By Gail Perry, CPA - According to the not-for-profit National Priorities Project, a research organization that analyzes and clarifies federal data, the cost of U.S. involvement in the Iraq war  is fast approaching $500 billion. There are lots of people on all sides of the political spectrum who worry about how our country can afford this expense, where the money is coming from, how future generations will be affected, and so on. And yet, our generous government just managed to pull another $150 billion out of its bottomless hat  to provide tax "rebates" that are set to be mailed to nearly all U.S. taxpayers and millions of people who don't even pay taxes (which is why the word "rebates" is in quotes) this spring. This might sound like a good idea to you. Politicians certainly seem to think this technique will jump-start the economy, or at least their bids for reelection. For me, I'm getting more and more confused. Am I still supposed to worry about turning off the lights in empty rooms, walking instead of driving, turning down the thermostat in the winter? Or have we just thrown frugality completely out the window? This week's article about budgeting  might be something our federal government needs to read.
Gail Perry, CPA
AccountingWEB Managing Editor