The US Constitution requires transparency in the Federal government. This provision in section nine of article one of the US Constitution has long since been discarded. Therein it says (emphasis added):

No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

I will push to ensure the greatest transparency possible in Federal government and that all branches of Federal government adhere to the US Constitution. Moreover, I will push to make this transparency as easily accessible as possible through web applications and web service APIs to allow easy availability of all accountings. These measures will:

  1. ensure an end to secret government expenditures which must be published publicly by Constitutional directive;
  2. impose an accrual method of accounting which provides citizens with more complete fiscal information
  3. impose strict accounting for durable expenditures, depreciation, and amortization where appropriate;
  4. impose present value accounting to more accurately assess the costs of government programs;
  5. include budgeted figures presented alongside prior year actual expenditures and accrued obligations;
  6. present budget and actual receipts and expenditures with complete drill-down details all the way to actual contract lets and receipts;
  7. provide separate line items for user fee revenues, administration costs, and direct program benefits. Just as we expect non-profit charities to differentiate between administration costs and direct program benefits so too should we expect our Federal government to provide the same level of transparency.;
  8. include a recap showing revenues right alongside expenditures for each focus (core government, social security, medicare, highway funding, etc.) and over relevant projected timeframes (for example, Social Security is designed to smooth out revenues and expenditures over decades whereas other focuses of government involve annual cycles).

To help make government at all levels more transparent and accountable, I will initiate legislation to: 1) provide suitable open source software for state and local governments to achieve the same level of transparency and accountability; and 2) require such reporting by state and local governments to meet the federal government’s responsibility to guarantee a republican form of government in every state. Such a uniform system of accounting and reporting will make it far easier for the electorate to track the actions of government.

I will also push for a recap accounting to clearly differentiate the reporting for different segments of government focus:

  • Segments of Government
    • Core Federal functions such as:
      • State
      • Treasury
      • Justice
      • Defense (including CIA, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, and portions of NASA and Energy)
      • Judiciary
    • Needs-based aid such as (also distinguishing administrative from direct program expenditures):
      • Medicaid
      • Food stamps
      • Section 8 Housing Voucher Program
      • TANF
      • HUD
      • EIC
      • WIC
      • Foreign Aid
      • Small portions of many other programs
    • Regulatory expenditures such as:
      • Labor
      • Energy
      • Agriculture
      • FTC
      • SEC
      • FCC
      • FAA
      • Portions of other branches and departments
    • Monopoly Enterprise (many of which are or could be funded apart from taxes entirely through user fees) such as:
      • Interior
      • Social Security Administration
      • Medicare
      • Federal Highway Trust Fund
      • Amtrak
      • Postal Service
  • Departments cutting across all segments
    • Education
    • Health
    • Agriculture
    • Housing and Urban Development
    • Energy
    • NASA
    • Transportation

Finally, I would also include a complete recap of subsidies for various purposes. For example, if Congress appropriates funds to subsidize solar energy, the postal service, fossil fuel production and so forth such subsidies should be clearly recapped in the published statement and accounting.