An Answer to the CAFR Question:
Do I really care what the CAFR says?
(Appearently the recent Cooper City Commission meeting on the CAFR has caused some to ask the question. One of our readers sent the following to me in an email. After a couple of email exchanges the sender agreed to allow me to print what you see. He is a resident of a city in Northern Florida.)
In answer to your question (insert your name here), yeah we should care but apparently very few of us even know about these things and most people won't believe you when you try to tell them. About a year or so ago I learned about these things and set myself to find out if it were true if it took the rest of my life.
The first item I learned about was the US treasury's book keeping system. That budget they are always so upset about is the biggest money scam in the history of book keeping. If a private business kept its books like the US government keeps theirs it wouldn't last out a year.
Here is the business way to keep a set of books.
At the end of every year along about tax time a smart business man will work up what is known as a trial balance. Here all the company's assets are listed in one column and its liabilities in another. The liabilities are subtracted from the assets and the difference is what the company is worth at that particular time. Now he takes a look at last year's budget and if there happens to be a surplus it is carried forward to the current year. He already knows what his budget was for the year before so he subtracts the surplus from that. This tells him how much it cost him to run his business for the year just ended. Then he adds up his total sales for the year just ended, subtracts his overhead from the total sales and the difference is profit, the amount he must pay taxes on to keep the IRS off his back. Now he checks his sales receipts over the past three to five years adds up those figures, divides them by the number of years and comes up with a pretty good idea of what his sales will be during the coming year. Now he takes the projected sales figure subtracts last year's budget, the surpluses have been carried forward already, and comes up with a pretty good idea of what his budget should be for the coming year.
Now here is the government's way of keeping books.
Number one there is no trial balance as far as the public is concerned. Any budget surpluses at the end of a fiscal year are not carried forward nor even so much as figured in to the government's assets, at least not in the budget process. Their new year's budget is figured on projected revenues only, that's the taxes we pay. Yep they do have the projected expenditures for the new year and they also have the expected revenues for the new fiscal year. Now they simply subtract the expected expenditures from expected revenues and low and behold the expected expenditures are considerably more than the expected revenues. There is going to be another deficit so what do they do? Uh huh you guessed it, they raise our taxes in some vain attempt to fill the gap but for some unknown reason the gap never does get quite filled and so, at the end of almost every fiscal year since I've been born the published story has been raise taxes. Thus the budget process is nothing more than a political scam a and rip off of the working and small business people.
The CAFR (Their Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) is another set of books all together.
It does include a trial balance and when it is received by the politicians and bureaucrats they know exactly how much profit the government and the big banksters made last year. Contrary to what we the people have been told (at least) since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt there has been budget surpluses at all levels of this government. I had to make up to one of the ugliest damn women this world has ever produced to get it but I have a copy of this County's CAFR for 2004. I wanted the current one but this county is four years behind on its CAFRs so I had no choice but to accept what I could get. However, though it doesn't give me the current totals it does tell me that we the people are being ripped off ten ways from Sunday by this government at all levels.
For instance; according to the CAFR I have in my possession the road and bridge department in this county had a surplus of over one million bucks in 2004. All the other departments had varying amounts of money left over that year but the County's budget was desperately overdrawn. If my memory is serving me right, there was a three million dollar budget surplus for this county in 2004. Yet we've had one tax increase since then and would have had more but for the state's Tabor law, all the fees in this county and in the state have been increased twice over that period.
For instance: in 2004 it cost me $24.00 to register my car. In 2009 that fee was $78.00 and the bastards are still yelling budget deficit. Yep the CAFR will tell you the whole truth about this nation's finances, but the budget process won't and that's the one they throw at us every year. Now what do they do with all the excess cash? It is salted away in a special secret fund that we the people will never hear about, in 2004 for instance there was 7 billion bux salted away in this state alone and that was at state level. The Counties, cities and other goverment departments have money also that none of the current incumbents has ever seen. But believe me brothers and sisters they know it is there and they hope it will be available to them when the SHTF.