In today's class we turn our attention to accounting issues, with an emphasis on the accounting treatment of entitlement programs. As an introduction to this subject, please read over Chapter Six from Fiscal Challenges: Counting the Ways: The Structure of Federal Spending. This chapter makes reference to the Financial Report of the United States. After you have read the chapter, take a look at the the FY2013 Financial Report and consider how the government's positions with respect to major entitlement programs have evolved over the past few years. (Make sure you look at the Statements of Social Insurance, starting on page 47, and accompanying notes. Entitlement programs are also addressed in the introductory materials and Management's Discussion and Analysis.) Also included in today's assignment are two briefing papers: one on accrual accounting and the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 and a second on the 1967 President's Commission on Budget Concept. Based on your own interests, you should choose one of these briefing papers to read before class.
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