Category: Taxation


Texas Job Growth Outpaces Rest Of U.S. Combined

 

 

 

 

” Since the recession began in December 2007, 1.2 million net jobs have been created in Texas. Only 700,000 net jobs have been created in the other 49 states combined.

  The remarkable employment growth in Texas looks even bigger considering its size relative to the rest of the U.S. Total non-farm employment has grown by 11.5 percent in Texas since December 2007. Employment in the rest of the United States has grown only 0.6 percent. Until September 2014, total employment growth in the rest of the United States since December 2007 was still negative.”

 

Washington Examiner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 37 Straight Months

 

 

 

 

” The number of beneficiaries who receive compensation from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, has topped 46,000,000 for 37 straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

  In September 2014, which is the latest data from the USDA, there were 46,459,998 Americans who received assistance from the SNAP program. The number of beneficiaries has exceeded 46 million since September 2011, a total of 37 months, or more than three years.

  In September, the number of beneficiaries was down from the 46,476,410 beneficiaries there were in August, a decline of 16,412. During that same time frame, the number of families receiving SNAP benefits increased from 22,724,624 in August to 22,750,019 in September, an increase of 25,395.

  Households on food stamps in September got an average of $252.69 during the month, and the program benefits cost taxpayers $5,748,809,023.

  In 1969, the average participation in the SNAP program stood at 2,878,000. In 2014, average participation grew to 46,536,000 showing an increase of 1516.96 percent.”

 

Thanks to CNS News

 

    To put those numbers in perspective in 1969 one out of every 73.6 people was dependent on the State for supplemental food stamps while today after nearly fifty years of fighting the “war on poverty” the ratio is one out of every 6.8 people . Well done … God Bless The State …

Total spending to date on the “war on poverty” has exceeded sixteen trillion dollars and all we’ve gotten for that “investment” has been a larger and larger dole .

 

Since the

 

   The numbers for SNAP spending during the past six years of the Obama administration from the CBO reflect a massive increase in dependency on the State :

 

 

Participation and Federal Spending for SNAP

 

 

” Almost two-thirds of the growth in spending on SNAP benefits between 2007 and 2011 stemmed from the increase in the number of participants. Labor market conditions deteriorated dramatically between 2007 and 2009 and have been slow to recover; since 2007, both the number of people eligible for the program and the share of those who are eligible and who participate in the program have risen.

  About one-fifth of the growth in spending can be attributed to temporarily higher benefit amounts enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The remainder stems from other factors, such as higher food prices and lower income among beneficiaries, both of which have boosted benefits.”

 

Heck of a job Barack …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Opens Fraud-Ridden Benefits Programs To Illegal Immigrants

 

 

 

 

” President Obama’s unilateral executive action on immigration will make hundreds of thousands, perhaps more than a million, illegal immigrants eligible for federal transfer payments. That will be done primarily through two widely used programs — the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, and the Additional Child Tax Credit, or ACTC.

  As it turns out, those two programs are already among the most corrupt and fraud-ridden in the entire federal government. A newly-released report from the inspector general of the Internal Revenue Service confirms that the EITC is plagued by fraud (which was already well known) and also reveals for the first time that the ACTC is even worse.

  The two programs, intended for low-income workers, are what is known as refundable tax credits. That means they give workers a tax refund that is larger than their tax liability. So a family with a tax bill of $1,000 might receive an EITC “refund” of $5,000, meaning the family doesn’t write a check to the government but rather receives a check from the government. The ACTC works similarly for low-income workers with children.”

 

Thanks to Byron York at the Washington Examiner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$404,155,000,000: Taxes Set Record In First 2 Months Of FY15—Deficit Still $179B

 

Record Tax Revenues for October and November

 

 

 

” The U.S. Treasury continued to rake in tax dollars at a record rate in November as the federal government closed out the first two months of fiscal 2015 with $404,155,000,000 in total receipts, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

  In constant 2014 dollars, this is the first time federal revenues have topped $400 billion in the first two months of the fiscal year.

  Even with these record revenues, the Treasury ran a deficit of $178.531 billion deficit in October and November as it spent $582.686 billion.”

 

CNS News has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beware Of Rosy Job Numbers

 

 

” Don’t be fooled by the everything’s-coming-up-roses coverage that the national news media gave the Obama administration’s job numbers last week.

  The news headlines said the Obama economy created 321,000 jobs last month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But a little closer examination of the other numbers, buried in the bureau’s report, tells a far sadder story.

  A large share of the nonfarm employment figures were low-paying, part-time jobs among Americans who the bureau refers to as “involuntary part-time workers.” They’re people “who would have preferred full-time employment” but were “working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a good full-time job,” the government said.

  There were seven million of these people for whom life in the dreary Obama economy has changed very little, and their numbers “changed little in November,” the bureau said deep into its report.

  If the number of jobs rose by 321,000, shouldn’t the unemployment percentage have fallen in November? No, the number of jobless Americans “was little changed at 9.1 million” and the 5.8 percent rate didn’t budge.

  Did you hear it put just that way on the nightly network news shows last week? No? I didn’t think so. But it gets worse.

The unemployment rate for adult men actually “rose to 5.4 percent in November,” BLS said. And the jobless rates for adult women (5.3 percent), working age teenagers (17.7 percent), blacks (11.1 percent), and Hispanics (6.6 percent) showed “little change over the month.” “

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best And Worst Run States In America: A Survey Of All 50

 

Party Control Of States

 

 

” How well run is your state? Assessing a state’s management quality is hardly easy. The current economic climate and standard of living in any given state are not only the results of policy choices and developments that occurred in the last few years, but can also be affected by decisions made decades ago, and by forces outside a state’s control. 

  Each year, 24/7 Wall St. attempts to answer this question by surveying various aspects of each state. To determine how well states are managed, we examine key financial ratios, as well as social and economic outcomes. This year, North Dakota is the best-run state in the country for the third consecutive year, while Illinois replaced California as the worst-run state.

  Selecting appropriate criteria to compare the 50 states is difficult because there is so much variation among the states. As a result, policy decisions that may work in one state might not work in another. Some states are rich in natural resources, while others rely on high-skilled sectors such as technology and business services. Some depend disproportionately on one industry, while others’ economies are more balanced. Further, some states are more rural, while others are highly urbanized and densely populated.

  This year, a number of the best-run states again benefit from an abundance of natural resources. North Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska, and Texas are among the top 10 best-run states, and in all four, the mining industry — which includes fossil fuel extraction — is a major contributor to state GDP. Due in large part to the mining sector, North Dakota and Wyoming led the nation in real GDP growth in 2013. And Alaska has utilized its oil wealth to build massive state reserves and to pay its residents an annual dividend.

  Although less than in years past, the lingering effects of the housing crisis still have a negative impact on several of the worst-run states. In five of the 10 worst-run states — Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island — home values declined by 10% or more between 2009 and 2013. Worse still, in states such as Arizona and Rhode Island, the housing market remains well below its peak, reached just before the start of the recent recession.”

 

   A brief rundown of the top ten and bottom ten states , color-coded (red for GOP , blue for Democrats , purple for split government) by party control of legislature and governor’s office is as follows: 

 

The 10 best run states:

 

” 1. North Dakota

2. Wyoming

3. Nebraska

4. Iowa

5. Minnesota

6. Utah

7. Alaska

8. Texas

9. Vermont

10. South Dakota

 

 

And here are the ten worst run states:

 

” 41. Alabama

42. Missouri

43. New Jersey

44. Georgia

45. Arizona

46. Kentucky

47. Rhode Island

48. Mississippi

49. New Mexico

50. Illinois

 

 

Click through to the 24/7 Wall Street post for a detailed accounting of all 50 states to see where yours stands .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Official: America Is Now No. 2

 

 

 

 

” Hang on to your hats, America.

  And throw away that big, fat styrofoam finger while you’re about it.

  There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: We’re no longer No. 1. Today, we’re No. 2. Yes, it’s official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is not the leading economic power on the planet.

  It just happened — and almost nobody noticed.

  The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in “real” terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A. “

 

 

You voted for “fundamental change” and the man has delivered …

 

 

” As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese.

  To put the numbers slightly differently, China now accounts for 16.5% of the global economy when measured in real purchasing-power terms, compared with 16.3% for the U.S.

  This latest economic earthquake follows the development last year when China surpassed the U.S. for the first time in terms of global trade.”

 

 

 

    These two paragraphs should send chills down any forward-looking American’s spines , especially amongst the young …

 

 

 

” Make no mistake: This is a geopolitical earthquake with a high reading on the Richter scale. Throughout history, political and military power have always depended on economic power. Britain was the workshop of the world before she ruled the waves. And it was Britain’s relative economic decline that preceded the collapse of her power. And it was a similar story with previous hegemonic powers such as France and Spain.

  This will not change anything tomorrow or next week, but it will change almost everything in the longer term. We have lived in a world dominated by the U.S. since at least 1945 and, in many ways, since the late 19th century. And we have lived for 200 years — since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 — in a world dominated by two reasonably democratic, constitutional countries in Great Britain and the U.S.A. For all their flaws, the two countries have been in the vanguard worldwide in terms of civil liberties, democratic processes and constitutional rights.”

 

 

 

Market Watch has more on the latest (dubious) accomplishment of Barack Obama’s administration 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only 19 Students Ready For College In Paterson NJ

 

 

 

 

 

” A paltry nineteen students who took the SAT from the Paterson (New Jersey) Public Schools were considered “college ready.”

This means they scored at least a 1500 out of 2400 on the exam.

MY 9 NJ.com reports:

Paterson resident Jason Williams is one of the lucky ones. He just graduated high school last year and has been enrolled in college since September, after taking the SAT’s three times determined to score over 1500. He says that the key to his success was not falling victim to the streets.

  Article author Tamara Laine writes that the 19 students figure “is truly shocking considering how large the school district is.” Indeed, according to the district’s Wikipedia entry, the district has twenty-one high schools, and a total student enrollment of 28,139. “

 

    Although we experienced some difficulty in coming up with a solid figure for the Paterson public high school enrollment numbers , according to the information on Wikipedia’s page we’ve arrived at a minimum of 4,684 students .

   If approximately half of that number are juniors and seniors , those taking the SATs , we calculate 2,342 students that took the college entrance exam . That translates into a 0.811% readiness rate … Less than 1 % . Shameful .

This is all the more disgraceful when one considers that Paterson has a 13 to 1 student/teacher ratio (among the lowest in the country) , the national average being 15.5 , and spends $18,891 per pupil which is 8.3% above the national average and ranks below only Alaska , DC and New York . See table below …

 

 

 

Paterson School Spending

   While the reader ponders where all that money is being spent , take note of this story from Monday’s NorthJersey.com :

 

 

” Payroll records show the number of city school district employees making at least $125,000 has doubled over the past five years, an increase that comes as test scores for Paterson students remain among the lowest in the state.

  At present, 66 Paterson Public Schools employees make at least $125,000, the records show. During the 2010-11 school year, the district had 33 employees above the $125,000 mark.

  The rise has been a steady one, the records show. The number of salaries above $125,000 grew to 41 in 2011-12, to 53 the year after that and to 60 in 2013-14.”

 

 

    Gotta love that State provided “free” education … New Jersey tax payers are hardly getting their money’s worth , that’s for sure .

The College Fix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total US Debt Rises Over $18 Trillion; Up 70% Under Barack Obama

 

 

 

” Last week, total US debt was a meager $17,963,753,617,957.26. Two days later, as updated today, on Black Friday, total outstanding US public debt just hit a new historic level which probably would be better associated with a red color: as of the last work day of November, total US public debt just surpassed $18 trillion for the first time, or $18,005,549,328,561.45 to be precise, of which debt held by the public rose to $12,922,681,725,432.94, an increase of $32 billion in one day.

 

 

 

 

  It also means that total US debt to nominal GDP as of Sept 30, which was $17.555 trillion, is now 103%. Keep in mind this GDP number was artificially increased by about half a trillion dollars a year ago thanks to the “benefit” of R&D and intangibles. Without said definitional change, debt/GDP would now be about 106%.

  It also means that total US debt has increased by 70% under Obama, from $10.625 trillion on January 21, 2009 to $18.005 trillion most recently.

  And now we wait for the US to become Spain, and add the estimated “contribution” from hookers and blow to GDP, once again pushing the total debt/GDP ratio below the psychological 100% level.”

 

 

And to think that just three short years ago Obama was speaking of reducing our then $14 trillion debt …

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Heck of a job Barack especially when one takes into consideration the record tax receipts the Federal government has been taking in . Be sure to check out the National Debt Clock . Bookmark it and keep up .

Thanks to Zero Hedge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obamacare Offers Firms $3,000 Incentive To Hire Illegals Over

Native-Born Workers

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Under the president’s new amnesty, businesses will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers because of a quirk of Obamacare.

  President Obama’s temporary amnesty, which lasts three years, declares up to 5 million illegal immigrants to be lawfully in the country and eligible for work permits, but it still deems them ineligible for public benefits such as buying insurance on Obamacare’s health exchanges.

  Under the Affordable Care Act, that means businesses who hire them won’t have to pay a penalty for not providing them health coverage — making them $3,000 more attractive than a similar native-born worker, whom the business by law would have to cover.

  The loophole was confirmed by congressional aides and drew condemnation from those who said it put illegal immigrants ahead of Americans in the job market.

“ If it is true that the president’s actions give employers a $3,000 incentive to hire those who came here illegally, he has added insult to injury,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican. “The president’s actions would have just moved those who came here illegally to the front of the line, ahead of unemployed and underemployed Americans.”

  A Department of Homeland Security official confirmed that the newly legalized immigrants won’t have access to Obamacare, which opens up the loophole for employers looking to avoid the penalty. “

 

Washington Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,500 New Documents ID’d In White House-IRS Taxpayer Harassment Cases

 

 

” In a shocking revelation, the Treasury Inspector General has identified some 2,500 documents that “potentially” show taxpayer information held by the Internal Revenue Service being shared with President Obama’s White House.

  The discovery was revealed to the group Cause of Action, which has sued for access to any of the documents. It charges that the IRS and White House have harassed taxpayers.

  In an email from the Justice Department’s tax office, an official revealed the high number of documents, suggesting that the White House was hip deep in probes of taxpayers, likely including conservatives and Tea Party groups associated with the IRS scandal.

  In requesting a delay in the delivery date of the documents, Justice told Cause of Action, “The agency [Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration] has located 2,500 potentially responsive documents and anticipates being able to finish processing 2,000 of these pages by the December 1 date. It needs the additional two weeks to deal with the last 500 pages to determine if they are responsive and make any necessary withholdings.”

 

Thanks to Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fiscal Cost Of Unlawful Immigrants And Amnesty To The U.S. Taxpayer

 

 

Immigration Costs 2013 - Table 4

 

” Unlawful immigration and amnesty for current unlawful immigrants can pose large fiscal costs for U.S. taxpayers. Government provides four types of benefits and services that are relevant to this issue:

  • Direct benefits. These include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.
  • Means-tested welfare benefits. There are over 80 of these programs which, at a cost of nearly $900 billion per year, provide cash, food, housing, medical, and other services to roughly 100 million low-income Americans. Major programs include Medicaid, food stamps, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • Public education. At a cost of $12,300 per pupil per year, these services are largely free or heavily subsidized for low-income parents.
  • Population-based services. Police, fire, highways, parks, and similar services, as the National Academy of Sciences determined in its study of the fiscal costs of immigration, generally have to expand as new immigrants enter a community; someone has to bear the cost of that expansion.

  The cost of these governmental services is far larger than many people imagine. For example, in 2010, the average U.S. household received $31,584 in government benefits and services in these four categories.

  The governmental system is highly redistributive. Well-educated households tend to be net tax contributors: The taxes they pay exceed the direct and means-tested benefits, education, and population-based services they receive. For example, in 2010, in the whole U.S. population, households with college-educated heads, on average, received $24,839 in government benefits while paying $54,089 in taxes. The average college-educated household thus generated a fiscal surplus of $29,250 that government used to finance benefits for other households.

  Other households are net tax consumers: The benefits they receive exceed the taxes they pay. These households generate a “fiscal deficit” that must be financed by taxes from other households or by government borrowing. For example, in 2010, in the U.S. population as a whole, households headed by persons without a high school degree, on average, received $46,582 in government benefits while paying only $11,469 in taxes. This generated an average fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of $35,113.

  The high deficits of poorly educated households are important in the amnesty debate because the typical unlawful immigrant has only a 10th-grade education. Half of unlawful immigrant households are headed by an individual with less than a high school degree, and another 25 percent of household heads have only a high school degree.

  Some argue that the deficit figures for poorly educated households in the general population are not relevant for immigrants. Many believe, for example, that lawful immigrants use little welfare. In reality, lawful immigrant households receive significantly more welfare, on average, than U.S.-born households. Overall, the fiscal deficits or surpluses for lawful immigrant households are the same as or higher than those for U.S.-born households with the same education level. Poorly educated households, whether immigrant or U.S.-born, receive far more in government benefits than they pay in taxes. “

 

Read the entire study at Heritage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$4.15 Per Pound: Ground Beef Climbs To Another Record High

 

 

beef

 

 

 

” The average price for a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high$4.156 per pound — in the United States in October, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  In August, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first time, hitting $4.013, said the BLS.  In September, the average price jumped .083 cents to $4.096 per pound, an increase of 2.1 percent in one month.

  In October, which is the latest data from the BLS, the average price for a pound of ground beef ($4.156) increased 1.4 percent from September.

  A year ago, in October 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.389 per pound. Since then, it has climbed 76.5 cents, or about 22.6 percent in one year.

  Five years ago, in October 2009, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $2.177, according to the BLS. The price has since climbed by $1.977 per pound, or 90.8 percent. “

 

CNS News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New CBO Study Shows That ‘The Rich’ Don’t Just Pay Their ‘Fair Share,’ They Pay Almost Everybody’s Share

 

 

cbo1

 

 

 

” The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released its annual report on “The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes” analyzing data through 2011 on American household’s: a) average “market income” (a comprehensive measure that includes labor income, business income, and income from capital gains), b) average household transfer payments (payments and benefits from federal, state and local governments including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance), and c) average federal taxes paid by households (including income, payroll, corporate, and excise taxes). Some of the key findings of the CBO analysis are displayed in the table above, with the data organized by household income quintiles. The data in the first five rows above appear in the CBO report (from Tables 1 and 4), and rows 6-8 above have been calculated separately based on data from the first four rows in the table.

  The CBO report received attention and commentary this week from John Merline at Investor’s Business Daily (“New CBO Report Explodes Tax Fairness Myths”), Reason’s Nick Gillespie (“3 Charts About Income Inequality, Transfers, and Taxes”), AEI’s Jim Pethokoukis (“Here is what’s really happening to middle-class incomes and inequality”), Heritage Foundation’s Curtis Dubay (“The Richest 1 Percent of Americans Pay 24 Percent of Federal Taxes”) and former economist Paul Krugman (“Why the One Percent Hates Obama”).

  Some additional analysis and commentary will be provided here that reveal a yet-to-be discussed major implication of the CBO report – almost the entire burden: a) of all transfer payments made to American households and b) of all non-financed government spending, falls on just one group of Americans – the top one-fifth of US households by income. That’s correct, the CBO study shows that the bottom three income quintiles representing 60% of US households are “net recipients” (they receive more in transfer payments than they pay in federal taxes), the second-highest income quintile pays just slightly more in federal taxes ($14,800) than it receives in government transfer payments ($14,100), while the top 20% of American “net payer” households finance 100% of the transfer payments to the bottom 60%, as well as almost 100% of the tax revenue collected to run the federal government. Here are the details of that analysis.”

 

Read it all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

61% Oppose Federal Regulation Of The Internet

 

 

 

 

” Americans really like the online service they currently have and strongly oppose so-called “net neutrality” efforts that would allow the federal government to regulate the Internet.

  The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 26% of American Adults agree the Federal Communications Commission should regulate the Internet like it does radio and television. Sixty-one percent (61%) disagree and think the Internet should remain open without regulation and censorship. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

  Only 19% believe more government regulation is the best way to protect those who use the Internet. Fifty-six percent (56%) feel more free market competition is the best protection. Twenty-five percent (25%) are undecided.

  Most Americans have opposed increased government regulation of the Internet since December 2010 when some members of the FCC began pushing “net neutrality” efforts to stop some companies from offering higher downloading speeds to preferred customers.

  Seventy-six percent (76%) of Americans who regularly go online rate the quality of their Internet service as good or excellent. Only five percent (5%) consider their service poor.

  Americans remain suspicious of the motives of those who want government regulation of the Internet. Sixty-eight percent (68%) are concerned that if the FCC does gain regulatory control over the Internet, it will lead to government efforts to control online content or promote a political agenda, with 44% who are Very Concerned. Twenty-seven percent (27%) don’t share this concern about possible government abuse, but that includes only eight percent (8%) who are Not At All Concerned. “

 

 

   With over three quarters of customers being perfectly happy with their internet service is it any wonder that the people are suspicious of the State’s motives in attempting to fix something that is not broken ?

   Along with the potential State boot on the neck of political speech and corporate cronyism that “net neutrality” represents there is the issue of taxation to consider as well .

 

Read it all at Rasmussen Reports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

House Committee Demands Answers On Truthy Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee sent a letter to the head of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Monday, demanding answers about the origins of the nearly $1 million taxpayer-funded project to track “misinformation” on Twitter.

  The Truthy project, being conducted by researchers at Indiana University, is under investigation for targeting political commentary on Twitter. The project monitors “suspicious memes,” “false and misleading ideas,” and “hate speech,” with a goal of one day being able to automatically detect false rumors on the social media platform.

  The web service has been used to track tweets using hashtags such as #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter), and was successful in getting accounts associated with conservatives suspended, according to a 2012 book co-authored by the project’s lead researcher, Filippo Menczer, a professor of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University.

  Menczer has also said that Truthy monitored tweets using #p2 (Progressive 2.0), but did not discuss any examples of getting liberal accounts suspended in his book.

“ The Committee and taxpayers deserve to know how NSF decided to award a large grant for a project that proposed to develop standards for online political speech and to apply those standards through development of a website that targeted conservative political comments,” wrote Chairman Lamar Smith (R., Texas) in a letter to NSF Director France Cordova. 

“ While some have argued that Truthy could be used to better understand things like disaster communication or to assist law enforcement, instead it appears Truthy focused on examples of ‘false and misleading ideas, hate speech, and subversive propaganda’ communicated by conservative groups,” he said.”

 

    Latecomers can find out more on the “Truthy Project” here and read more about the Congressional investigation here .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barack Obama’s Security Team Strips Floor Of Marriott Hotel Ahead Of G20 In Brisbane

 

Mr Obama and his staffers will occupy multiple floors of the Marriott Hotel in Brisbane this weekend

 

 

” Barack Obama’s security team ordered the stripping of an entire floor of the Marriott Hotel and investigated installing their own wiring to keep the world’s most powerful man safe while he is in Brisbane for the G20.

  Bedding and furniture, including mirrors, have been ­removed from rooms, while others have been left with just desks and chairs as part of the elaborate security operation to ensure he cannot be spied on.

  Secure communication lines will be established and rooms will be swept for bugs to ensure he can conduct confidential business and make private phone calls from within the hotel.

  The hotel will sit inside a cordoned off ­security zone, where only those with accreditation will be allowed to enter.

 The President is expected to arrive on Saturday and will stay at the Marriott for at least one night while he attends the G20. “

 

 

    This man sure knows how to piss away our money . How is it that he seems to require so much more in the way of precautions , special treatment and taxpayer funds for his travels than any previous president ?

 

 

Courier-Mail.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawmakers Aim To Fire More Federal Employees In 2015

 

 

 

” Some lawmakers are looking to the new Congress to pass legislation to ease the firing of federal employees, with hopes the Republican-controlled Senate will be friendlier to the idea.

  Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., in July introduced a bill to mitigate the hurdles in firing and suspending senior executives at federal agencies. The Senior Executive Service Accountability Act cleared the House in September. Despite receiving no resistance in the lower chamber, the Senate has yet to take up the bill.

  A spokeswoman for Walberg told Government Executive it is unlikely the Senate will move on the bill before the new session begins in January. Walberg plans to start from scratch next year, however, and expects future Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to bring it up for a vote after the House once again passes the measure.

  The bill, as currently written, would allow agencies to suspend SES employees for 14 days or less without pay, require the executives to pay back any paid leave used during investigations if they result in a guilty verdict, increase the SES probationary period to two years and expand the definition of fireable offenses.”

 

GovExec

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World’s Largest Solar Plant Applying For Federal Grant To Pay Off Federal Loan

 

 

” After already receiving a controversial $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, the wealthy investors of a California solar power plant now want a $539 million federal grant to pay off their federal loan.

” This is an attempt by very large cash generating companies that have billions on their balance sheet to get a federal bailout, i.e. a bailout from us – the taxpayer for their pet project,” said Reason Foundation VP of Research Julian Morris. “It’s actually rather obscene.” “

 

 

Ivanpah Bailout

 

 

 

” The Ivanpah solar electric generating plant is owned by Google and renewable energy giant NRG, which are responsible for paying off their federal loan. If approved by the U.S. Treasury, the two corporations will not use their own money, but taxpayer cash to pay off 30 percent of the cost of their plant, but taxpayers will receive none of the millions in revenues the plant will generate over the next 30 years.

” They’re already paying less than the market rate,” said Morris, author of a lengthy report detailing alleged cronyism and corruption in the Obama administration’s green energy programs. “Now demanding or asking for a subsidy in the form of a grant directly paying off the loan is an egregious abuse.” “

 

Cronyism at its worst . If anyone can afford to pay the taxpayers back for their forced largesse it is certainly Google .

Fox News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Supreme Court Challenge For ‘Obamacare’

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear a new challenge to President Barack Obama’s health care law — a case that threatens subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their health insurance premiums.

  The justices said they will review a federal appeals court ruling that upheld IRS regulations that allow health-insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for consumers in all 50 states. Opponents argue that most of the subsidies are illegal.

  The long-running political and legal campaign to overturn or limit the 2010 health overhaul will be making its second appearance at the Supreme Court. The justices upheld the heart of the law in a 5-4 decision in 2012 in which Chief Justice John Roberts provided the decisive vote.

  The case probably will be argued the first week in March, with a decision expected by late June.

  White House press secretary Josh Earnest promised a vigorous defense before the high court.

” This lawsuit reflects just another partisan attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act and to strip millions of American families of tax credits that Congress intended for them to have,” Earnest said. “

 

AP News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Government Made $20 Billion In Secret Purchases In Recent Months

 

Federal Starbucks Secret purchases

 

 

” The federal government has spent at least $20 billion in taxpayer money this year on items and services that it is permitted to keep secret from the public, according to an investigation by the News4 I-Team.

  The purchases, known among federal employees as “micropurchases,” are made by some of the thousands of agency employees who are issued taxpayer-funded purchase cards. The purchases, in most cases, remain confidential and are not publicly disclosed by the agencies. A sampling of those purchases, obtained by the I-Team via the Freedom of Information Act, reveals at least one agency used those cards to buy $30,000 in Starbucks Coffee drinks and products in one year without having to disclose or detail the purchases to the public.

  A series of other recent purchases, reviewed by internal government auditors, include wasteful and inappropriate purchases by government employees — including a gym membership and JC Penney clothing — that were not detected or stopped until after the purchase was completed.”

Read more

Whistleblowers: IRS Officials Behind ‘Fraudulent’ Multi-Billion Dollar Corporate Tax Giveaways

 

 

 

 

” A 10-year veteran IRS attorney has demanded a Congressional audit of the IRS to investigate the agency’s alleged role in allowing American corporations to illegally avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes at the same time the agency is cracking down on individuals and small businesses.

  In a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, IRS commissioner John A. Koskinen, and IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, Jane J. Kim, an attorney in the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel in New York, accused IRS executives of “deliberately” facilitating multi-billion dollar tax giveaways. The letter, dated October 19, will add further pressure on the agency, which is under fire for allegedly targeting conservative and Tea Party groups.

  Kim, who has previously blown the whistle on “gross waste of government resources” in the IRS New York field offices [Senior IRS Lawyer Charges Chief Counsel’s New York Office With Waste and Abuse], wrote in her new letter that senior IRS officials have “intentionally undermined the authority of the IRS Whistleblower Office” to avoid taking action “in cases involving billions in corporate taxes due.” The IRS also refuses to enforce laws for “large corporate taxpayers,” resulting in giveaways of further billions, despite applying the same laws with “draconian strictness to small business, the self-employed, and wage-earning individuals.”  … “

 

The TaxProf has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overpaid Federal Employees

 

 

 

 

 

” With the election only weeks away, pundits are visualizing how a Republican-controlled Senate would impact future policy decisions.  Today’s Washington Post highlights the supposed plight of federal workers under a Republican Congress.

  The piece discusses House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal:

  Under the Ryan budget, the contribution of most federal employees toward their retirement plan would increase by 5.5 percentage points with no increase in benefits — effectively a pay cut. Ryan emphasizes a “defined-contribution system” that centers on employee payments to their retirement program instead of the current system, which includes pensions from the U.S. government. He estimated his plan would save the government $125 billion over 10 years.

That $125 billion in savings, however, would come from the pockets of federal employees.

  The piece continues in a similar vein discussing Republican-supported legislation that would make it easier for federal employees to be disciplined, fired, and restricted in their conference expenditures–all  reasonable proposals. It cites federal employee union officials on the difficulties these policies would place on federal workers.

  But the piece fails to mention the elephant in the room: federal employees are compensated more generously than their private-sector counterparts.

  Using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average wage for a federal civilian employee in 2013 was $81,076, compared to the average wage of $55,424 for private-sector employees. “

 

Cato reports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government Has Paid Millions For Workers To Stay Home

 

 

 

 

The federal government has shelled out more than $700 million in paid leave to more than 57,000 employees who were home from work for time periods stretching from one month to three years, a Government Accountability Office report has found.

  In a 62-page report published Monday, the GAO analyzed why so many federal employees were home and getting paid for such long periods of time and they discovered a variety of reasons.”

 

Paid Leave

 

” In many cases, employees were home awaiting the outcome of investigations into alleged misconduct and criminal actions. Some racked up paid leave for “physical fitness activities,” and others were away from work seeking professional development. Employees also took paid leave for “recuperation” from overseas work.

  Hundreds of federal employees remained at home, collecting a paycheck, for years.

  The report found that during a three-year period beginning in 2011, 263 employees remained on paid leave for one to three years at a cost of $31 million.

  In some cases, about five percent of the time, the federal government couldn’t come up with a reason why some employees were home on paid leave.”

 

   Those 263 employees cost the US taxpayers an average of $117,870 each to sit on their asses … “We’re in the best of hands”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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