Administration Flunks Audit

Any questions on how our comptroller general feels about the president’s inability to manage the deficit were answered early last week in his annual keynote address, in which he lambasted the state of the government’s checkbook. A few of the highlights:

I’m sad to say that since I last spoke on this issue here… in September 2003, our nation’s long-range fiscal imbalance has deteriorated significantly….

The American people need to realize that the fiscal choices being made in Washington today have profound consequences for the future of our country, and our children….

[W]hat does the federal government’s annual report say about the results that are being achieved with the taxpayer dollars being spent? The answer is not much!…

By continuing to run huge budget deficits, America is partially ceding control over its own destiny to others.

He noted that the first step towards curbing this trend is to “insist on truth and transparency in government operations” — something that the Bush administration has made nearly impossible because its financial record-keeping is so inadequate. The worst offenses stem from the Defense Department — where auditors report “serious financial management problems.” (Not to mention excessive waste.)