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A major tax increase could be on the way if Congress doesn't act to avert the impending fiscal cliff. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance weighs in on the situation.Fiscal Cliff
Thursday, October 4 2012, 10:52:41 AM
Maine governor takes on USDA to fight food stamp fraud Maine Gov. Paul LePage blasted the United States Department of Agriculture for denying his request for a waiver to allow the state to require food stamp recipients to provide photo identification when using their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards as way to cut down on fraud.
New Phone App Tracks Government Waste Federal spending seems more outrageous when it hits close to home, and now smart phone users are able to monitor government waste instantly with the “Open the Books” mobile phone application.
Fiscal hawks say government waste, unspent funds could offset sequester Republican Sen. Tom Coburn has identified several programs at the Pentagon he'd set aside, including a video called "grill sergeants" in which the instructors show their favorite recipes; money for a plan to send a space ship to another solar system; funds to find advancements in beef jerky from France; and $6 billion on questionable research, including what lessons about democracy and decision-making could be learned -- from fish.
A watery waste of taxpayers’ money TO MISSOURI lawmakers, it’s a common-sense community development project. To what seems like almost everyone else, it’s a bizarre waste of taxpayer money and an ecological disaster that a few members of Congress refuse to drop.
Why Should Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year? On television, in interviews and in meetings with investors, executives of the biggest U.S. banks -- notably JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon -- make the case that size is a competitive advantage. It helps them lower costs and vie for customers on an international scale. Limiting it, they warn, would impair profitability and weaken the country’s position in global finance.
Medicare, Congress waste $334 million by overpaying for infusion drugs Because Congress locked some drug costs at 2003 prices, Medicare has wasted $334 million dollars over the last six years by failing to buy medication at the best possible discount, according to a new investigation that reinforces just how prevalent waste and abuse are inside the government's main health program for senior citizens.
10 Biggest Risks That Threaten Taxpayer Dollars Climate change is a new addition to the 30 “high” risks confronting federal government finances, according toa report issued by the Government Accountability Office. The risk list—updated for each session of Congress—targets programs with “greater vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement or the need for transformation to address economy, efficiency, or effectiveness challenges.”
Waste: Biggest Porker of 2012? See the Nominees Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) announced the nominees for its 2012 Porker of the Year. People may cast their ballots for the candidate they think was the most reprehensible Porker in 2012 in an online poll at www.cagw.org
Watchdog sees pork in Sandy relief bill The House of Representatives today passed a package of more than $50 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief that will provide immediate aid to disaster-stricken areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, despite a flood of Republican opposition.
OK Governor spends half-a-million out of state Half-a-million tax dollars in Oklahoma.. sent out of state. A State Representative calls the Governor a hypocrite for turning back millions of Federal dollars, and now using money he says we don't have.(From our sister station in OKC)
Hollywood Gets Tax Incentive Extension in Cliff Deal Section 317 of the freshly approved legislation includes an extension for "special expensing rules for certain film and television productions." Congress first enacted production tax incentives favorable to the domestic entertainment industry in 2004, and extended them in 2008, but the deal was meant to expire in 2011.
'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Includes 'NASCAR Tax Credit' The "fiscal cliff" deal reached by the Senate and the White House on New Year's Eve, and passed in legislative form by the Senate early New Year's Day, includes many giveaways to special interests--including an extension of a perk enjoyed by "motorsports entertainment complexes" otherwise known as the "NASCAR tax credit."
Obama Returns to Hawaii at an Added Cost of Over $3 Million In a move that is rich in irony, President Obama agreed Tuesday night to sign an emergency deficit reduction bill that does almost nothing to rein in spending and then jetted out to Hawaii to resume his vacation at an extra cost of more than $3 million to taxpayers.
'Sandy Bill' Becomes Mini Auto Bailout The legislation to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy has been turned into something of a mini auto bailout, according to those familiar with the Obama administration's request. The request includes millions of dollars worth of cars, to be paid for by the federal government.
Government spent more than $16 billion on advertising, marketing in last decade The government has spent more than $16 billion over the last decade on outside advertising, marketing and public relations contractors, feeding a cottage industry of inside-the-Beltway and Madison Avenue firms that help federal agencies burnish their images and tailor their messages, an investigation by the Washington Guardian and Northwestern University's Medill News Service has found.
Watchdog: Coburn report IDs $68 billion in DOD spending cuts The Pentagon is squandering billions of dollars annually on everything from its own brand of beef jerky and microbreweries to religious debates involving mythical Klingons from the TV show "Star Trek," according to a scathing report on military spending issued today by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.
Rules fail to restrain big-spending VA officials Big-spending U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs officials got star treatment when they planned a $6.1 million pair of controversial human resources training conferences in Orlando last year.
Quarter-billion-dollar stimulus grant creates just 400 jobs Battery maker A123 Systems vowed thousands of new jobs when it received a nearly quarter-billion-dollar stimulus grant in late 2009, but federal job-tracking figures show only a few hundred positions were created before the company joined a growing list of federally backed energy businesses that ended in bankruptcy.
Spending on White House dinners soars under Obama President Obama has spent far more lavishly on White House state dinners than previous chief executives, including nearly $1 million on a 2010 dinner for Mexico's president, according to documents obtained by The Washington Examiner.
TARP cost $24 billion, says CBO Originally projected to have made a profit for taxpayers, a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the Troubled Asset Relief Program instead cost $24 billion.
VA admits spending $100 million on conferences in 2011 t turns out the Department of Veterans Affairs spent $100 million on conferences last year - not the $20 million it previously claimed - and it didn't account for that money to a Congressional committee demanding details, either.
Solyndra lawsuit: Full refund to taxpayers Many Americans were upset when solar-panel maker Solyndra filed for bankruptcy last September owing taxpayers more than $500 million, but retiree Robert Grady Jr. was different. The more he read about the failed company, the more irritated he became. Read more: Solyndra lawsuit: Full refund to taxpayers
GM denies losses of $49,000 on every Chevrolet Volt General Motors is dismissing a media report describing the Chevrolet Volt, its extended-range electric car, as a major money loser. Those reports, the automakers says in a statement, are "grossly wrong."
Administration: Bingo Games Can Promote Food Stamp Use The USDA wants to add to the record 46.7 million Americans who receive food stamps, including seniors the agency says could be convinced to sign up for the government program through parties featuring games like Bingo and crosswords.
California Spending More On Prisons Than Colleges, Report Says There's a direct relationship between how much money the Golden State spends on prisons and how much it spends on higher education, according to a report put out by the non-partisan public policy group California Common Sense. When one goes up, the other goes down.
Report: US Health Care System Wastes $750B A Year The U.S. health care system squanders $750 billion a year — roughly 30 cents of every medical dollar — through unneeded care, byzantine paperwork, fraud and other waste, the influential Institute of Medicine said Thursday in a report that ties directly into the presidential campaign.
Solyndra investors could reap tax windfall Two investment companies stand to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks under a bankruptcy exit plan for failed solar company Solyndra, government lawyers say.
You Paid $52,000 for a Movie Parody for a Commercial A $52,000 parody of the opening sequence in the movie "Patton" commissioned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and paid for with taxpayer dollars was released by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
More Taes or Spending Cuts? CBO Says We Must Decide Congress‘ chief scorekeeper warned that the country’s top lawmakers can’t continue to put off big decisions on the budget and the economy much longer, and said either path — belt-tightening now or even deeper cuts later — will be painful.
Some California ‘Meter Maids’ Are Making Nearly $100K a Year Brian Calle at the Orange County Register notes that for just 10 Hermosa Beach state employees, taxpayers are paying more than $1 million in bloated salaries, health, and retirement benefits. These are not highly-trained specialists, but what are sometimes referred to as “meter maids” .
Former TARP IG met 'huge, huge resistance' from Treasury, DOJ Neil Barofsky, the first and now-former Special Inspector-General for the Troubled Asset Recovery Program (SIGTARP), says he met "huge, huge resistance from day one" within and without the federal government and on Wall Street in his effort to investigate how the $700 billion expenditure was administered, what was done with the tax dollars by the banks and other financial institutions that received loans through it in the great bailout of 2008, and whether the effort accomplished what Congress intended.
USDA spends $2M, gets one intern, program fails United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials spent $2 million on an internship program that had one intern, as it failed to use properly $63 million in federal funding provided for USDA to protect itself from hackers.
Solyndra Applauds: "Bank of Washington" Solyndra’s CEO labeled President Barack Obama’s administration “The Bank of Washington.” Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/02/obamas-bank-of-washington-applauded-by-solyndra-ceo-in-email/#ixzz22QaEx2Bo
Who Will Pay For $7 Billion Amtrak Renovation? Amtrak is proposing a $7 billion transformation of Union Station, intended to triple passenger capacity and transform the overcrowded station into a high-speed rail hub for the Northeast.
Medicare Bonuses? Guess Who's Getting Them? House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa berated a top Obama administration official at a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday over a Medicare bonus program that federal investigators say is ineffective and should be cancelled.
GAO: 2011 Debt Ceiling Showdown Cost $1.3 Billion A new report from the Government Accountability Office finds that last year’s debt ceiling showdown between House Republicans and the White House cost the government $1.3 billion – increasing market uncertainty and raising federal borrowing costs.
35 states got too much stimulus funding Thirty five of the 50 states got more economic stimulus funding to help them with their Medicaid budgets than they should have, according to the Inspector-General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-IG).
NASCAR wins fight to keep taxpayer funding A deeply divided House voted to continue letting the Pentagon use taxpayer money to sponsor sports leagues and teams — a victory chiefly for NASCAR, which had fought feverishly to maintain tens of millions of dollars that go to some of its teams every year.
Should You Be Taxed... Just to Drive? The San Francisco Bay Area is considering a long-range plan to become the first place in the nation to tax drivers for every mile they travel, with an average bill of up to $1,300 per year.
Senators tell judges to cancel Hawaii junket Senate Republicans told the 9th Circuit Court to cancel its mid-August trip to Hawaii, saying the court failed to prove why the trip was necessary even though it had been given weeks to respond.
Transportation Workers Receive Big Pay Hikes, Worth It? The average salary of TxDOT's 10 highest paid workers topped $200,000 as of April 1 — 21.4 percent above that average a year earlier. The top three salaries, at an average of almost $251,000, were 42.5 percent higher than the top three salaries' average a year earlier.
A $6 billion nuke shack? Department of Energy officials concede that existing government installations can handle everything they want done at their proposed $6 billion Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear Facility
Army told to spend or lose mobile tech funds The Pentagon is planning deep spending cuts this year to a new mobile computing network for soldiers — a move that critics say punishes Army technology buyers for not spending appropriated funds fast enough.
$267B more to Operation Twist The Federal Reserve announced it is committing $267 billion for continuing Operation Twist, the central bank’s program to keep long-term interest rates low and stimulate the economy.
Kan. company suspected of Medicare fraud for penis pumps A new report by federal auditors says a Kansas-based company may have paid out as much as $4.2 million in potentially fraudulent Medicare claims for penis pumps, and the auditors are asking the company to refund the government the money.
How Many Limos Do D.C. Departments Own? In these troubled economic times, it is perhaps not surprising that the federal government is a bit touchy on the question of just how many limousines it owns and operates.
Waste, fraud in Iraq put all eyes on DoD contracting A commission's final report declared between $30 billion and $60 billion lost to waste and fraud and sounded alarms about, what it called, the inadequate acquisition workforces at the Departments of Defense and State.
Auto Bailout or UAW Bailout? The Treasury Department expects taxpayers to ultimately lose more than $20 billion on the Detroit auto bailout. President Obama defends those losses as necessary to prevent the domestic auto industry from collapsing.
CBO: Federal debt to double in 15 years Federal debt will double by the middle of the next decade and reach more than twice the size of the entire U.S. economy by 2037 unless Congress changes course on taxes and spending, the Congressional Budget Office said in its latest analysis.
Top GSA official tried to hide report on Vegas bash A top administrator at the General Services Administration who worked on President Obama’s presidential transition team sought to keep secret the agency report that uncovered massive waste at a lavish taxpayer-funded GSA conference in Las Vegas, records show.
Senator Tom Coburn on the “Debt Bomb” That We All Will Face Coburn: “The reason I’m known as ‘Dr. No’ is because I actually believe in the Constitution. I believe in the enumerated powers in Article I, Section 8. I believe the Constitution was filled with nos for us in Washington and yesses for everybody else in America.”
Feds Propose New Rules to Fight Foodstamp Fraud Food stamp recipients are ripping off the government for millions of dollars by illegally selling their benefit cards for cash — sometimes even in the open, on eBay or Craigslist — and then asking the government for replacement cards.
Solar Company Admits Using Your Tax Dollars to Create Jobs Overseas The chairman of First Solar, speaking to a House subcommittee on Wednesday, admitted that his taxpayer-backed company has created more jobs overseas than it has within the United States. Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/05/16/first-solars-3-1-billion-in-doe-loan-guarantees-created-mostly-overseas-jobs-video/#ixzz1v3W5HDgg
HHS Sends $5.9 Million to Program Run by Obama Buddy The Department of Health and Human Services last week announced it had awarded a $5.9 million grant to a University of Chicago Medical Center program tied to Michelle Obama and run by Eric Whitaker, one of President Obama’s closest friends.
Is TSA Wasting Millions of Your Tax Dollars? A new congressional report accuses the Transportation Security Administration of mismanaging its acquisition and management of airport screening equipment by storing millions of dollars in high-tech gear in a Texas warehouse instead of deploying it to airports
AP Exclusive: Waste watchdog got no-bid contract Gov. Rick Scott's chief of staff helped steer a no-bid consulting contract worth $360,000 to a friend who now leads a task force rooting out state government waste. Steve MacNamara was still working for the Florida Senate when he recommended Sarasota business consultant Abraham Uccello for the contract to streamline the Legislature's computer systems.