In the spring of 2017, a research study was initiated to determine the facts regarding the possibility that untold multiple trillions of dollars had gone missing from government accounts.
THE DAY BEFORE 9/11
You might recall video of an event that took place at the Pentagon on September 10, 2001 when Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense in the new Bush Administration, stunned the buttoned-down sensibilities of honest accountants and bookkeepers everywhere with the following matter-of-fact statement:
“According to some estimates we cannot track $2.3 trillion dollars in transactions.” 
After a Pentagon audit, this massive amount of Department of Defense spending was unaccounted for. It had somehow gone missing. For perspective, the DOD budget for the year 2001 was $313 billion. The equivalent of roughly seven years of Pentagon budgets had vanished. On that day, Rumsfeld was declaring war on financial waste and possibly fraud as he announced a new plan to “save” the Pentagon. The next day, those plans, whether legitimate or not, were forgotten.
THE 2017 MISSING MONEY REPORT
As the years went by more huge sums appeared to vanish. In the Inspector General Report for the Department of Defense for 2015 the amount was $6.5 trillion. Keep in mind that these two reports from 2001 and 2015, which served as the catalyst for the missing money research study, only involve the DOD and not any other government departments.
It was Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the first Bush administration, who brought the $6.5 missing trillion to the attention of Dr. Mark Skidmore, a Michigan State University economist, in early 2017. Because the figure was so ridiculously huge he initially thought she was mistaken. Over that summer they continued the project with the assistance of two graduate students to help with a larger study and by September of 2017 had accounted for many more missing funds, officially termed “unsupported adjustments.” The total monetary amount in their report, in researching and compiling documents for only the Department of Defense between the years of 1998-2015, was a whopping $21 trillion. They found an additional $350 billion missing at HUD.
To put these numbers in proper perspective, the entire Gross National Product of the USA in the year 2019 was 21.429 trillion. Where does such money go? How is it possible that the DOD cannot account for a number effectively matching the entire 2019 GDP of the nation? It is impossible that these numbers are mere government accounting errors. How would such errors originate? How would such errors continue to progenerate?
ACCESSING THE 2017 MISSING MONEY REPORT
The report is entitled: Summary Report on “Unsupported Journal Voucher Adjustments” in the Financial Statements of the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
You can access the history and documentation page of the report at The Solari Report website, published by Catherine Austin Fitts, containing an embedded link of the five page report, here.
ADDITIONAL SOURCE MATERIAL
For further reading and to get better acquainted with the facts and history of this monumental work, I suggest the following:
MSU Scholars Find $21 Trillion in Unauthorized Government Spending; Defense Department to Conduct First-Ever Audit (© Michigan State University, December 11, 2017)
Is Our Government Intentionally Hiding $21 Trillion In Spending? (© Forbes Magazine, July 21, 2018)
After Catherine and Mark authored their report and posted it, including the many links and documentation, it was soon discovered that government report and document links had been disabled, which suggested a purposeful response by parties who may wish to keep the information concealed. In Part 3 of this series I informed you that as of October 1, 2018, there was no longer any guarantee that government accounting and budget figures could be verified. One wonders if that FASAB change was also made in response to the missing $21 trillion. These actions are largely unprecedented and all Americans should be rightfully concerned. Why did elected officials sign off on this? Why are next to no elected officials shining any light on this? The President and leaders of the Senate and House have approved of the processes resulting in multiple trillions of dollars gone missing. Where did it go? What are they using it for? Someone must be held accountable.
I hope you have enjoyed this series and that it added to your knowledge on the subject. I would appreciate it if you would share my site, continue your own research, and spread the news.
All of us must continue to be better informed.
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 4]
Two years ago, while America was captivated by the contentious Kavanaugh hearings, a new government accounting statement, much more significant in scope was issued, essentially in secret.
Dear readers: If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this series before proceeding with this article. Part 2 is especially necessary as a prerequisite to set the tone for understanding and receiving the full scope of the information contained here.
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING GONE DARK?
Many Americans were closely following the Congressional hearings regarding the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh two years ago in September and October of 2018. In what became a showboating ridiculous political circus charged with posturing and innuendo at the expense of one man’s reputation and the nation’s as a whole, another event took place behind the scenes out of the public eye. Whether or not it was planned that way, the reality show-esque hearings certainly gave great cover to the announcement of a new government accounting statement of great import and vast ramifications. FASAB  released the statement on October 4, 2018 and made it retroactively effective after Sunday, September 30, 2018.
Entitled Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 56, Classified Activities, it has apparently transformed what was previously and ostensibly the normative practice of transparent government-wide accounting procedures into one in which exact details and amounts of publicly available financial reports are potentially in whole or part subjected to classified status for the sake of national security.
Of course, it is not stated exactly that way but such is the apparent effect. It thus appears that Americans can thus no longer know the exact truth about any department or agency budget or expenditures. For the sake of national security the numbers we are given may be correct or may be adjusted. There is now, seemingly, no way to know. The likelihood is that most Americans are still not aware of this and never will be.
I found out about it not long after it happened through simple research and following the work of a few key people online who keep an eye out for such open source information available to everyone. Perhaps you may be discovering this for the first time.
It will also interest you to know that two years ago, while the Republicans and Democrats were at each other’s throats and presenting to the world a picture of absolute hatred for the other during the wacked-out Congressional hearings, the top Republican and Democrat leaders, including the President, were cheerily signing off on the new FASAB accounting statement. You may wonder why there was no Rose Garden ceremony or large press conference before the Capitol building to announce this far-reaching and all-encompassing change. Could it be due to the nature of the statement?
In Part 2 we learned that a better overall government accounting method was initiated back in 1990 due to admitted problems in prior times, intended or not. Whatever became of the full extent of that effort regarding actual positive change will probably never be known, and now, with the onset of Federal Financial Accounting Standards 56 a mere twenty-eight years later, it likely no longer matters. Any accounting errors that may exist may be unknowable. Any need for internal reform would seem to be pointless. Do Americans still have access to where their tax money goes and what it is used for? I’m sure financial statements of such will continue to be produced but due to the nature of the new statement, how will anyone know if such are actually accurate?
Is government accounting now unaccountable?
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 3]
For more information on this subject, I would like to first introduce you to a brilliant person of sterling reputation and prolific work from which I first received this news two years ago—Catherine Austin Fitts. I am sure some of you are already familiar with her writings and interviews. Her website, which I highly recommend, is The Solari Report available here.
An excellent in-depth Solari Report article on this subject is available here.
 The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board. See Part 2 of this series for introductory information.
Americans assume the government has always kept good books. We assume that since the very beginning of the Republic, government accountants have kept strict written financial records of all transactions accessible to all.
“And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him?” [Job 31:14]
I confess this is an area I have never delved into or have any interest in and therefore have no idea what the facts actually are regarding historical government accounting practices. And, due to the nature of such an all-encompassing subject that would appear to take several lifetimes to get a handle on, I will leave it to others to research the subject as I’m sure many already have.
All of us have a need for accounting. We all must keep financial records. I would think the record keeping of most people is likely not so complicated but can always present a challenge. Small businesses must have extensive accounting departments to keep track of everything. Two hundred years ago it was obviously much simpler. Over the course of the prior century keeping proper financial records grew much more burdensome due to an exponential increase in mandatory compliance toward new government agencies on every level including massive new infrastructures to support, but also as the monetary byproduct of a higher standard of living. In other words, simpler times when much less was required to live were also simpler to account for and document.
I’m sure there’s a graph out there illustrating government growth over the last 245 years, and I would think it shows a low steady climb from the bottom of the left side (1776) to maybe the mid-1800s as we move toward the right when it probably has a small upward jolt (The Civil War) and continues on a slightly higher steady climb until about the magical year of 1913 at roughly the middle of the graph. At this point there would be a higher climb until a huge jump during the 1930s and into WWII. After this one would hope the paper on which the graph was printed was tall enough because government spending likely grew beyond a 45-degree ascent and continued unabated exponentially toward dizzying heights until the present. As of now we are precariously balanced on a sharp nearly vertical pinnacle shooting majestically off the graph on the far right side into government accounting oblivion.
Did federal accounting manage to keep up in its transition from millions to billions to untold trillions? Is there an actual honest record of all expenditures? Is such a record available to every American taxpayer/investor? Could someone choose a particular year of our history and access all accounting records? The answer, of course, is a resounding no. And even if one could, one could never know about any money spent that was officially “off the books.” Known in some circles as dark money, there is certainly a need for utilizing such for various reasons, especially national defense, primarily regarding the comprehensive though indeterminate reason of national security. Therefore, one must assume that there must be at least two sets of books and also the possibility in some cases of no books at all. And in this we must conclude that no, there can likely never be any actual accounting for of all monies appropriated and spent by government agencies.
Again, being pretty much the opposite of an expert in this field with no desire to research it out, I cannot say when or if attempts first began to possibly rectify poor accounting procedures so I will simply start with fairly recent developments.
THE FEDERAL ACCOUNTING STANDARDS ADVISORY BOARD
The FASAB serves the public interest by improving federal financial reporting through issuing federal financial accounting standards and providing guidance after considering the needs of external and internal users of federal financial information.
According to its website, FASAB had its initial origins in 1990 when Congress passed the Chief Financial Officer’s Act (CFO Act), requiring audited financial statements, in accordance with applicable standards, for selected federal reporting entities. It was a step toward the comprehensive requirement for audited financial statements established in 1994 by the Government Management Reform Act. Congress passed the CFO Act in part due to concerns about highly publicized financial management problems at various federal agencies.
One must assume this meant there was a serious systemic accounting problem prior to that time. Low level problems and basic accounting fraud in general would not have registered as a great enough offense to require the new law. The CFO Act must have therefore had not mere elementary reform in mind but something much more substantial. And how does that happen? How do the heads of the aforementioned federal agencies allow for such highly publicized management problems? A great many accountants, auditors, and congressional staff  were aware of major problems. It must have been exceptionally bad with so many government workers from various agencies blowing the whistle.
By this time you may be getting the big idea that government accounting in general has historically not been so accountable. An effort was made for reform in 1950 with The Budget and Accounting Procedures Act but this was apparently not deemed mandatory and did not involve anything close to full participation. Indeed, some questioned whether it was constitutional for a legislative agency to define accounting standards for an executive agency.
One can only imagine the depth of government accounting incompetence and a total lack of proper oversight and standards that took place over the next forty years (1950-1990). Again, you are getting this information not from government critics but from the government itself. All the information in italics is from the FASAB website. The very creation of FASAB was due to the government itself answering the call to implement system-wide reforms. How much this was driven by concerned American taxpayers in general is not specified but I would think it was not much of a factor, especially during that time period. It was an era when Americans so fully trusted its government most people were completely unaware of any number of scandals and secrets which have since been revealed. Remember, the majority of the country fully supported the Vietnam War (1965-1973) and that tells us pretty much everything.
It was not until 1990 that the government finally decided to get a handle on the accounting “problem” by instituting corrective reform of general accounting procedures with the specific provision of utilizing both the executive and legislative branches working together. Imagine that.
On October 10, 1990, then Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady, Director of OMB Richard Darman, and Comptroller General Charles Bowsher jointly agreed to create and sponsor the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) by signing a “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Among the General Accounting Office, the Department of the Treasury, and the Office of Management and Budget on Federal Government Accounting Standards and a Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board.” FASAB would consider and recommend the appropriate accounting standards for the federal government. For the first time, the legislative and executive branches agreed to work together in an agreed framework, with an open, public process, to determine the accounting standards that federal agencies should follow.
In our next segment we will discuss a recent relatively unknown but extremely serious development within FASAB that takes government accounting on an unaccountable magical mystery tour.
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2]
Many years ago I was working as the lead carpenter on a residential job in a relatively upscale section of a large city. The homeowners were a respected middle-aged couple. He was a professor at a local university. She was from England. The state governor lived nearby.
The professor was a good guy, relatively happy, and bookish. Because of his job he was rarely home and I never talked to him much. She had a strong English accent, a proper manner, and was well educated. It was one of the reasons we had good conversations. I was relatively well-read and knowledgeable of the classics.
Due to the way I was motivated as a witness for the Lord, I had slowly begun to talk to her during breaks about spiritual things and we eventually had some limited conversations about Christianity. They were Christians, of the Protestant variety. I had an idea to invite them to church like I did with so many people I witnessed to, but I figured it would be a difficult thing to accomplish in their case.
I was going to a large Spirit-filled church at that time. It was known by one visiting teacher who spoke there on occasion as “The Church of What’s Happening Now.” It had gone through a big growth phase a few years earlier and had been transformed from a small old-school Pentecostal church to an innovative and wonderful place due to a large influx of newly born again university students and younger people. Many of these were set free to use their youthful expertise to make some powerful positive changes. It was a great place to be.
The day came when I suggested we get to know each other’s Christian traditions better by actually attending each other’s churches. She was open to the idea. It took a long time to get to this point. I was always one to move slowly because I knew how the enemy could disrupt a good plan at a moment’s notice. She asked her husband about it. And what a joy it was when she told me they were agreeable. I was just a young carpenter on a job site and they were up there in the social ranks. I could not help but see the hand of God.
We agreed to go to their church first. My wife and I met them there. I cannot remember the denomination, but it was one of those upscale places where everything was relatively quiet and low key amidst high-end adornment and a very traditional setting. The place was very tastefully decorated.
The service was somewhat monotonous compared to what I preferred and was used to. There was certainly no moving of the Spirit of God. It was intellectually-based. But my wife and I were thoroughly polite. The older couple liked us. Afterwards, as I recall, we shared a small meal on site and got to know each other a little better. There were smiles all around. I appreciated their wonderful attitude and the way they embraced a young couple interested in finding common Christian ground.
It might have been the next week when they were to reciprocate and visit our church. My wife was in the choir so it would be just me in the pew. It turned out her husband the professor couldn’t make it. Maybe he didn’t want to. This was, as everyone knew, a large Spirit-filled Pentecostal church pretty much on the very opposite end of the spectrum from their much more traditional format. I’m sure it must have invoked some difficulty for them.
I met her out in the vestibule and she was polite and smiling, and somewhat upbeat. I believe she really was interested even though the place was never something she would choose on her own. Again, she was from England, was used to a high church format, and moved in some high circles. It was so cool that this was actually happening.
Though I greatly appreciated Spirit-filled gatherings, I confess that I had also developed an embarrassment of Pentecostal excess. This was the early 1980s. I was still connected to some very old school Pentecostal people and traditions, some of which were really silly, and some even a tad dark. There was a thread of redneckism to be dealt with. There was also an anti-intellectual element. It is certainly true that many Pentecostals came from the other side of the tracks and were not necessarily very well educated. But I can also honestly say that I had never met more warm, fun, and engaging people. Most were open to the Lord and were willing to do whatever He required, reputations be damned.
So there we were, standing in the pews while the choir sang. It was a tremendous choir. So much about this place was so far ahead of the curve. It set the tone for many churches across the country. Long before the word “progressive” was appropriated and used for other purposes, I used to refer to this place as “Progressive Pentecost.” Many great things happened there. There was an openness to many fields of study. It was composed of all ages and races, a truly open and colorblind church.
I can’t remember exactly what happened next. It seems it was still in the early part of the service. We were all standing. I remember I had worked so hard to get this lady to visit. She trusted me. I had always shown her the grace of God. I was certainly concerned that some excessive thing might happen that would turn her off but was never prepared for what did happen. I was trying so hard to be low-key and normal, maybe a hard thing to do in a full blown Pentecostal service among many hundreds of people. To affect this attitude in my attempt to be cool and not a religious redneck, I happened to have my hands in my slacks pockets as I stood there. I was really hoping that she would be touched by the Spirit of God and had been silently praying.
In the midst of a little commotion on the platform the preacher suddenly grabbed a microphone and started speaking to the crowd. There was a move of the Spirit and I think he was trying to get everyone’s mind on God and to pay attention. Of course, I would think everyone WAS paying attention. We could all feel the Spirit of God. Everyone was respectful and obeying protocol. But rather than let the Lord wash over us and bless us with some peace and His presence, the preacher, as he was wont to do, had to take over.
Completely messing up a good thing, he actually started to berate people. He’s walking quickly across the platform and pointing out individuals and then back to the other side, his eyes going from those closest to those toward the back. Everyone was on eggshells. This happened way too much but because of our respect for the proceedings we all thought it was God, that God was anointing him to go off like that. I learned later that was not the case. I got older. I grew spiritually. I eventually figured out that this anointed man of God who did so many wonderful things had a tendency to turn into a complete nutcase on occasion.
Now, most of us do this. Sometimes we are very tired. We do not get enough sleep. The pressures of life can be very strong. We lose our tempers. We prove our humanity. But in the course of a church service when people really need the Lord, it should never happen or should at least be rare.
As he was raising his voice and pointing people out I began to get seriously embarrassed for my visitor. I was afraid this would happen. But I never expected what did happen. Why? –Because I had obeyed the Lord and was guided by Him to bring this classy friend of mine to church in hopes of her growing in the Lord, being introduced to something new and great, and possibly getting filled with the Holy Spirit!
The preacher’s crazy eyes fell on me. He pounced. I couldn’t believe it. “Get your hands out of your pockets!” Wait. What? He had no clue whatsoever what the Lord was up to with my visitor or what I was attempting to accomplish.
Right away she told me she had to leave. She saw him looking at her also and was shaken. She wasn’t waiting around. She had to get out of there. Still smiling, she began to exit the pew. I followed her out. We talked briefly at the doors but it did no good. She was leaving.
The entire witness was ruined. All the prayer, effort, and work was wasted. A wonderful opportunity went right down the drain. Right at the finish line.
There are so many stories like this. The lack of accountability among the preacher ranks has always been the chief reason why such things happen. It is why the Lord always appointed several elders in the early churches and NEVER a single “pastor.” And such sordid behavior is certainly not contained to Pentecostal churches. It happens everywhere, in all denominations, and is continually reinforced and rarely challenged. There are far too many blowhards who do and say whatever they feel like and next to no one in the churches has the guts to speak correctively. Everyone knows what will happen if they do.
Perhaps we are now in a time when that can change.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.