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Free Market News | October 27 2005

Related: Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports Exposed

One of the better kept secrets in America is how big a "slush fund" exists, off the books and out of the sight of taxpayers, at all government levels throughout the country. A New Jersey man named Walter Burien has been digging into this question for many years now, and may be on the verge of exposing the whole dirty business. A story by Greg Szymanski at the site updates his tale, noting that Burien is no stranger to battles with the government, and defining his latest efforts as a "plan to end unfair taxation" by exposing this "hidden treasure trove."

The process involved is known as the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), which has been an official government accounting method since 1946, although its existence (let alone its contents) has been kept out of public awareness for most of that time. All Burien did, the story notes, was to "simply apply standard corporate accounting practices to the way government does business." And once he began comparing the inflow of money from taxes and other "revenue" sources, and the expenditure lists on the other side of the ledger, he found a consistent variance between income and outgo, that spanned across state and federal budgets with about the same consistency.

As the story notes, "What he found out was that government, including over 86,000 entities at all levels, only disclosed about one-third of the actually money it had in its coffers. The loophole he uncovered was simple, but a government loophole nonetheless used to hide trillions of investment dollars not mandated by law to be disclosed to the people." The secret is that governments invest tax dollars during times of plenty, or even slight overages in revenue; none of this investment shows up on the official books, and the equity of the investment remains off the public record as well.

"Government officials like to tell us how much they are spending and what the annual budget entails," Burien is quoted as saying, "but not one of them wants to mention or disclose a CAFR. We should not elect one more politician who doesn't promise to make CAFR's public knowledge. But you see, the reason they won't is that it would [expose] the corrupt way they do business."

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