Introduction to CAFR

Anyone who has ever approached a government agency just to see what they do and how they do it, can tell you they didn’t get very far. Government seems to be at least as secret as any corporation, if not more so. This general secrecy goes back well before terrorism was a general concern.

Our public agencies are not so public, when it comes to disclosing their own conduct, their finances, and their inside operations, and their productivity. Well it turns out just like many people and organizations that like to be secret, they do have something to hide. It’s called the CAFR. The CAFR is name for the financial accounts of any public agency. It stands for Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and it is standard to all government agencies. Your court houses have them, school districts have them. City, county, and state governments all have CAFRs. The hard numbers are in the CAFR. The budget is pure fantasy. The budget is where somebody took a guess at how much money would be needed for some particular purpose. They consistently guess too low and they tell us they need more money. They don’t need more money, they just guessed wrong.

There might be a zillion dollars in the CAFR – who cares if they didn’t budget enough. Take more out of the account, the CAFR account. If you budget 400 Dollars a month for your groceries and then one month you need 450, do you go rob a gas station? No, you take 50 dollars out of your bank account. Government have bank accounts just like we do, but they keep that a secret. Government has two sets of books – the budget and the CAFR. They can stash away all the money they want in the CAFR and then they will show you the budget and try to tell you they’re dirt poor. So when your puppet official says the budget is insufficient, we should say ok, what have you got in the accounts? What’s in the CAFR? If budgets are too low it just means we have incompetent people drawing up our budgets. A budget crisis is not a reason to raise revenue; it’s a reason to plan the budget better. Of course the budget con game is intentional. The simple trick is that when you only talk about the budget you can hide money and that CAFR is where you hide it. A large percent of government revenues are – you could say – horded.  If you start to look at the actual accounts you see that money is constantly flowing into secret off-budget accounts, never to be seen again.

They’re brilliant coming up with names for these accounts that sound important and reasonable.  There are rainy day funds, emergency funds, backup funds, set aside funds, pension funds, discretionary funds. These are all just ways of saying I’m taking you money and not giving you anything in return. The grab and hide system of revenue holding is a standard government trick that goes back centuries. The riches that sit in these funds are not some small slice of the pie. It is the elephant in the living room. The secret money in government CAFRs in USA is so massive that the dividend and investment income from these mountains of cash amounts to an average twice as much revenue per year as all the tax revenues combined. Yes, I said twice as much as all tax revenues and this government tuck away money is not applied to services or programs for you. Hording government funds have now purchased and owned over seventy percent of all the equities on all the US stock exchanges. The income from those investments compound year after year. The wealth that you and I should be making by investing in the stock market is being made by government.

So this point is like we have a big bank building with the account and right in front of the bank is a lemonade stand they call the budget. It is utterly ludicrous that your government or mayor would step up to a microphone with a straight face and telling you how tight the one billion dollar budget is. If you frisk him you’ll find 2 billion more dollars in his back pocket. If we were to audit the CAFR of any government office we would see these massive accounts everywhere we look. Piles of money that our hopelessly corrupt politicians and bureaucrats have put off budget, if you listen carefully you can hear them say mine, mine, mine. When the tax man takes your money he doesn’t tell you where will be spent. Our public school certainly don’t teach us how to audit our public finances. Government insiders know that you have no idea what they do with your money and they like it that way. Everything about government is designed to keep you away from the real accounting. And to feed you phony budget nonsense to make you thing they’re just scraping by. Government insiders tremble in fear that you will even learn what the term CAFR means. But if you really want to hit the panic button, tell your local public official, that you want an independent and public audit of the CAFR.

The simple idea of full disclosure of public accounts is the most terrifying thing a corrupt puppet official can imagine. When those glossy politicians start talking about how desperate the budget situation is, they would trod out some deprived program or service that you just can do without – something you couldn’t relate to. We need more police or fire prevention, we need to fix the sewers of the streets. We need more trash trucks or landscape maintenance for our parks. Somehow money got diverted away from these essential services even though we’ve known about them for 200 years. Aren’t governments supposed to plan for those things way in advance? They’re suddenly surprised that some bridge needs maintenance? No, they steal money from the bridge maintenance fund and tell you they need more money. Most of us don’t have time to check on how every tax dollar is handled, so the temptation for them to play around like this is irresistible. It’s way too easy. All they have to do, is to say they’re running out of money, and for some reason, people seem to believe them. Anyone who is familiar with the CAFR would know that these cries of poverty from public officials are ridiculous lies – that The city council will let their city go bankrupt rather than disclose and release the hidden money. Regardless of all the hype in the media of cutting taxes they never really do. It’s a shell game. They cut here they raise there. Overall, tax levels have always gone up for at least a hundred years. The percent of our earnings taken from us is now higher than ever and it would be even higher tomorrow. So I always wonder how public figures can be so stupid as to think they can just raise, raise, and raise again our overall tax burden forever and there will never be a breaking point. Well, we’ve already passed the breaking point which is obvious from looking at the state of the economy since 2008. Tax payers have no more to give. We’re now at the point where you simply can’t get ahead, even if you had a job. You can’t start a business under the crashing tax es, regulations, permits, fees, and reporting requirements. Nevertheless, the need for yet more taxes, revenues in government is a favorite subject for your politician and representative who have unlimited confidence in our ignorance and our gullibility. In a disastrous economy as we’re in now, we must not tolerate holding of train loads of cash by government. We need to crack open those CAFRs. We need to get some independent auditing going. We need to dig out that government wealth and apply it to some productive purpose or return it to the tax payers. Every dollar that sits in the backroom ledgers of the CAFR is capital that creates no jobs and proves no standard of living, releases no tax burdens, provides no government services or programs, and only serves to enrich and empower government insiders and financial brokers who have commanded control over those secret accounts.

But the powerful and rich have another reason for diverting mass amounts of wealth and squandering todays abundance. Because of the industrialization and technology, society is now highly productive. Machines and computers are so productive that the average output per capita is many, many times more than it would be without those technologies. If a person could make ten pairs of shoes by hand per day, a machine can make 300. We now have an overabundance that could provide for everyone many times over. But much of that abundance seems to vanish before it gets to the market. If we add up what all machines, computers can produce, the abundance that we could all enjoy would be staggering. But the elite who sell us those machines to create all that excess know that it is absolutely essential to steal back all the excess we produce. All the abundance must disappear in order to keep the party going. You cannot be controlled and exploited unless you’re desperate and hungry. You’ll not keep struggling to produce unless abundance is kept from you. You’ll not enrich the masters if you yourself are rich. Abundance must be stolen, diverted, hidden, and wasted. It must not be available for the benefit of any common person.

When there is general prosperity, excessive to all, that control matrix collapses. The squandering and distraction of newly created wealth is an essential element of control tyranny and exploitation. Scarcity must be faked at all costs. Our system is like a sink where the water flows directly to the drain hole and we’re all to stay alive under tiny drops that break free from that flow. The scarcity myth is maintained by a matrix of partnerships between corporations and government. Abundance and excess are crushed out of our economy with a series of very carefully crafted devices. Those devises for causing scarcity are taxation, war, capital and resource misallocation, currency and debt mismanagement, supply and demand manipulations, crippling boom and bust cycles, phony and contrived crisis, and of course diversion of public revenues into secret CAFR accounts. The simple language without contributing in any way to the public good. With all the technology we have today, our productivity, it takes a lot of serious larsening to create conditions of scarcity. A family of experienced farmers with just a good hand tools can produce far more food than they need. Our modern machines and technologies have multiplied that productivity many times. We’re creating abundance. And if each of us are to secure, comfortable and wealthy, it’s simply because that abundance is being robbed from us as we create it. We are in enslaved in a system of waste, corruption, and lies.

And we’re being forced to run on a cage in a perpetual state of semi exhaustion and we’re not allowed to keep the wealth generated from our efforts. So how do we start to fix the greed and corruption of government, corporations, large collection organizations? How do we start up to free up this wealth and recycle it to the benefit of the public? We demand that our public agencies publish their CAFRs, so that independent auditors can get at them. These are public accounts. There is no reason whatsoever they should not be published and publicly online in searchable formats. Lots of hidden money are found, we need to demand that they’ll be closed and the resources recirculated. We must resist and refuse the many ways our earnings are taken from us. We need to demand the public resources be returned to the original investors – you and I. The wealth creator – you and I. The productive class – you and I. We must cause the large organized collectives to fade away and each of us individually must take back man controlled and possession of the wealth we created. The institutions that are sucking away our earnings are security, our future must no longer be trusted but more important it must no longer be fed. Refusal and resistance are very powerful tools. As our economy weakens and fails we see that our institutions are frail and artificial. It is we who are strong and real.