Organizations fighting U.S. debt get support of AICPA board

BY KEN TYSIAC

A continuing devotion to fiscal responsibility has led to a resolution by the AICPA board of directors supporting two nonpartisan organizations devoted to combating the U.S. federal debt.

In the resolution, the AICPA expresses support for the Campaign to Fix the Debt and the Comeback America Initiative, which express concern over the federal debt’s impact on the long-term fiscal health of the United States.

The AICPA, which believes the U.S. government should operate on a sustainable budget and should address its current debt crisis, will encourage state CPA societies to consider getting involved in the efforts and promoting fiscal responsibility, according to the resolution, which the board adopted on Friday.

In addition, the resolution says, the AICPA will continue to seek ways to advocate for reduced complexity for American businesses and individuals.

The resolution reinforces a message the AICPA already has been sending. Greg Anton, the 2011–12 chairman of the AICPA board of directors, described the debt the United States has accumulated and the consequences it could have for the future of the nation in a video called “What’s at Stake.”

“Fiscally responsible policies must be put in place to ensure a sustainable future for all of us, and more importantly, for the generations of U.S. citizens that follow us,” Anton said in the video

In addition, the AICPA recently was a sponsor of a presentation in North Carolina by David Walker, CPA, founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative. Walker gave details of the debt problems the United States faces, said CPAs can play a role in addressing it, and urged the public to demand accountability on the issue.

“The financial condition of the United States is much worse than the politicians admit,” Walker said in an interview. “It’s deteriorating very rapidly. We’re not exempt from the laws of prudent finance. We could have a debt crisis in the United States within the next several years if we don’t act.”

Walker is a former U.S. comptroller general who has been a longtime promoter of fiscal responsibility. With advocacy for prudent fiscal policies growing, politicians and business executives earlier this year formed the nonpartisan Campaign to Fix the Debt to encourage responsible budgeting.

Anton, in his video, said the AICPA is joining its voice with many who have called for a new fiscal accountability movement in the United States. “A country that was founded on fair representation needs to hear the voices of concern of its citizens, and a call for accountability,” Anton said. “The CPA profession stands ready to support this effort in any way we can.”

Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

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