Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What is the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report?

What is the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report?
by Jesse Enloe
A few weeks ago I became aware of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) that all cities, counties and states are required by federal law to prepare annually. I have found that this has been going on for about the last 30 years. Why have we not heard of this before?
Let me start by saying that I have only scratched the surface in researching this matter at this point, but already we see some amazing and truly unsettling information. The simplest way to explain this issue is to say that the STATE OF TEXAS keeps two sets of books. One is the regular general budget or service budget. This is where they report an accounting of expenses verses tax revenues. This is the budget that they show everyone.
The other set of books, reported only in the CAFR, is off-budget revenues from autonomous agencies. This is revenue from sources other than the direct taxes we are all used to.
The issue of the CAFR first came to my attention when I heard an audio tape of a radio talk show Sweet Liberty which originates in Pennsylvania. The guest was Walter Burien, who had worked as a commodities advisor on Wall Street for fifteen years prior to his discovering the CAFR.
In 1989 Walter was involved in the formation of a Citizens Tax Reform group for New Jersey. As his father had been a personnel manager for the Treasury Department of New Jersey for eight years, Walter knew how to navigate through government agencies and get information. When he learned of the existence of the CAFR he was able to obtain the book and study it. What he discovered was truly earth shaking!!
The states service budget for that year was 17 billion. This was published and put out to the people for them to see the costs vs. revenue. However in researching the information in the CAFR he discovered another 282 billion in liquid investments, Common Stock, loans due from public and private corporations, and Insurance Equity participation. The service budget had reported 17 billion for that year but the CAFR showed a total revenue of 44 billion. Where did that 27 billion go? Into the above mentioned 282 billion which they had been accumulating for years!
In researching the Texas CAFR, it appears that as of 1997 the STATE OF TEXAS has $5 Trillion in managed investment funds that they have accumulated over the years from the people of Texas, with revenues totaling $2 Trillion while reporting revenues on the service budget of around 42 billion (1997). Yet they are still raising taxes to provide more income to the state. There is something drastically wrong with this picture!
This situation is a travesty and an extortion scheme of epic proportions. According to these numbers, the STATE OF TEXAS could literally stop collecting taxes of any kind and operate the government FOREVER off the interest generated on the $5 Trillion they already have. Instead we are hearing that Gov. Bush wants to reduce property taxes, which are absolutely unconstitutional in the first place.
In 1982 the Texas constitution was amended and declared "ad valorem taxes are hereby abolished in the State of Texas." Why are they still collecting this unlawful tax and taking peoples' property when they don't pay this unlawful tax? And why does Gov. Bush want to reduce rather than eliminate this unlawful tax?
This article is an introduction only. It is intended to make people aware of the general subject of the CAFR. Many people are currently researching this issue after obtaining a copy of the Texas CAFR. As detailed facts and information are discovered, they will be reported in subsequent issues of this page. You too, can get a copy of this document by simply calling the Comptroller's Office at 512-936-6147. They will send it to you at no cost to you. If you want to get one it is advisable to do so in the near future. When people start asking hard questions and putting pressure on the government for an accounting of this money they may discontinue making this document available.
As stated before, this appears to be a money scheme of epic proportions. This is not a joke. This is not an anti-government article. This is simply to inform the people of something that affects every one of us. When you realize that you receive $1.00 of services from the state for every $5 they collect, it is truly appalling.




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