US Fiscal Insanity | Controlling Federal Deficits | Lima Marietta Columbus OH | Rea CPA

Fiscal Insanity

A recent article in the Journal of Accountancy caught my attention. The article, “Restoring Fiscal Sanity” by David M. Walker, CPA (a former comptroller general of the United States), deals with the current sad state of affairs of the deficit spending that our elected representatives in Washington are perpetrating on all of us. It is very likely that we are rapidly approaching a financial tipping point — one that will determine whether we’ll have a debt crisis or not.

The sheer size of the deficit hardens and paralyzes us – the problem is so big that it’s beyond comprehension to most Americans, including those in Congress.

Last year the federal deficit was approximately $3.8 trillion. It was reported as a $1.3 trillion deficit, but that doesn’t include the growing deficit in Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. The government reporting process conceals this additional – and very real – debt to make the reported numbers less alarming. This is an interesting and dangerous game.

Try and get a handle on that number. It amounts to approximately $162 million per hour. $2.7 million per minute. $450,000 per second.

Does anyone believe that our country can survive this massive increase in debt long-term? It seems clear to me that we cannot. Our elected officials seem to be so polarized that compromise is impossible. Yet, in the end they must be held accountable and make the right decisions for us to survive as a strong, viable leader of the free world.

As Certified “Public” Accountants, we have a unique position of trust and should play a vital role in working with our leadership to arrive at solutions that will be very unpopular. But in the end, we need you – the general public – to hold that leadership accountable for fixing the problems.

In order to restore fiscal sanity, all of us will need to make sacrifices. It will be imperative that we swallow hard and find the greater good in restoring our country to financial health. The trickle-down effects of bringing the deficit under control will hit state and local governments pretty hard. We must be willing to reorganize at all levels of government. We will be called upon to pay higher taxes at the local level to remain vibrant in our own communities. If we don’t rise to this challenge we will all pay a bigger price in the end.

This article was originally published in Illuminations: Facts & Figures from people with a brighter way, a Rea & Associates enewsletter, 9/12/2012.

Note: This content is accurate as of the date published above and is subject to change. Please seek professional advice before acting on any matter contained in this article.