A note from Walter Burien:
Government on all levels over the decades has squirreled awaymassive amounts of money in the collective trillions of dollars. Somefrom the public call these funds surpluses. In all reality, government inits intent to build these massive investment power-bases created theirown designated purpose for these funds, statutes to back up thedesignation, and did so without in most cases public oversight or in fact in most cases without publicknowledge.If we created a "Buy an island in Polynesia fund", funneled $750,000,000 into it, we would not call it asurplus. Government would call it a fund with a designated purpose and not available. A mid-sizedlocal government could have numerous specialty investment funds with collective totals equalingfifteen-billion-dollars with each fund "designated" for a "specific purpose" and get away with sayingthey do not have $1 surplus. They could even say within a selectively created budget report that theywere operating at a deficit and needed to raise taxes.
Government was NOT supposed to operate at a profit. How did they get around this restriction? ANSWER: If for example a city had a 100-million dollar profit for the year from any of its operations, at a stroke of a penthey create a "liability fund" and poof, there goes the profit re-designated now as a liability.
It all boils down to a complete: open: and public review of each and every one of these so called"designated" fund balances to see which are "truly" needed if any and which are not. Then truesurpluses will be unveiled and seen by one-and-all in a true light. Many games will be played withinevery local government to maintain their wealth bases established. Expect obfuscation andintentional misdirection, especially when billions of dollars are involved.Also while you are looking, look at the gross income over the years. Most local governments havebeen expanding their gross income each year to obscene levels. Doing so as they misrepresent to thepublic that they are cutting back.
"Treason doth never prosper; what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason." Sir John Harrington, 1561-1612
Walter Burien - CAFR1P. O. Box 2112Saint Johns, AZ 85936Tel. (928) 458-5854