Truth in Accounting Summer Quarterly Round-up e-Newsletter‏

From the Institute for Truth in Accounting…

Truth in Accounting Identifies Five Sinkhole States

The lack of truth and transparency in state budgets have concealed $1 trillion of outstanding bills.

The Institute’s ‘Financial State of the States’ study reviewed each state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report to determine the state’s true financial condition. This study included a detailed analysis of pension and retirees’ health care plans. The Institute took painstaking steps to determine the states’ share of each plans’ unfunded liability. By analyzing the assets each state has available and all of its bills, the Institute was able to determine a ‘Taxpayer’s Burden’ for all fifty states. Click here to download the full report.

The Institute’s extensive research found most states are sinking in debt, despite the existence of a balanced budget requirement in all but one state. The Institute identified the top five ‘Sinkhole’ states each with a per taxpayer burden of more than $23,000. These are Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii and Kentucky. Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska, Utah and South Dakota are considered ‘Sunshine’ states, because a per taxpayer’s surplus or minimal per taxpayer’s burden exists in these states.

Weinberg, Lieberman and Walker Speak at Fiscal Forum

Sen. Joseph Lieberman was the keynote speaker at a three hour state and federal fiscal forum held on July 16th. The event was co-sponsored by No Labels Connecticut, an organization whose stated goal is to take politics out of problem solving.

It was also organized by the Comeback America Initiative, a Bridgeport-based advocacy group for fiscal responsibility founded by David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States.

‘It’s time to get together to solve problems rather than be involved in partisan politicking,’ said Lieberman, a Stamford resident and native.

‘Spending has been out of control,’ said Walker. ‘We’ve got some serious problems.’ Walker lamented the current level of federal borrowing, which was expected to reach the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling in two weeks and rivals the World War II-era burden. ‘We got something for World War II. We can debate what we’re getting for the current debt,’ Walker said.

Sheila Weinberg, founder & CEO of the Institute, spoke on the state panel (pictured above) and emphasized that the federal balanced budget amendment will mean nothing if truth in accounting is not included. ‘The states have been the laboratory for the balanced budget amendment,’ she explained. ‘Because political math is used to calculate state budgets, balanced budget requirements have failed and most states are deep in debt.’

Institute Releases the Illinois Budget Transparency Study

The Institute has completed its two year study on the transparency in the state of Illinois budgeting processes.

The study noted that while the Illinois Constitution prohibits the state from spending more than ‘funds available,’ successive governors and legislators have so stretched that definition that it has become meaningless.

To determine what revenue and expense items should be in the balanced budget calculation, the Institute convened a panel of representatives from organizations holding a wide cross-section of public policy viewpoints. These experts found a great degree of consensus and were able to recommend a common-sense approach to the state’s budget. Click here to download the full study.

The Illinois General Assembly is considering The Long-Term Accounting Act (HB3231) that incorporates many of the Institute’s findings.

Save the Date: October 17th ‘Fiscally Speaking Tour’ in Chicago

Truth in Accounting and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce will host a Comeback America ‘Fiscally Speaking Tour’ event with speakers U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, Congressman Mike Quigley and David M. Walker. A Noon Luncheon will be held on Monday, October 17th at the Mid-America Club, 200 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago.

David Walker will also speak on October 17th, 3 to 5:00 pm at the De Paul University downtown Conference Center in Chicago.

For more information on these events, call 847 835 5200, or

About the Institute for Truth in Accounting

The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) is dedicated to promoting honest, accurate, and transparent accounting at all levels of government and business. As a non-partisan, non-profit organization, the IFTA works to expose accounting deficiencies while promoting better, more accessible delivery of accurate government financial data—and, in turn, providing a foundation for more informed public policy. The IFTA provides its expertise to develop more effective accounting standards and deliver accurate government financial information to policymakers, opinion leaders, and citizens, so they can all work for a more secure financial future. To learn more, please visit our website at

Copyright Publius Forum 2001