This week, families all across the country will get together and gather around their dinner table and celebrate Thanksgiving. There are many things that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is thankful for but unfortunately for taxpayers there are plenty of turkeys too, and no we’re not talking about the ones in your kitchen oven! In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, TPA thought we would take a moment to spotlight some of the biggest ‘bird’ens on taxpayers this year with our Taxpayer Turkeys of 2013! The three Taxpayer Turkeys are Obamacare, the Export-Import Bank, and the Internal Revenue Service. Watch the video below to see some of the best of the worst that taxpayers have no reason to be thankful for this year. Click here to see the video!
With the fiscal cliff last January and the recent shutdown and debt ceiling debacle, the past 9 ½ months have been a model of congressional dysfunction. And, as we have been doing for years, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance has been following developments on the government shutdown debate and the ongoing fiasco of the endless impasse to agree to terms to reopen the federal government. The biggest deadline is quickly approaching, the debt ceiling, a limit set by Congress regarding the amount of money that the government can borrow for public spending. During the Budget Control Act of 2011, part of the deal was to raise the limit to $16.4 trillion, in return for spending cuts (those cuts coming now in the guise of sequestration after the failure of the Super Committee). The United States actually hit the ceiling on December 31, 2012, but “extraordinary measures” were taken by the Treasury Department to enable spending to continue and the debt ceiling is at $16.699 trillion now. The new deadline is set for Thursday, October 17, 2013. Should Congress fail to negotiate a deal that would be signed by the President to lift the debt ceiling, the government would have $30 billion (and cash-on-hand) to continue to spend for services, and payments to creditors; otherwise the US risks default and some early warnings have already come as we inch further towards the deadline. Though that may be a great deal of inside baseball, that is very watered-down and to the point in terms of what is going to happen at midnight tonight.
All Trick No Treat for Taxpayers: Congress Poised to Once Again Chooses Big Government Over Taxpayers
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has been keeping a close eye on the House, Senate, and White House as they have been going back and forth trying to resolve the current impasse that has kept the government closed (or at least slowed down many services) since the fiscal year began on October 1. Now, with the debt ceiling deadline less than 48 hours away and the threat of default a very real possibility, it appears that leadership on both sides of the aisle in Senate have reached a deal that would both extend the debt limit and keep the government open into early 2014. The crisis is by no means over, and it remains to be seen how this will play it out in the House, where many Republicans are wary to accept a clean Senate bill. The uncertainty is still very much a real factor in all of this, but one thing clear: this deal highlights another failure of elected officials to protect taxpayers, and instead is another sign that the era big government is still very much alive. It is also a sign that Congress will continue to budget by crisis and not by common sense and fiscal responsibility. It is almost fitting that this fiscal fiasco plays out in October, a month known for Halloween and scaring people.
Today is the last day of the fiscal year and all the talk has been about a potential government shutdown. The biggest problem with all of the talk of the government shutdown has been the lack of talk about the deficit and debt and the real fiscal problems facing the country. The new fiscal year and the looming deadline of a government shutdown bring about a real opportunity to come up with concrete spending cuts that are not only necessary but also wise. What is most difficult for politicians is to come up with meaningful resolutions to the very real problems the nation is facing. Instead, it seems, they would prefer to engage in brinksmanship all under the guise of protecting the sacred cows they hold dear (entitlements, defense, and subsidies); while working families across America continue to struggle to find ways to manage their own decreasing budgets. This is not only unacceptable, it is untenable and the issues facing the Congress and the White House over the next few weeks need to be dealt with in a substantive way so that there can be a real chance to solve the all-too-real spending problem. During the next fiscal year the Congress must focus on reducing spending considering that the government is wasting billions and there are room for cuts in many areas. With this in mind, no program should go unchecked and every agency should be under the magnifying glass.
(This article originally appeared on townhall.com September 13, 2013) What many Americans may not know is that the substance that is poured into millions of American fuel tanks every year can no longer be classified as gasoline. Due to legislation passed in 2007, the government requires that millions of gallons of ethanol be blended into gasoline each year to create a form of biofuel. The legislation was passed on the premise that the demand for gasoline would increase over time, making fuel more expensive. And, by mandating that ethanol be blended into gasoline, legislators believed that the country would become less reliant on traditional fuels, driving prices down in the process. But the idea backfired and consumers and taxpayers are suffering. A funny (but not unexpected) thing happened along the way to the pump. Rather than Americans guzzling down an increasing amount of gasoline, new technologies were invented that revolutionized fuel efficiency. In turn, there has been a decrease in demand for fuel, meaning that the legislation was based on a faulty premise. Now, instead of using common sense and logic by calling on Congress to reform or repeal the legislation, President Obama has been using the mandate to pedal his green energy agenda, which not surprisingly relies on higher fuel prices.