Business has it rough compared to the government! So I have this question “Is it Okay for the Government to Cook The Books”?
First let me say what Businesses aren’t allowed to do!
- Manipulate the bookkeeping records to alter their financial statements. In Accounting, this was called “cooking the book” or creating accounting, and this process was often used to change the bottom line depending on what a company wants their financial records to state. It goes both ways, sometimes a company (especially private ones) want the numbers to show little profit so they don’t have to pay high taxes. On the other hand, a company will inflate Sales and other income sources to make their stock more appealing to investors or potential buyers of the company. Both forms of manipulation are against IRS rules and basically fraud (if my memory serves me correctly). The excerpt at the end of this article sounds a lot like cooking the books to me.
- Now granted that I’m not a lawyer, I believe the employers aren’t allowed to borrow from the employee pensions plans that exist at the company. I believe this is a no-no that history has proved to be a horrible move! But ironically it’s not stopping the government from borrowing from the federal employee pension fund. Oh, the federal employees don’t have to worry about their retirement nest because if there is a shortcoming in the “federal employee pension fund”, you can bet your bottom dollar that it would be a priority for the government to refund. On the other hand, with Social Security… well we all know that state of that public (as in us) fund is doing.
Read the yahoo article titled “US taps pension fund to avoid passing debt limit” to read the full article, but below is the except that explains how it sounds like the government may be cooking the books?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the government has begun borrowing from the federal employee pension fund to keep operating without surpassing its debt limit.
Geithner says in a letter to congressional leaders that the move will free up $156 billion in borrowing authority while Congress debates increasing the $16.4 trillion debt limit.
The government reached its borrowing limit on Dec. 31, but began using bookkeeping maneuvers to keep from surpassing it. Geithner has told congressional leaders that Treasury expects to exhaust those measures by mid-February to early March.
What say you? It kind of reminds me of that old saying “Do as I say, not as I do”.