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halloween

Halloween is this week and as everyone is getting ready for costumes and candy and parties, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is busy fighting all the scary things government has in store for taxpayers! With that in mind TPA is releasing the annual Taxpayer Trick or Treat list! There’s plenty to be afraid of for the taxpayer, but the biggest trick played on taxpayers is the $17 trillion debt that is approaching $18 trillion faster than a Vampire hiding from the sun!

TRICKS

Earmarks or “The Walking Dead”

Responding to voter outrage, Congress instituted transparency rules for earmarks beginning in 2008 .  In 2010, the House and Senate agreed to a two-year moratorium on earmarks. The moratorium was extended but unfortunately the ‘spirit’ of earmarks has lived on. This year TPA uncovered massive amounts of earmarked funding in Omnibus (read here) and both House & Senate appropriations bills (read here). With more than $20 billion documented from those three alone, taxpayers should be frightened at the prospect of how legislators are getting around the earmark ban and keeping these money eating Zombies alive. Now some members of Congress like Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) want to bring them back permanently.  Click here to read more about TPA’s work on earmarks.

For more of TPA's 2014 Tricks and Treats, click 'read more' below!



who

This article appeared in Real Clear Policy on October 22, 2014

Earlier this month in Moscow, the World Health Organization (WHO) Conference of the Parties 6 (COP6) was held, with officials from around the world discussing a wide range of issues. One of those issues was an attempt to impose international taxes. We at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) signed on to a coalition letter urging the attendees to stay away from any new tax proposals that could harm the economies of nations across the globe. What happened at the conference has given rise to even more concerns, both about taxation and about transparency. While the United States is not bound to anything being proposed, the tone being set on the international stage should worry taxpayers. The attendees adopted a proposal for a 70 percent global excise tobacco tax -- after ensuring that tobacco farmers and media observers had been removed from the conference. Both the World Farmers Organization and INTERPOL were denied access prior to the vote actually taking place. No record was kept of what was said.



halloween

Halloween is this week and as everyone is getting ready for costumes and candy and parties, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is busy fighting all the scary things government has in store for taxpayers! With that in mind TPA is releasing the annual Taxpayer Trick or Treat list! There’s plenty to be afraid of for the taxpayer, but the biggest trick played on taxpayers is the $17 trillion debt that is approaching $18 trillion faster than a Vampire hiding from the sun!

TRICKS

Earmarks or “The Walking Dead”

Responding to voter outrage, Congress instituted transparency rules for earmarks beginning in 2008 .  In 2010, the House and Senate agreed to a two-year moratorium on earmarks. The moratorium was extended but unfortunately the ‘spirit’ of earmarks has lived on. This year TPA uncovered massive amounts of earmarked funding in Omnibus (read here) and both House & Senate appropriations bills (read here). With more than $20 billion documented from those three alone, taxpayers should be frightened at the prospect of how legislators are getting around the earmark ban and keeping these money eating Zombies alive. Now some members of Congress like Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) want to bring them back permanently.  Click here to read more about TPA’s work on earmarks.

For more of TPA's 2014 Tricks and Treats, click 'read more' below!



10-24-2014 at 08:15 am - David Williams - Posted in: Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Ex-Im Bank, David Williams, Corporate welfare, Congress, Boeing, Washington State - 0 Comment

wa state
Stehekin River Valley, WA (courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

This article appeared in The Daily Caller on October 22, 2014

Politicians in Washington State are receiving a rude awakening. They jumped through hoops to offer massive tax incentives to Boeing, their “hometown hero” corporation founded in Seattle in 1916, and in return, the company uprooted thousands of Washington jobs and moved them to the Midwest. In this round of political gamesmanship, the Olympia operators got hoodwinked by the corporate bigwigs. Of course, anyone who has followed Boeing’s feeding at the trough of the taxpayer-funded Export Import (Ex-Im) Bank and their recent lobbying efforts at the national level knows this is only par for the course. It’s easy to understand Washington state politicos’ cozy relationship with Boeing – even putting aside the obvious allure of the aviation giant’s free-flowing campaign cash. The company’s roots in the state are indeed very deep. It was born in the boathouse of one William Boeing, a former Yale engineering student who set out to build his own seaplane and took it on a test flight by himself. That humble first flight spawned a company that employs nearly 170,000 people around the world, including 81,000 in Washington State. They pulled in more than $86 billion in revenue last year. It’s not surprising that local elected officials would want to keep them happy.



dod

The Department of Defense has long been seen as one of the primary areas where reform is needed when it comes to how taxpayer money is spent. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has highlighted not only the wasteful spending practices that exist in the Pentagon, but there is also the fact that transparency and accountability at the agency is lacking and has been for quite some time. Unfortunately, another example of waste and mismanagement has been uncovered showing once again that taxpayers aren’t being best served by DOD. Andrea Shalal of Reuters reported in early October on a fleet of planes for Afghanistan, which came courtesy of American taxpayers, is being sold for scrap.

 



nih
Kathleen Sebelius, Dr. Francis Collins, President Obama (courtesy nih.gov)

The recent developments on the Ebola crisis in West Africa have impacted the US in some troubling ways as there have been multiple potential cases reported over the last few weeks. In Dallas, Texas there have been multiple confirmed cases of Ebola and around the country there have been many who have been tested for the virus. The politics of Ebola have begun to take hold and you see many looking to take aim for who is to blame for the response by both the federal and state officials. Unfortunately, there is great deal of hypocrisy and theatrics in much of the blame game.  Nobody should be taken more to task than National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, who leveled an unfounded attack on why the agency has been less than prepared on the response to the recent cases of Ebola here in the US. Last week, Dr. Collins told the Huffington Post that stagnant federal spending has led to a delay in having a vaccine ready to combat Ebola.



cell

The evolution of the cellular phone has come a long way, so much so that what consumers use their phones for has become a crucial part of how many of us go about our daily lives. Unfortunately with that innovation and advancement in technology that has taken us from the flip phones of yesterday to the smartphones of today, comes a heavy tax burden from federal and state government. Regardless of what state someone resides in, they’re paying excessive taxes for something that has become commonplace in their life. On October 8, the Tax Foundation released a study that examines wireless tax rates for each of the fifty states. Joseph Henchman of The Tax Foundation and Economist Scott Mackey, authors of Wireless Taxation in the United States 2014, give plenty of information to sift through in this report.



10-16-2014 at 09:18 am - Michi Iljazi - Posted in: Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Regulation, Michi Iljazi, Internet Gambling, Congress - 0 Comment

chips

The tone in Washington can be described as one of gridlock, and though that isn’t always a bad thing it can certainly cause some to be wary when issues that are bad for taxpayers or states’ rights begin to gain traction. One issue that continues to pop up is the move to pass a federal ban on Internet gambling. There have been voices speaking up on this debate and there have also been interesting alliances formed, leaving no doubt that more activity will arise as this issue progresses in the near future. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has already laid out specific concerns regarding any move on a possible federal ban and why it would be the wrong way to go regarding this issue. Preventing states from making their own decision on this issue, and using federal law as a means to regulate the Internet are two of the most obvious problems. Many have looked at the issue but there is a new study by Michelle Minton of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) that should renew interest and attention to this issue. Minton’s study is a detailed look at the Wire Act of 1961, and how it fits in with what proponents of the federal ban on Internet gambling are attempting to do, including legislation (S. 2159: Restoration of America’s Wire Act) that was introduced in committee earlier this year.



who

Drew Johnson is a Senior Fellow with The Taxpayers Protection Alliance


After booting the public from its meetings on Monday, the World Health Organization’s tobacco control convention ramped up its assault on transparency on Tuesday when the press was also banned from the Moscow conference. Shortly after the media was removed from the convention, the United Nations’ health agency secretly passed the world’s first ever global tax – an outrageous scheme requiring nearly 180 countries to apply a minimum tax on tobacco products. All indications were that the global tobacco tax would not pass until Thursday or Friday, if at all. Without the public and the media there to watch, delegates ratified the tax almost immediately. When I, and a handful of other accredited journalists, showed up for a Tuesday morning press briefing, we were told that the briefing was cancelled and the press was no longer allowed to attend any convention events at all. The rest of the convention, which cost world taxpayers nearly $20 million, will now take place in secret, behind closed doors. It’s a chilling and disturbing attack on the freedom of the press – especially given the impact decisions made at the convention will have on people throughout the world.



who

A version of this op-ed ran in The Washington Times

A tobacco reduction conference hosted by the World Health Organization, the United Nation’s public health agency, took a hostile and alarming turn on Monday when the public was kicked out of the meeting. The tyrannical attack on the principles of transparency and accountability took place when delegates from more than 175 countries who are part of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a UN global anti-tobacco treaty, agreed unanimously to boot spectators. Delegates then voted to ban the public from the Moscow conference center where the event is taking place for the duration of the week-long meeting.



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