Taxpayers Protection Alliance
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  • Smile! You're on Candy Camera!

    David Williams on May 18, 2011

    The headline wasn’t a typo.  An elementary school in San Antonio will be installing high-tech cameras to monitor what foods children are eating.  This program will cost $2 million and is being funded by the Department of Agriculture (read: taxpayers). The pilot program is being conducted to monitor the eating habits of children.  To allay any privacy concerns parents are required to give consent for their children to be observed.  Beside the fact that taxpayers are funding an absolutely ridiculous project for $2 million and the huge privacy implications, there are other problems withthis expenditure.

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  • Creating Jobs in Tennessee

    David Williams on May 16, 2011

    Tennessee is in the middle of a taxation battle as the state legislature figures out what to do with an agreement that former Governor Phil Bredesen agreed to and current Governor Bill Haslam intends to honor which would exempt Amazon (the mega Internet seller of books and other goods) from paying state taxes, if it builds distribution centers in Tennessee.  Any legislation that invalidates this deal would be harmful to the Volunteer State and its residents.

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  • Groups Ignore Centers for Disease Control Lobbying Regulations

    David Williams on May 12, 2011

    On February 19, 2009 President Obama signed the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, or more commonly known as the Stimulus Bill.  There was more than $800 billion in spending that was supposed to address unemployment and the economic dip that America had experienced.  What it did was create a myriad of new programs that have little to do with job creation and more to do with expanding government’s reach into society.

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  • Alternate Engine Shouldn't Make a Comeback

    David Williams on May 11, 2011

    Congress has supposedly banned earmarks. However, since the ban, billions of dollars in pet projects were added in the fiscal year 2011 budget which was just finalized last month. Earmarks exemplify government’s inability to prioritize and live within its means, and no project is more emblematic of this out-of-control spending than the $3.2 billion alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter.

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  • MEDIA ALERT: Government Waste Expert Drew Johnson Joins TPA as Senior Fellow

    David Williams on May 9, 2011

    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is proud to announce the addition of Drew Johnson as a Senior Fellow for TPA.  Johnson is the founder of the Council on Responsible Local Government and the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.  “We are excited to have Drew join Taxpayers Protection Alliance in our fight against wasteful government spending,” said David Williams, TPA president. “Drew has a proven record of success and leadership in fighting spending battles at all levels of government.”

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  • Congress Should Choo Choo Choose Not to Fund Amtrak

    David Williams on May 6, 2011

    Amtrak turned 40 years old in May.  When people turn 40 they may have a midlife crisis which could involve buying a new car or taking a fancy trip.  Amtrak’s mid-life crisis is defined by continually losing money and, now, asking for more money from taxpayers.  Congress set up Amtrak in the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970.  According to the Department of Transportation’s website, “The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (better known as Amtrak) is a for-profit corporation that operates intercity passenger rail services in 46 States and the District of Columbia, in addition to serving as a contractor in various capacities for several commuter rail agencies.”  Amtrak has had a troubled financial past and the future doesn't look too bright.

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  • TRANSPARENCY ALERT!! Department of Education Shuns Transparency in Favor of New Unnecessary Regulation

    on May 4, 2011

    A critical element in bringing back fiscal responsibility and government accountability is transparency.  When President Obama took office in 2009 he pledged to have “an unprecedented level of openness in Government.”   That is why the Taxpayers Protection Alliance was so dismayed when it found out that the Department of Education (DOEd) may be side-stepping transparency in its recent regulatory actions on gainful employment rules.  DOEd  proposed  “gainful employment” rules which require for-profit schools to prove their graduates are either paying back loans or are capable of doing so.  If not, the schools will lose access to federal student aid.  The process has been a mess, to say the least.  DOEd was supposed to release the regulations in September 2010 but delayed the release because of an overwhelming number of petitions that were opposed to the regulation.

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  • For Profit Schools Unfairly Targeted by Department of Education

    David Williams on May 2, 2011

    The for-profit education industry has been under attack.  The Department of Education (DOEd)  proposed  “gainful employment” rules which require for-profit schools to prove their graduates are either paying back loans or are capable of doing so.  If not, the schools will lose access to federal student aid.  The hook is that it is only the for-profit schools that are required to do so.  Former special counsel to President Clinton Lanny Davis, The National Legal and Policy Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and the DOEd Inspector General are weighing in on the issue.

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    David Williams on April 28, 2011

    The expose of the $311 million in earmarks for the Department of Defensefor fiscal year 2011 has kept the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) quite busy.  Catch TPA President David Williams talking about the earmarks and federal budget issues on WHO in Des Moines, Iowa; The Lars Larson Show; WWL in New Orleans, La.; WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio; WBAL in Baltimore, Maryland; and WSPD in Toledo, Ohio.

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  • TPA Uncovers $311 Million in Defense Earmarks

    David Williams on April 26, 2011

    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) today uncovered 16 earmarks worth $311 million in the Navy Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program. This is the second major TPA finding in a series of reports on government waste, fraud and abuse. The first report unearthed $3 billion in earmarks for NASA.

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  • NASA Still Receives Earmarks

    David Williams on April 22, 2011

    On April 14, 2011, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance reported on $3 billion in earmarks found on pages 214-215 of H.R. 1473 (the continuing resolution) which stated that “Of the amounts appropriated by this division for ‘National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Exploration’, not less than $1,200,000,000 shall be for the multipurpose crew vehicle to continue existing vehicle development activities to meet the requirements described in paragraph (a)(1) of section 303 of Public Law 111-267, and not less than $1,800,000,000 shall be for the heavy lift launch vehicle system which shall have a lift capability not less than 130 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously.”  This provision sure looked like an earmark and now the controversy grows.

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  • Victory!

    David Williams on April 20, 2011

    Taxpayer victories are few and far between, so when news came out that a Defense-funded art project was being scrapped, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) was thrilled because of the savings and the fact that it is one of the first examples of government waste exposed by the group.  On April 1, 2011, TPA exposed an impending Department of Defense expenditure at the new $900 million Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia which included a frog sculpture that lights up, gurgles “sounds of nature’ and carries a 10-foot fairy girl on its back.  Now, it looks like the frog has lost its legs and funding.

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  • The Most Taxing Day of the Year

    David Williams on April 18, 2011

    Even though it is April 18, not April 15, today is tax day and it is the most taxing day of the year.  Why do people dread this day every year?  Let’s take a look at some factoids from the the National Taxpayers Union, Tax FoundationNational Taxpayer Advocate and the Joint Committee on Taxation. » Read More
  • $3B NASA Earmark in the CR Provides More Bad News for Taxpayers

    on April 14, 2011

    Last week’s shutdown showdown provided some high drama for the country and the aftermath is providing high drama for budget geeks.  What was once thought of as a $38 billion cut is now estimated to be actually $352 million this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  Now it looks like at least two NASA earmarks have made their way into the continuing resolution.

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  • Spending Cuts Where Art Thou?

    David Williams on April 13, 2011

    Ok, so President Obama has finally laid out his plan for balancing the budget and getting the federal government back on track fiscally.  I am not going to use this blog to talk about how he should have done this in 2009 when he took office by not signing the Stimulus Bill or how he should have done this when he released his fiscal year (FY) 2012 back in February.  Let’s instead look at some of the details. » Read More
  • Catfight Over Catfish

    David Williams on April 12, 2011

    There is a battle brewing over catfish.  This is not a debate over fried or poached, this is a debate on government regulation of catfish.  Even though seafood is inspected by the Food and Drug Administration, there is a move to have foreign catfish put under the purview of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) inspection regime.  While this may sound benign, it is a move that could drive up prices, add layers of bureaucracy to an industry that doesn’t need it and burden taxpayers with yet another expensive bureaucracy.  After all is said and done, the move will not increase the safety of catfish and the addition of another inspection program would force the hiring of 90 inspectors and eventually spawn a new government inspection bureaucracy that will end up costing hundreds of millions.

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  • Dancing on the (Debt) Ceiling

    David Williams on April 11, 2011

    With trillion dollar deficits and a scarcity of spending cuts, it is expected that there will be a need for an increase in the statutory cap on the national debt (read: a raising of the debt ceiling) in May.  The debt ceiling is the maximum amount of debt a country can take on.  Currently, according to the Treasury Department, the debt has surpassed $14.2 trillion.

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  • Democrats Could Have Avoided a Government Shut Down Last Year

    David Williams on April 7, 2011

    There has been quite a bit of talk about the government shut down and who to blame.  While it is tempting, and probably accurate, to blame all the “bums” in Congress, there have been serious lapses in leadership from the Democrats.  The Democrats failed to pass a budget when they controlled the House, Senate, and White House.

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  • Ryan Budget Offers Serious Solutions

    David Williams on April 5, 2011

    Today, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) released his much anticipated fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget.  Ryan’s budget should be a wake-up call to members of Congress and all Americans.  It contains $6 trillion in spending cuts over the next ten years and it takes on the tough task of entitlement spending. » Read More
  • Taxpayers on the Hook for Unnecessary Art Spending

    David Williams on April 1, 2011

    The Defense Department may be shelling out $600,000 for a sculpture of a gurgling frog. According to U.S. News and World Report, “A $600,000 frog sculpture that lights up, gurgles ‘sounds of nature’ and carries a 10-foot fairy girl on its back could soon be greeting Defense Department employees who plan to start working at the $700 million Mark Center in Alexandria, Va. this fall.”  While a final decision has not been made yet, the frog sculpture is one of the finalists for the center.

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