A professor at Michigan State University claims the US government has misspent an amount of as good as $21 trillion of public finances. The documents and papers aiding the study went missing just when the audit was called for.
The staggering sum of $21 trillion is said to be spent between years 1998 to 2015 by the two departments of US federal government. Department of Defense (DoD) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are the two departments behind the unaccounted expenditures.
The facts were unearthed by digging into the websites of the two departments and the reports of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) by Professor Mark Skidmore. Skidmore is a professor of Economics at the Michigan State University who specializes in public finance. A team led by Skidmore has brought to light the shocking facts which were given a blind eye until now.
On hearing Catherine Austin Fitts, a former Assistant Secretary in the HUD in the first Bush administration, Skidmore was pushed to research furthermore on the topic. Fitts informed that the Inspector General found an unaccounted sum of $6.5 trillion spent by the DoD. The reference was made with the help of an OIG report of July 2016.
Skidmore thought Fitts had mistakenly used trillion for billion. But when he realized she wasn’t wrong complemented by his earlier experiences with public finance, he knew something was fishy for the amount was huge even for a federal department.
In an interview with USAWatchdog.com, Skidmore said, “Sometimes you have an adjustment just because you don’t have adequate transactions… so an auditor would just recede. Usually, it’s just a small portion of authorized spending, maybe one percent at most. So for the Army, one percent would be $1.2 billion of transactions that you just can’t account for.”
On learning that the amount of expenditure was indeed correct, Skidmore paired up with Fitts along with a bunch of undergrads to go through numerous reports of OIG, right from 1998 to 2015. It is to be noted that the new rules of public accountability had come into force on the lines of the SOX Act. Only the DoD and HUD departments’ financials were delved into.
“This is incomplete, but we have found $21 trillion in adjustments over that period. The biggest chunk is for the Army. We were able to find 13 of the 17 years and we found about $11.5 trillion just for the Army,” Skidmore said.
However, professor Skidmore has refused to divulge into the details of the missing amount. But he does hint about the erroneous budgeting system of the US government. He stated that such ambiguity will not be in favour of the US Congress which authorizes the federal spending.
It was in the same week that DoD announced conducting its first-ever audit.
“It is important that the Congress and the American people have confidence in DoD’s management of every taxpayer dollar,” Comptroller David Norquist told reporters.
He added that the OIG has brought independent auditors on board to look into the finances of the military.
“While we can’t know for sure what role our efforts to compile original government documents and share them with the public has played, we believe it may have made a difference,” Skidmore commented.
The research team disclosed that the links to the crucial documents, even those of the 2016 report, were disabled and later reposted under different addresses.
Information source: rt
Title iamge source: rightedition