By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Maybe the presidential candidates should start wearing baseballs caps with the slogan: Make America Auditable Again.
The country that has delivered epic accounting frauds like Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, and Bernie Madoff just flunked its own audit. Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, released a thumbs down report on how the U.S. government keeps its books. The GAO said it could “not render an opinion on the federal government’s consolidated financial statements for FY 2015 because of persistent problems with the Department of Defense’s (DOD) finances, the federal government’s inability to account for and reconcile certain transactions, an ineffective process for preparing the consolidated financial statements, and significant uncertainties.”
How big of a deal is this? According to the GAO, what it was unable to effectively audit amounted to about “34 percent of the federal government’s reported total assets as of September 30, 2015, and approximately 19 percent of the federal government’s reported net cost for fiscal year 2015….” In simple terms, more than a third of your government is a black hole.