Should We Laugh or Should We Cry?
by James Glaser
August 1, 2011
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There is only one piece of news coming out of Washington, and that is that they just can't get anything done about this Debt Ceiling/Budget mess.

It has been reported that our government spends about, well we don't really know how much our government spends. Read this report and think about that.

The subsequent 2010 Financial Report of the United States Government, reporting on the implementation of the 2010 non-Congressionally approved Budget, shows a net operating cost of $2,080 billion, although since this includes accounting provisions (estimates of future liabilities), the cash rather than accruals deficit is $1,294 billion. According to the Government Accountability Office, the 'accrual deficit provides more information on the longer-term implications of the government's annual operations'. Gross costs rose 20% from $3,736 billion in 2009 to $4,472 billion ($3,552 billion budgeted), while total taxes and other revenues rose 1% from $2,198 billion to $2,217 billion. The Government Accountability Office was unable to provide an audit opinion on the 2010 financial statements due to 'widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations', although it noted that significant progress had been made. The GAO cited as the principal obstacle to its provision of an audit opinion 'serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense that made its financial statements unauditable'. The GAO identified during its audit work an estimated $125.4 billion of 'improper payments'. Thirteen of the twenty-four Government Agency Heads either qualified or withheld their assurance statements.

So, who really knows what we are spending? What we do know is that we are right now we are over 14 trillion ($14,000,000,000,000.00) in debt, and that doesn't count the trillions we owe for Social Security and other unfunded mandates.

The truth is, we are in a real mess. The last couple of months has shown us that our elected officials don't know what to do.

Something new happened in our last election. There were a number of Republican Candidates elected who ran on the promise that they would not raise taxes, and would cut spending in Washington. The media branded these candidates as members of the grass roots movement called the Tea Party.

Be that as it may be, these new Congressmen are not like any past elected politicians. They don't care if they get re-elected, they only care about keeping their word to the voters about taxes and spending. The rest of Washington is in a tizzy because these people will not play ball.

We had so many people of principle elected in the last election that Washington can not work like it has in the past. These new people can't be bought with "ear-marks" that will bring cash to their district. They are against ear-marks. They can't be bought with the promise of help for their re-election, because they won't break the promises they made to the voters that they would work to cut spending and lower or at least not raise taxes.

In other words, these new Republicans will not play the game, and the rest of our government can't understand that. I know this new problem has brought tears of frustration to many older politicians, but many American voters have a smile every time a new vote is taken, and many a chuckle is heard when voters watch what is happening.

Honest politicians, who actually do what they said they were going to do is something new in Washington.

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