5-13-15 – “Inform Act” Important Transparency Measure Regarding Debt

by Frank Mazur

Did you know our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren face a long term government shortfall of $200 trillion?  That’s a far cry from the $18 trillion deficit currently reported.   What’s the real story?

As a youth I sold ice cream at construction sites near my neighborhood.  It was a cash-in, cash-out business.  You would hope government, with 315 million citizens, would be more accountable than I was with my little coin box but they’re not.

When government reports annual spending there’s either a yearly surplus or deficit.  Such figures miss any impact beyond the current year.  For instance, the unfunded long term liability (generational) for Social Security and Medicare increased by $1.3 trillion rather than the reported annual deficit of $1.1 billion in FY2012.

Economists report longer-term figures are getting worse and the presidents of both parties are guilty in changing reporting ground-rules.  Generational reporting was censored by both Clinton in 1994 and Bush in 2003 when debt looked out of control.

Senators Thune (R, SD) and Kaine (D, Va) introduced a bi-partisan bill called the Inform Act and it’s getting wide support.  The bill would require an annual fiscal and generational gap accounting report.  With annual federal spending at near $4 trillion we need better accounting than my ice cream business.

Federal spending is out of control.  It’s time taxpayers require elected officials to act like adults, live within our means and save our kids’ inheritance before it’s all gone.

Contact our Senators Leahy and Sanders and Congressman Welch to support the Inform Act.

– Frank Mazur is a former member of the Vermont House of Representatives, and a former member of the Ethan Allen Institute Board of Directors.


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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