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Who Pays the Bills?

What piece of mail (sometimes via email) comes every month and can either make it a good day or a bad day? It’s your bank statement. Did you know the federal government has a bank statement and it’s available every day to view online. This daily bank statement is provided by the Financial Management Service, a bureau located in the Dept. of the Treasury. The job of the Financial Management Service is to “provide central payment services to Federal Program Agencies, to operate the federal government’s collections and deposit systems, to provide government-wide accounting and reporting services and to manage the collection of delinquent debt owed to the government.” This is the department that sends out the checks, makes the deposits, and collects on outstanding debts. At their web site you can see how much money the government has on hand, how much is coming, and how much is going out each day.

Each day’s statement, which is only two pages long, makes fascinating reading. Just looking at the July 18th, 2011 statement I see that the government brought in $67 million from “Foreign Deposits, Military Sales,” and paid out $40 million for NASA programs. And if you’re worried about Uncle Sam bouncing a check, don’t. They always keep plenty of cushion in the account—just like you.

If you are an accountant, or just interested in reading balance sheets, you will thoroughly enjoy the Daily Treasury Statement.

(hat tip to this Slate.com article: Your Deadbeat Uncle Sam)

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