by Ellen Brown
For over a decade, accountant Walter Burien has been trying to rouse the public over what he contends is a massive conspiracy and cover-up, involving trillions of dollars squirreled away in funds maintained at every level of government. His numbers may be disputed, but these funds definitely exist, as evidenced by the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) required of every government agency. If they don’t represent a concerted government conspiracy, what are they for? And how can they be harnessed more efficiently to help allay the financial crises of state and local governments?
The Elusive CAFR Money
Burien is a former commodity trading adviser who has spent many years peering into government books. He notes that the government is composed of 54,000 different state, county, and local government entities, including school districts, public authorities, and the like; and that these entities all keep their financial assets in liquid investment funds, bond financing accounts and corporate stock portfolios. The only income that must be reported in government budgets is that from taxes, fines and fees; but the investments of government entities can be found in official annual reports (CAFRs), which must be filed with the federal government by local, county and state governments. These annual reports show that virtually every U.S. city, county, and state has vast amounts of money stashed away in surplus funds. Burien maintains that these slush funds have been kept concealed from taxpayers, even as taxes are being raised and citizens are being told to expect fewer government services.
The Red Cross raised over $450 million on behalf of victims of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti.
They say they’ve spent $106 million.
A Haitian goes in search of evidence that the money was spent to help Haitians.
What about the other $344 million. The Red Cross says it has “long term” plans for that money.
Long term plans when there are people going without food, water, medical care and basic tent housing.
Isn’t it about time some Red Cross people went to jail for fraud?
Two groups we know and have faith in:
Editor’s note: In my “former life” of fund raising, in the weeks after the Indonesian Tsunami, I organized a fund raiser called “Open Your Hearts”. I gathered a wide range of organizations to support the gala event and raised $50,000.
Out of all the details involved with such an effort, can you guess what was the most difficult?
On December 7th, 2009 at 1:30pm GMT Starbucks invited musicians from all over the world to sing together at the same time to raise awareness for AIDS in Africa. In that one breathtaking moment, musicians from 156 countries played “All You Need is Love” together. Watch now, as musicians from all around the world come together and share a song.
Join in by lending your own voice to http://StarbucksLoveProject.com Watch streaming video from countries around the world and then join in by singing
All You Need is Love yourself. For each video submitted, Starbucks will make a contribution to the Global Fund to help fight against AIDS in Africa. You can also help increase the Starbucks contribution to the Global Fund by submitting a drawing to the Love Gallery.
The global sing-along is part of our continuing efforts to help fight AIDS in Africa. In just one year in partnership with (RED)™, Starbucks has generated money equivalent to more than 7 million days of medicine to help those living with HIV in Africa.
Originally published as, “Ohio has no idea how to pay U.S. back for jobless benefits”
$2 billion-plus debt grows as leaders pass the hot potato
It has been more than a year since Ohio depleted its unemployment-compensation fund, and with the fund’s debt surpassing $2billion and growing, a fix is nowhere in sight.
No one has even proposed what should be done to shore up the fund – not the governor, not the General Assembly, not an advisory panel made up of business, labor and legislative leaders.
In fact, state leaders can’t even agree on who is responsible for solving the problem.
The Unemployment Compensation Advisory Council threw its hands up 15 months ago after it was unable to reach consensus; it said the legislature would have to figure out a solution.
GOP leaders in the Senate say Gov. Ted Strickland must come up with a plan. The governor has urged the council to take another crack at it.
Absent action from the Statehouse, Ohio will owe the federal unemployment trust fund an estimated $3billion by the end of the year. Interest payments on the loan, which begin to accrue on Jan. 1, are projected at $120 million a year.
Frustrations boiled over again in a Senate committee hearing this week when Republican legislators pushed the administration for answers.
“It’s amazing the governor hasn’t said anything about this,” said Sen. Keith Faber, R-Celina. “This is a problem that is not going to get any smaller. … It’s part of a big hole going into the next budget.”
Read the rest of the story here.