In my Financial Accounting class this semester, I learned that every single publicly traded company has to publish a full annual report on its assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, and cash flows at the end of every fiscal year. In my business class, I learned that the federal government was in fact, a business, which has revenues coming in as taxes, and expenses, like welfare programs, funding for infrastructure, and salaries for its employees (ie: Congressmen). As “shareholders” invested in our government, we should demand that our leaders be accountable about what exactly they are spending our money on, to whom, why, and when. It is indeed true that our Congress has not published a real budget for the last three years.
This is ridiculous, when one thinks about the nature of our government as a business. It would be unethical, for example, if Apple or Bain Capital were to fail to draw out a budget and report its financial information to its owners. The government needs to be held accountable and more open about how it is doing financially. I applaud Rep. Forbes for introducing the Congressional Accountability Pay (CAP) Act that would cut the salaries of Members of Congress proportionally by how much they increase government spending. Hopefully it will be passed, and hopefully, there will be real motivation for a true bipartisan effort to fix our messy finances.