EVERY CITIZEN needs to know this! (From Walter Burien, the creator of The Biggest Game In Town – Video exposure of COOKED BOOKS in all levels of government accounting)
It is a listing of about 4,200 CAFRs. All are 2013 reports.
There are approximately 184,000 local government operations, each produces it own financial report each year so 4,200 is but a small fraction of the local government CAFR or AFR reports prepared each year.
A CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) is your local government’s “Statement of Net Worth” from the beginning of that City, County, State, School District, Enterprise, government entity.
Budget reports have been exclusively spoon fed the population for the last several decades. There is a BIG difference between a local government’s statement of net worth (the CAFR) and a 1-Year selectively presented Budget report.
You could have a city crying they are in the red short 100 million dollars needing to raise taxes, but if you looked at the corresponding CAFR report for the same city and noted ALL aspects of what was contained therein, you may just see the same city is 1.5 billion in the Black.
Picture the Budget you may have for operating your house. Let’s say it was $45,000 this year. You apply $45,000 to cover the cost of $45,000.
Well, let’s say you spend $50,000 and are now $5,000 in the red. Do you go knocking on your neighbor’s door saying: “I’m in trouble, my house budget was $45,000 and I spent $50,000, can I borrow $5,000?” NO YOU WOULD NOT!
You would look at your statement of Net Worth. There let’s say your “over-all” income was $225,000 per year, you had been investing successfully for 50-years and had a portfolio balance of 1.7 million dollars, etc.. and had a net worth of 2.3 million when all was considered.
To meet the $5,000 shortfall of your house budget, you would pull from your other sources of income or assets to make up the $5,000 shortfall on your budget this year. In fact with all things being considered, that $5,000 would be pocket change to you.
Local governments for the last 65-years + have been playing the shell game of spoon feeding Budget reports to the taxpayers while NEVER a mention of their Annual Financial Report (CAFR or AFR).
Keep in mind, just like the Budget you set for your house, when anyone looks at it, they will be able to account for every nickel, dime and penny applied and spent. So if you have a deficit or a surplus for the year that is all the viewer will see. If that was all the viewer saw, and you had a $5,000 shortfall, then the viewer would think you were $5,000 in the hole.
Now if you showed the viewer your Statement of Net Worth, the viewer would then think and say to you: “Damn, you are well off!”
Thus, here we have all of our local governments playing the “Silence is Golden” rule spoon feeding the taxpayer budget reports with never a mention of their AFR or CAFR, and my has it been golden for them at the taxpayer’s expense over the last half a century..
Download a few of those CAFRs relevant to your location that you will find on the example Listings page. Share with others from your community and REQUIRE your local talking heads from the News Media to direct their viewers to them for review and comment.
As noted those 4,200 example CAFRs are but a few, a small percentage of the total completed each year. To get the BIGGEST WAKE UP CALL of your life, think “scope” and “size” of the “collective” totals from all. Between local and Federal they OWN IT ALL by investment.
On a last note: Government was NOT supposed to operate at a profit. How did they get around that pesky little rule? Well, if any local government operation say made a hundred million dollar profit for the year or expected to do the same for the next ten-years, they would create a “liability” account, move the hundred million over to the liability account and then “Poof”, there goes a hundred million dollar profit now designated as a liability on the balance sheets.
So LOOK VERY CAREFULLY at those many liability accounts listed. Are they truly genuine or are they “Parking Zones” for wealth obtained?
Being that there are many CAFRs and AFRs for local governments that are not in the Example listing, a good way to find those is through a Google search. It is important to use quotes. An example of what to put on the search line to pull up CAFRs say for Burbank, CA would be to put on the search line the following using quotes:
“The City of Burbank” CA “Annual Financial Report”
In doing so it will pull up the hits to view or download it if available via the Internet. You can do the same for any State, County, School District, University, College, Special District, Enterprise Authority, etc.
Hope the above helps you and please share with all that you know.
Provided FYI from,
Walter Burien – CAFR1