There’s no such thing as a free lunch, or a free newspaper

Bill Bergman | July 30, 2021

Includes “I just got back from lunch. Normally, I like Italian beefs, but this was an alarming and depressing lunch. It cost nearly $13 for an Italian beef, fries, and a drink. Inflation is a tax, but my meal also cost me more than a buck just for the sales tax."

No such thing as a free lunch, or a free newspaper

July 29, 2021

Maybe it's time to go on a diet.

Chicago finances worsened by $2 billion during pandemic despite federal funds

Courtney Houtz | American News Observer | July 29, 2021

TIA press release, includes … “Although the city's grants and contributions increased from $497 million in 2019 to $1.17 billion in 2020 due to the CARES Act and other COVID-19 related grants, the city’s pension and retiree health care debt also continued to increase. … ‘Because of its dire financial condition going into the pandemic, aid from the federal government was needed to prop up the city’s finances,’ says Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of Truth in Accounting. …”

Where are the financial statements for the National Institutes of Health?

Bill Bergman | July 28, 2021

Includes “The latest annual Financial Report of the U.S. Government for 2020 (released in March 2021) does not include a reference to the National Institutes of Health or NIH."

Where are the financial statements for the National Institutes of Health?

July 28, 2021

NIH goes unmentioned in the annual financial report for the U.S. Government for 2020.

Are public pensioners and taxpayers paying for investment performance?

Bill Bergman | July 27, 2021

Includes “… Citizens and taxpayers have a direct stake in the management of public pension assets. Particularly in places like Illinois, where an Illinois Supreme Court ruling a few years ago cemented the obligations of governments to retirement plans."

Local voter education

Sheila Weinberg | July 26, 2021

Radio show last night with Sheila Weinberg, Murray Fortner, and Mark McAvot, titled “Fort Worth is $2.4 billion in the RED.”

Are public pensioners and taxpayers paying for investment performance?

July 23, 2021

Why is it so hard to answer this question?

Let’s embrace a rare opportunity for government transparency

Grover Norquist and Sheila Weinberg | July 23, 2021

Op-ed by Sheila Weinberg and Grover Norquist, includes “Sadly, because the current accounting standards guiding financial reporting by state and local governments require governments to keep two sets of books, it is difficult to determine if their budgets were balanced."

A valuable, unheeded and still-relevant warning from 1992

Bill Bergman | July 23, 2021

Guest post including a statement to GASB from 1992 by Richard Skiba relevant for above-noted recent GASB proposals, includes “… This is a more devious method of taxation without representation than was ever applied to the American colonists by King George III."

A valuable, unheeded and still-relevant government accounting warning from 1992

July 22, 2021

Guest “From the Vaults” blog post by Richard Skiba.

Ice cream doesn't equal salad

July 21, 2021

In the real world, ice cream doesn’t equal salad and borrowed money doesn’t equal earned money. Yet in the government accounting world, state and local governments can record loan proceeds (aka borrowed money) as revenue (aka earned money). 

Too much money chasing too few goods and services

Bill Bergman | July 20, 2021

By Bill Bergman, includes “… Inflation can be considered as a tax, and an especially regressive one, falling harder on those with lower income and/or assets."

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