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 doesn’t 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 don’t 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), it’s 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 nation’s ability to sustain. America’s future depends on it.
Former Rep. Joseph J. DioGuardi (1985-1989) is a certified public accountant, the author of “Unaccountable Congress” (1992, 2010) and president of Truth in Government.