Monday, February 19, 2007

FASAB Looks at Fiscal Sustainability

The Federal Accounting Standards Board Advisory Board (FASAB) has established a fiscal sustainability board to determine to report on whether current/future budgeted levels of spending on federal policy and programs. The ten members represent five agencies of the US Government and five members of "think tanks" such as the American Enterprise and Brookings Institutions. The stewardship function was emphasized and FASAB Chairman Tom Allen indicated that the reports might go beyond material covered in federal government financial statements.

It is always good to see Federal managers look at issues of interperiod equity; it seems that too often spending is maintained (or more frequently increased) just because that was how money was spent in the past. One big question (and note the presence of a Social Security Administration Actuary and Economic Adviser on the board)--can Social Security be maintained in present form--a question that Congress shirked two years ago.


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