We are at a critical moment in determining whether America will remain sustainable as a great nation. The current accounting system of the federal government doesnít accurately reflect the long-term costs of federal programs, including our massive liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, federal pensions and other entitlement obligations. As a result, politicians continue to make legislative decisions today that donít reflect a concern for the long-term economic and financial condition of our nation.
After nearly 70 years of discussion, and endorsement by four presidents (Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson and Nixon), itís high time that accrual accounting be implemented for all agencies and departments of the federal government. We need to know the truth about how much our federal government is really spending (and obligating us to pay) and how this is raising our national debt far beyond our nationís ability to sustain. Americaís future depends on it.
Former Rep. Joseph J. DioGuardi (1985-1989) is a certified public accountant, the author of ďUnaccountable CongressĒ (1992, 2010) and president of Truth in Government.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.