Federal Government On ‘Unsustainable Fiscal Path’ That Is Jeopardizing The Country, Congressional Watchdog Says
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: The U.S. Capitol is seen at dusk, January 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers are convening for a Sunday session to try to resolve the government shutdown.
Credit: Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

The Government Accountability Office said on Friday that the federal government is on an “unsustainable fiscal path,” and that it could not determine whether the federal government’s consolidated financial statements are reliable. 

Accounting problems with the Defense Department, Education Department, and other agencies have all contributed to the financial problems, according to the GAO. The office was unable to properly evaluate the financial reliability of the federal government as the national debt continues to balloon and deficit spending remains high. 

“Congress and the Administration need reliable and complete financial information, within each agency and across the government as a whole, to govern effectively and efficiently,” said Gene Dodaro, the comptroller general of the United States and head of the GAO.

“Also, the federal government continues to operate on an unsustainable fiscal path, jeopardizing the country’s long-term position to face domestic and international challenges. The creation of a long-term fiscal plan is needed to strengthen our readiness to confront any challenges that may occur,” Dodaro added. 

According to GAO, the Defense Department is partially at fault due to “financial management problems,” while the Education Department was plagued by data problems for estimating costs of its loan programs. Additionally, problems remain with the Small Business Administration’s COVID-era relief programs and several government agencies made over $236 billion in “improper payments.”

The Pentagon has repeatedly  been criticized over its handling of taxpayer money, failing to pass its annual financial audit for the sixth consecutive year in November. The Pentagon, which has $3.8 trillion in assets alongside $4 trillion in liabilities, only had seven of 30 sub-audits rated clean by auditors.


On Thursday, the GAO released a report on the nation’s fiscal health that highlighted the federal government’s massive deficit spending. The report urged Congress to come up with a plan to address the spending and fiscal path of the United States. 

The report found that debt would reach 200% of the GDP by 2050 unless changes were made to revenue and spending policies. It also said that funding for Social Security and Medicare was expected to be depleted within ten years unless financing gaps were addressed. 

The United States’ debt now exceeds $34 trillion, a marker it crossed in January just months after hitting $33 trillion. 

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