accounting standards acceptable to the General Accounting Office, Congress' investigative arm and the government's official auditor.
The accounting failure means the government doesn't employ common business safeguards to know how much money actually has been wasted or stolen. Some lawmakers believe the figure could be in the billions.
In general, the GAO concluded that "because of the serious deficiencies in the government's systems, record-keeping, documentation, financial reporting and controls, amounts reported in the financial statements...do not provide a reliable source of information for decision-making by the government or the public."
Mr. Horn calls the accounting performance "dismal." And Rep. Pete Sessions, Texas Republican, who has been working for management reform in the executive branch, said the lack of reliable information has made him feel "like a doctor performing surgery with a blindfold on."
Still, the government's accounting has improved. Last year, the GAO approved audits of just 11 agencies. This year it's expected to give "unqualified opinions" to 13.
Comptroller General David M. Walker said that although "major obstacles need to be overcome...considerable effort is being made by agencies...and steady improvements in financial accountability are occuring."
G. Edward DeSeve, deputy director for management of the Office of Management and Budget, concurred. "The [Clinton] administration supported and created the bill to cause these [accounting] requirements and in time they will provide a tremendous management tool," he said.
For that to happen, the executive branch must "properly account for and report billions of dollars of property, equipment, materials and supplies," Mr. Walker testified.
It also must correctly estimate the costs of environmental and nuclear cleanups and determine the amount of such liabilities as veterans and health benefits.
The executive branch must bolster "serious and widespread computer security weaknesses," as well as figure out the "full extent" of the estimated billions of dollars improperly paid in major programs.
And finally, Mr. Walker said, the government must "accurately report" a basic fact for the first time--the net cost of running the government.
Courting the Presidential Cons
""Trillions are missing from federal agencies. That's right, gone. Poof! As in, "Nowhere to be found." People familiar with government accounts have charged off the record that in 1996 a concerted and intentional effort began with the support of the Office of Management and Budget and Treasury to strip agencies of honest officials and internal financial controls."
THE WAR ON WASTE - Rumsfeld Says 2.3 Trillion Dollars Missing
"On Sept. 10, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared war. Not on foreign terrorists, "the adversary's closer to home. It's the Pentagon bureaucracy,"
1.1 Trillion Dollars Missing At Defense Department
HEAD OF GENERAL ACCT OFFICE WAS BOARD MEMBER OF ARTHUR ANDERSEN
Comptroller General of the United States
DAVID M. WALKER
David M. Walker became the seventh Comptroller General of the United States and began his 15-year term when he took his oath of office on November 9, 1998. As Comptroller General, Mr. Walker is the nation's chief accountability officer and the head of the General Accounting Office (GAO), a legislative branch agency founded in 1921. The GAO helps the Congress maximize the performance and assure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people.
Immediately prior to his appointment as Comptroller General, Mr. Walker was a partner and global managing director of Arthur Andersen LLP's human capital services practice and a member of the board of Arthur Andersen Financial Advisors, a registered investment advisor. He also served as a Public Trustee for Social Security and Medicare from 1990 to 1995 while he was a partner with Arthur Andersen. Prior to joining Arthur Andersen, Mr. Walker was Assistant Secretary of Labor for Pension and Welfare Benefit Programs and Acting Executive Director for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. His earlier technical, professional and business experience was gained with Price Waterhouse, Coopers & Lybrand, and Source Services Corporation.
Mr. Walker is a certified public accountant. He has a BS in accounting from Jacksonville University and a Senior Management in Government (SMG) Certificate in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
DAVID M. WALKER
SENATE GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
A. BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
1. Name: David Michael Walker
2. Position: Comptroller General of the Unites States
3. Date of the Nomination: October 5,1998
4. Address: 997 Peachtree Battle Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia, 30327 (Home) Arthur Andersen LLP, 225 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 1800, Atlanta, Georgia, 30303-1731 (Office)
5. Date and place of birth: October 2,1951; Birmingham, Alabama
6. Marital status: Married to the former Mary Etheredge of Jacksonville, Florida for over 27 years.
7. Names and Ages of Children: Carol Marie Walker Williamson (24) and James Andrew Walker (21)
8. Education: B.S. in Accounting, Jacksonville University (5/73) S.M.G. in Public Policy, JFK School, Harvard University (8/86)*
* - Not a degree
Numerous professional education and credentialing programs involving accounting, finance, investments, human resources, information technology, legal, management, negotiations, strategic planning, fiduciary, governance and other topics.
9. Employment record (Employer, dates, most recent city and primary position): Arthur Andersen LLP (7/ 89-Present), Atlanta, GA, Partner - U.S./ Americas Managing Director, Human Capital Services Practice; U.S. Department of Labor (8/ 85-6/ 89), Washington, DC, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Pension and Welfare Benefit Programs; Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (10/ 83-8/ 85), Washington, DC, Acting Executive Director and Chief Negotiator; Source Services Corporation (7/79-10/83), Washington, DC, Eastern Regional Manager; Coopers & Lybrand (8/75-7/79), Houston, TX, Regional Director of Practice Management; Price Waterhouse & Co. (5/73-8/75), Jacksonville, FL, Exp. Auditor.
10. Government experience: Public Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds (10/90-5/95); Co-Chairman of the Mayor's Pension Review Task Force, City of Atlanta, GA (1994); Vice-Chairman of the Secretary of Labor's ERISA Advisory Council (1989-1992); Assistant Secretary of Labor for Pension and Welfare Benefit Programs (1987-1989), Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Pension and Welfare Benefit Programs (1985-1987); Acting Executive Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (1985) and, Deputy Executive Director and Chief Negotiator of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (1983-1985).
11. Business relationships: None
12. Memberships: Arthur Andersen Financial Advisors (Board of Directors); Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans (Executive Committee and Board of Directors); Womens' Institute for a Secure Retirement (Board of Directors); American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Past Committee Chairman), several state societies/institutes of CPA's; Council for Excellence in Government; Kiwanis International (Past Vice-President); Southern Employee Benefits Conference (Past Committee Vice-Chairman); International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans; National Academy of Social Insurance; the Concord Coalition; the International Platform Association; and, the Carter Center. I have also served on a number of national commissions and task forces addressing a variety of retirement security and related issues. Examples include the Committee for Economic Development's (CED's) Private Pension and Social Security Reform Task Forces, the Milbank Memorial Fund's Task Force on Pension Portability for State and Local Governments, the Center for Strategic and International Studies' (CSIS') National Commission on Retirement Policy and various other Congressional, governmental, not-for-profit and private sector task forces or committees addressing a range of retirement and health security reform issues (e.g., womer@s pension equity, pension education and assistance initiatives, negotiated rule making).
13. Political affiliations and activities:
a. Offices held - Republican Executive Committee - Duval County, Florida (1975-1976); Democratic Executive Committee - Duval County, Florida (19741975).
b. Memberships and services rendered (Past five years) - Republican National Committee and various related organizations - Campaign Council, Presidential Task Force, Senatorial Committee and Congressional Committee; Georgia Republican Party; Virginia Republican Party - AU memberships. I have not held any offices or rendered any services to political organizations during the past ten years. c. Political contributions (Est. totals for the past five years) - Republican National Committee and various related organizations - Campaign Council, Presidential Task Force, Senatorial Committee, Congressional Committee, Candidate Trust ($6,750); Republican Party of Georgia ($500); Republican Party of Virginia ($100); Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-GA ($2,750); Dole for President, R-KS ($1,000); Alexander for President, R-TN ($500); Dave Baker for PSC, R-GA ($500); Guy Millner for Governor, R-GA ($250); Cong. John Linder, R-GA ($500); Sen. Don Nickles, R-OK ($250); Cong. Earl Pomeroy, D-ND ($500); Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, D-GA ($650); Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-NE ($250); Sen. John Breaux, D-LA ($250); Sen. Judd Gregg, R-NH ($250); Cong. Charlie Stenholm, D-TX ($250); Cong. Jim Kolbe, R-AZ ($250); Sen. Bob Graham, D-FL ($500); Arthur Andersen PAC, D/R ($2,@,@0); Arthur Andersen,. Atlanta Office Candidates Action Fund, D/R ($750).
Importantly, I have not made any political contributions to any political organizations or candidates since October 1997. As Comptroller General, I would refrain from involvement in or contributions to any political party or candidates.
14. Honors and awards: Who's Who in the World (Publication pending); Who's Who in America; Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America; Who's Who in Finance and Industry; Who's Who in the East; Who's Who in the South; Notable Personalities in America; American Biographical Institute's Presidential Seal of Honor; Pension World Public Policy Award; Council on Employee Benefits - Most Outstanding Government Official Award; and, Secretary of Labor's Outstanding Achievement Award.
I also frequently receive invitations from a number of organizations and groups to participate in various invitation-only conferences and events, including the Renaissance Weekend program.
15. Published writings: Retirement Security - Understanding and Planning Your Financial Future (John Wiley & Sons - 10/96); Delivering on the Promise Attracting, Managing and Retaining Human Capital (The Free Press - 10/98); HR Director - The Arthur Andersen Guide to Human Capital (Profile Pursuit - 1997 and 1998); Audits of Employee Benefit Plans training course (AICPA- annually since 1990) and, numerous articles on pensions, employee benefits, investments, retirement security/planning, fiduciary, governance, accounting, auditing, human capital and other matters.
16. Speeches: I am a frequent speaker on a variety of pension, employee benefits, investments, retirement security/ planning, fiduciary, governance, accounting, auditing, human capital and other matters. I do not believe that any of these present a conflict or problem in connection with my serving as Comptroller General.
a. I have been advised by several White House officials that the President and his advisors felt that I was the best qualified candidate of those referred by the Congress for appointment as Comptroller General.
b. I have a broad range of functional and leadership experience in both the public and private sectors. I have successfully served as head of two federal agencies, which like the GAO, were comprised of a significant number of multi-disciplinary professionals (e.g., attorneys, CPAs, economists, actuaries, social scientists, statisticians). I have relevant professional credentials (e.g., CPA) and a track record of making a positive difference in the public and private sector organizations for which I have held leadership responsibilities. I have a proven track record of being able to address difficult operational and policy issues in a professional, objective and non-partisan manner (e.g., Public Trustee of Social Security and Medicare, CSIS National Retirement Policy Commission).
Return of the 'Audits From Hell'
Former Critics of IRS in Congress Now Clamor for Tough Enforcement
Sen. Charles Grassley, Chairman, Senate Finance Committee:
Oct. 1, 1997:
- "The management culture at the IRS has led to institutional arrogance and abuse of taxpayers. Substantial changes must be made to eliminate the 'we-versus-them' mentality at the agency."
March 25, 2002:
- "I'm amazed at the creativity of those who like being Americans but dislike their American tax obligation. Since tax cheats are endlessly creative, the IRS has to be just as creative to catch the crooks."
7 Years Of Hell At Hands Of IRS
Uncle Sam's Audit Gap
Government Fails Fiscal-Fitness Test
Advanced Enron Accounting Methods
Looking for more cooked books? Try U.S. government
America's biggest crook
No criticism, please, we're bureaucrats
Forget Enron - Congress is even worse
Corporate responsibility: Joseph Farah finds federal thieves dislike Enron competition
U.S. Government is Unrivaled Champion at Cooking the Books
Washington masks deficits using accounting tricks
U.S. Federal Government Accounting Methods
HUD Missing 59 Billion
Billions Lost By Feds
Cooking The Books At The Department Of Education
Private businesses file bankruptcy, government just steals more money
Is Congress blindfolded on the Economy? - "come with me now to the inner sanctum of government decision making and let me show you one of Uncle Sams dirty little secrets. Officially, its called scoring but it would be more truthful to refer to it as fortune telling. They do it behind closed doors on Capitol Hill and in the federal bureaucracy. ...Now, heres the dirty little secret the JCT insists on using the static scoring method, even though there is growing professional, corporate, academic and political support for using dynamic scoring instead. In fact, all of the federal governments tax scoring groups, including the Congressional Budget Office and the U.S. Treasurys Office of Tax Analysis, doggedly stick with static scoring. Why? Because static scoring is a key tool Washington politicians use to keep taxes high and government spending growing."
It doesn't matter skull. They know where they can keep getting more.
From Wife-beaters To Drunk Drivers, Congress Is A Crime Wave, Study Says
September 2, 1999
WASHINGTON, DC -- A new investigation reveals an astonishingly large number of wife-beaters, drunks, shoplifters, check-bouncers, business failures, and drug abusers in the U.S. House and Senate -- which ought to make Americans think carefully before turning to Washington, DC for moral leadership, the Libertarian Party said today.
"Mark Twain once said Congress may be America's only 'distinct criminal class' -- and this new study suggests he was correct," said Steve Dasbach, the party's national director. "If even half these charges are true, expecting Congress to serve as a moral role model is like asking Bill Clinton to serve as a poster boy for monogamy."
According to an investigation by Capitol Hill Blue, an online publication that covers federal politics, a remarkable number of U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators may have spent as much time in a jail cell as on Capitol Hill.
After researching public records, newspaper articles, civil court transcripts, and criminal records, Capitol Hill Blue discovered that:
Capitol Hill Blue did not list the names of all the individual members of Congress accused of the various crimes, but did note that some were "serial offenders" with extensive tracks records of fraud or violence.
For example, reported Capitol Hill Blue, Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) has a "long, consistent record of deceit," including tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills, allegations of bribery, and numerous lawsuits against her. And Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) faces charges that he beat his wife, has a history of barroom brawls while mayor of Alexandria, and has publicly stated that he likes "to hit people."
"With a rap sheet like that, you have to wonder why Americans expect Congress to solve the problem of crime -- since Congress seems to be causing so much crime," said Dasbach. "In fact, if this study is correct, the best way to cut crime may be to lock up Congress and throw away the key."
And given the obvious economic incompetence of so many Senators and Representatives, you have to wonder why voters trust them with the federal budget, he said.
"Here are politicians who routinely bankrupt businesses, write bad checks, engage in fraudulent practices, and have bad credit," said Dasbach. "That could explain why the country is more than $5 trillion in debt, why federal programs are so wasteful, and why taxes are always going up. Are these really the kind of economically illiterate people we want to trust with our money?"
If nothing else, said Dasbach, the Capitol Hill Blue investigation may help puncture the myth that Senators and Representatives are somehow superior to ordinary Americans, or better equipped to solve the nation's problems.
"By its very nature, politics tends to attract venal people who crave power, who want to control the lives of other people, and who think they are above the law," he noted. "This study makes that point clear -- and illustrates that when it comes to politicians, the only thing worse than their voting records are their criminal records."
Over the last several years, Judge Royce C. Lamberth has come down hard on the side of the Indians, saying he has never seen greater government incompetence than the department has displayed in administering the Indians' money and in representing itself in court.
When the government appealed his 1999 order for a full accounting, the Court of Appeals resoundingly upheld Judge Lamberth and accused the department of "malfeasance."
Although if you calculated the total expense of keeping the frequent treatment for STDs accumulated during the Clinton administration when the raving syphilitic himself and his staff occupied the White House, we might have a clearer picture of what happened here.</p.
Taxpayers, tax takers: Linda Bowles wants to scrap income levy, IRS entirely
"It is morally wrong to allow non-income taxpayers to vote to raise the income taxes of others -- and benefit from doing so. It is morally wrong in this sense: While most Americans would never dream of seizing money or property that belongs to a neighbor, many Americans see nothing wrong in giving government and politicians a mandate to do it for them.
Once we reach the point where those who depend and thrive on higher taxes and bigger government are in the majority, we will no longer be able to correct inequities and change course via the ballot box. The proponents of limited government, lower taxes and the Constitution will have lost.
The founders were horrified that something like this would happen in America."
The Justice Department has stated that help is on the way.
And one of my promises is theres going to be Social Security reform, and you bet we need to take a trillion dollars out of that $2.4 trillion surplus. Now, remember, Social Security revenue exceeds expenses up until 2015. People are going to get paid. But if youre a younger worker, if youre younger, you better hope this country thinks differently, otherwise youre going to be faced with huge payroll taxes or reduced benefits. And you bet were going to take a trillion dollars of your own money and let you invest it under safe guidelines to get a better rate of return on the money than the paltry 2 percent that the federal government gets for you today. Thats one of my promises. - George W. Bush
1. Social Security Reform: Give Illegal Aliens Money.
2. Surplus: There never was a surplus.
3. Let you: He's going to let you invest your money.