Institute for Truth in Accounting - Precarious Federal Finances

‘Truth in 2008’ campaign highlights inconsistencies in federal numbers; challenges presidential candidates to address nation’s massive debt and skyrocketing liabilities

Chicago: Today, with the release of the government’s latest financial report, the Chicago-based Truth in 2008 campaign highlighted inconsistencies in the numbers, challenging presidential candidates to face the facts about our nation’s financial situation and the soaring national debt.

“Like Enron, the Treasury does not report massive debt on its balance sheet,” said Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of the Institute for Truth in Accounting and head of the Truth in 2008 campaign. “Enron’s hidden liabilities were in the millions’ the federal government’s hidden liabilities are more than $45 trillion. Enron’s downfall affected thousands’ the federal government’s inability to pay promised benefits will affect millions. Right now, the numbers show our obligations at $180,000 a person. The time to address this issue is now.”

David Walker, the nation’s top accountant and the leader of a national “fiscal wake-up tour,” is a supporter of the Truth in 2008 campaign and commented on the numbers today at the National Press Club. Walker noted, “most Americans are starved for truth and leadership” and, as Sheila Weinberg added this afternoon, “That’s exactly what the Truth in 2008 campaign is all about.”

Weinberg, a Certified Public Accountant, will be available to comment on the numbers and their implications. “The report revealed, among other alarming things, that auditors had problems auditing a quarter of all government spending. That’s no small change that $740 billion,” said Weinberg. “Meanwhile, our unfunded promises have skyrocketed by $30 trillion in the past seven years, and will increase the same amount in the next seven. It’s unsustainable.”

“Early next year, the first of the baby boomers will retire and the government has no idea how to pay for the benefits they’ve promised,” Weinberg continued. “This should be the most important issue facing our nation today, and politicians want to sweep it under the rug. We created Truth in 2008 to stop that from happening.”

Truth in 2008 aims to gain support from citizens, opinion leaders, and political leaders in order to reframe the debate about our nation’s finances, challenging presidential hopefuls to address an issue that many would prefer to ignore. The Truth in 2008 website will continue to launch extended features throughout the 2008 campaigns, and is available at .

For more information, or for detailed comment on the financial numbers, contact Sheila Weinberg at 847-835-5200.

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. 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 that they can make more informed policy decisions regarding our financial future. To learn more, please visit our website at .