John Steele Gordon makes a point with which few (I hope) would disagree:
[G]overnments, like every corporation in the country, should be required to keep their books according to the governmental equivalent of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and to have their books certified by an independent, politically insulated body that has a mandate to ensure honest accounting.The sooner the better.
Politicians will hate the idea and can, undoubtedly, depend on their water bearers in the press to run interference for them. Corporate management hated the idea when Wall Street forced it on them over a century ago. But they learned to live with it, to the infinite benefit of the American economy, and so will the politicians, also to the infinite benefit of the American economy.