Balacing the (operating) budget

My opening shot (!) in an ongoing series that I plan on the federal deficit:

All the talk about a balanced budget ignores the fact that the government is on a cash basis in which all expenditures are treated as outflows of the period. In regular for-profit accounting, the payment of a salary is treated as an expense while the acquisition of a building, say, is treated as an investment. Government does not make this distinction. Were businesses to keep their books the way that the government does, a large number of them would be running a deficit. Yes we desperately need a balanced budget but it needs to be a balanced operating budget. Anything else is nonsensical and shows a sad misunderstanding of government accounting. Continue reading

Hello world!

This is a brand new blog to which I will be adding stuff in the next few days. I have been blogging for some time over at and you are invited to check those blogs out. I have also had a blog that I called mondayfaith being the application of what is preached on Sunday to what gets practiced on Monday. I have imported that blog into this so you will see a lot of old comments some of which I will cull as time permits.

Penny-wise, pound-foolish with fire protection

I have noted repeatedly over the years how all eyes are focused on the budget and none on the actual leading to incredibly stupid decisions at the government level. The Dallas Morning News (09.15.2011) reports that the state Forest Service budget was underfunded by some $10 million so as to ensure that the “budget” was balanced. Continue reading

Deficit panel

This morning brought news that according to the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) a failure to implement the planned 30% reduction in Medicare payments and a decision to extend the Bush tax cuts would add $5 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade. That is sobering news for the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction which has until Thanksgiving to find $1 trillion in deficit reduction measures. Continue reading