It’s rather easy to demonstrate that government agencies are riddled with double-standards and inconsistencies, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the way in which these agencies handle money and account for it.
Put another way, if we approached the preparation of our income taxes the same way the government runs its finances and does accounting, we would be facing penalties from here to doomsday. It takes a lot of gall for an organization as irresponsible with its accounting as are many government agencies to lecture citizens on keeping proper records.
Naturally, that’s exactly what they do. Otherwise the whole income tax system would collapse. Happily, Ben Carson is taking action against accounting “errors” in his department, and it is stunning to see what he has uncovered.
According to the Daily Caller, “Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) financial books are in bad shape … HUD’s Inspector General (IG) can’t complete an audit even after HUD officials corrected $520 billion in bookkeeping errors, according to a new IG report.”
Let that number sink in. One-half trillion dollars in “bookkeeping errors.” Pick a word to describe that – we’re fresh out of ideas.
The story continues: “Officials at HUD fixed $3.4 billion in errors from its 2015 books and $516.4 billion in December was unable to issue an opinion on either year’s financial statements and highlighted 11 material weaknesses, seven significant deficiencies and five instants of failure to comply with laws and regulations.”
What is maddening is that when business leaders conduct their firms’ finances like this there are consequences. Either the business goes broke, fines are imposed, or people go to jail. Individuals who are either incompetent or otherwise play things fast and loose with their taxes can expect similar results.
Yet the same government that enforces these tax regulations and laws either cannot or will not abide by the same rules or conduct its own finances with the integrity it demands of its citizens.
The best advice at this point as you approach this year’s tax deadline if you’ve yet to complete and file your taxes is that you not think of this story as you sort through that box of receipts.