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  • Debt Ceiling Negotiations Illustrate the Need for Cut, Cap, and Balance

    David Williams on July 11, 2011

    After a 75 minute meeting on Sunday July 10, Republican leaders and President Obama have yet to come up with a plan to raise the debt ceiling, or more importantly, cut spending.  The meeting comes just 48 hours after new unemployment numbers were released that showed an increase in unemployment from May to June. President Obama insists that tax increases must be in the table while fiscal conservatives are staking their ground by insisting on spending cuts without tax increases.  Now is not the time to burden the taxpayers with more taxes.  That is why it is imperative to tell your member of Congress to stop the over spending and sign the cut, cap, and balance pledge.  Call the main switchboard of the Capitol at 202-224-3121.

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  • Debt Ceiling Negotiations: Time for Real Spending Cuts and Not Tax Increases

    David Williams on July 8, 2011

    New unemployment numbers were released today (July 8) and the bad news is that the unemployment rate jumped to 9.2 percent.  This number was released smack dab in the middle of the negotiations on raising the debt ceiling and just 48 hours before a rare Sunday meeting between members of Congress and the President as they try to hammer out a deal on raising the debt ceiling. Fiscal conservatives are staking their ground by insisting on spending cuts without tax increases while others keep the door open to tax increases.  Rumors have been leaked about Republicans accepting a deal that would include an increase in revenues.  Now is not the time to burden the taxpayers with more taxes.  That is why it is imperative to tell your member of Congress to stop the over spending and demand real spending cuts and no tax increases.  Call the main switchboard of the Capitol at 202-224-3121.

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  • The Debt Clock is Ticking: Tell Congress to Make Real Spending Cuts NOW!

    David Williams on July 4, 2011

    July 4th is a time to reflect and be thankful and proud of everything that America has to offer.  This year July 4 has also come to symbolize a monumental struggle to get serious about spending cuts as Congress and the President debate raising the debt ceiling.  Fiscal conservatives are staking their ground by insisting on spending cuts without tax increases while others keep the door open to tax increases.  With a $14.3 trillion debt, a projected deficit of $1.5 trillion, and unemployment at 9 percent, Americans are well are of the impending financial crisis.  Tell Congress to stop the over spending and demand no tax increases and real spending cuts NOW!  Call the main switchboard of the Capitol at 202-224-3121.


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  • Minnesota State Government Shutdown - A Citizen's Perspective

    Todd Kruse on July 1, 2011

    (Todd Kruse is a citizen and taxpayer from Minnesota) The State of Minnesota is officially “closed” today because our legislature and governor could not reach a budget agreement before the June 30th, Midnight deadline.  This is not a time to despair fellow citizens – no this is the ideal time to expect true leadership from our public officials.   Behind the headlines depicting the impasse between legislative leaders and the governor there is an ongoing legal process whereby our courts are determining what are deemed “core government functions.”  The Minnesota Zoo is a perfect example of an opportunity to fundamentally re-structure government.  Is the provision of a zoo a core function of government? As a classical liberal who celebrates limited government I would say “no” and would expect PETA to join me in this sentiment.

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  • Time to Cancel the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS)

    David Williams on June 30, 2011

    Today (June 30), President Obama officially thanked Defense Secretary Robert Gates and awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his hard work as sec. Gates leaves the Pentagon.  When Leon Panetta takes over as Secretary of Defense on July 1, he will have many budgetary issues to deal with, including the future of the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS).  Originally conceived as the replacement to the Patriot missile system, MEADS is being jointly built by the United States, Italy, and Germany, but Americans are shouldering more than 50 percent of the cost. Even though the Army has opposed the project, Congress allocated an additional $800 million in February and, last week, voted to further continue funding the project.  Unfortunately, misinformation and political wrangling may delay the cancellation of the program.

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  • The Debt Clock is Ticking: Tell Congress to Make Real Spending Cuts NOW!

    David Williams on June 29, 2011

    The country is struggling to recover from one of the worst economic downturns in American history and unemployment is still more than 9 percent.  Politicians in Washington seem oblivious to reality while they struggle to institute real spending cuts as the impending debt ceiling limit is reached and the country is faced with a potential massive financial crisis.  With a $14.3 trillion debt and a projected deficit of $1.6 trillion, Americans are well are of the impending financial crisis.  Tell your member of Congress to stop the over spending and demand real spending cuts NOW!  Call the main switchboard of the Capitol at 202-224-3121.

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  • Los Angeles Tourism Organization Needs to be Eliminated

    David Williams on June 28, 2011

    California has become known for two things:  setting trends (such as ham and pineapple pizza) and bad government. The latest example of bad government comes from our friends at Reason.com who reported that “Although excessive public-employee salaries are getting close attention in California, many ostensibly private officials – including a tourism bureau boss who makes almost $500,000 a year – are paid mostly or entirely from public money. In some cases, these compensation packages are higher than the pay of public employees who have been the focus of public outrage.” This “tourism bureau,” LA Inc., which is a non-profit organization that “functions as Los Angeles’ convention and visitors bureau,” has no seemingly justifiable existence and is funded by taxes.

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  • TPA Uncovers $2.1 Billion in Defense Earmarks: Taxpayer watchdog group first to report violation of earmark ban

    David Williams on June 23, 2011

    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) today uncovered 61 earmarks worth $2.1 billion in the 2012 House Defense Appropriations Bill, despite a ban on earmarks passed last year. TPA is the first to report these appropriated funds.  "I'm baffled as to why some of the funds are being included in a defense bill," said Williams. "It seems as though the defense budget has become the island of misfit earmarks. The American people need their leaders to take responsibility for their actions, cut wasteful spending, and fulfill their promise to end earmarks once and for all."


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  • Cut, Cap, and Balance – It’s What the Cool Members of Congress are Doing

    David Williams on June 21, 2011

    The nation is plagued with a $14.3 trillion debt and a deficit that exceeds $1 trillion.  This is happening as the country struggles to emerge from one of its worst economic downturns in history.  Just as any household that is faced with economic woes, Congress should cut (spending), cap (spending) and pass a balanced budget amendment.

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  • Ethanol Subsidy Running on Empty

    David Williams on June 17, 2011

    One program that has epitomized the destructive and nonsensical nature of subsidies is ethanol, and on Thursday June 16, 2011, the United States Senate voted to kill the 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit for blending ethanol in gasoline that expires at the end of 2011.  Not only was it a shock for taxpayers to have a win in the Senate, there was actually bi-partisan support for the repeal.  According to Politico, “’I think the days of large subsidies like this are really over, and this is kind of the first vote on it,’ said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who sponsored the subsidies amendment with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). ‘I think you’re going to see all kinds of subsidies go, because we’ve got so many problems.’”  How many times do you see Sens. Feinstein and Coburn working together?

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  • How Tax Policies Determine Winners and Losers in the NBA

    Drew Johnson on June 15, 2011

    On Sunday night, the Dallas Mavericks celebrated their first NBA championship. In winning the championship, the Mavs displayed clutch shooting, shrewd coaching, unwavering confidence in each other, and thrilling performances from their best player, Dirk Nowitzki.

    But the Mavs, and several of the other top teams in pro basketball, have another advantage that most fans never consider.

    After all, the advantage isn’t created in the weight room or on the practice courts. It’s gained in buildings that most players will never visit, in cities that are often hundreds of miles from where the teams play.

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  • The First Temptation of a New Congress

    David Williams on June 13, 2011

    Politicians love to brag about how they are trying to cut government spending in order to eliminate the debt and save the nation’s economy. In fact, as Politico pointed out on June 8, 2011, many freshmen GOP members ran campaigns and won their elections on that very premise. However, as the article also pointed out, it appears that some of them changed gears rather quickly and became sucked into the Washington, D.C. way of doing business. "They rode into Washington on an anti-spending wave, but some House Republican freshmen are already enjoying one of the perks of incumbency, spending their office budgets on everything from $1,000-a-month car leases to pricey online advertising contracts.At least 15 GOP freshmen have shelled out tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on mass communication — or franking — designed to boost their exposure back home, even as they call for budget cuts and pared-back government spending, according to quarterly disbursement reports released by the House."

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  • The Stimulus Failed, Now Try Spending Cuts

    David Williams on June 9, 2011

    Since the economic downturn, the focus of all politicians has been the loss of jobs in the economy and the need to bring down the unemployment rate.  Supporters of the 2009 Stimulus Bill claimed that the legislation would reduce unemployment and get the country back on the right fiscal track.  Unemployment spiked after the legislation was passed and after about 2 months of decreasing unemployment, the May 2011 unemployment numbers, which were released on June 3, 2011, showed some bad news with unemployment creeping back up to 9.1 percent. Seeing the continued failure of the stimulus bill House Freshmen want spending cuts to get the economy back on track.  According to a June 6, 2011 article in The Hill “Democrats argue the stimulus passed in 2009 was too small and that unemployment would have risen to 11 percent without it.  But the new GOP House members said Democrats who are demanding another round of stimulus are delusional and that only fiscal restraint and curtailing burdensome regulations will fix the country’s economic mess.“

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  • Sen. DeMint Goes After Gainful Employment Regulations

    David Williams on June 8, 2011

    On June 7, 2011, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) held a hearing on the newly announced “gainful employment” regulations at the Department of Education.   Mired in controversy, and the topic of numerous blog posts by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), the hearing was supposed to be an objective look at the new regulation which could severely hurt career colleges and universities.  But, according to the Chronicle for Higher Education, “…Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who held the hearing, said the rule would not do enough to protect students and taxpayers from underperforming programs, and he promised stronger legislation focused on the sector.”  Just moments after the hearing, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) offered his own amendment on the subject. According to CQ.com, “Later in the day, Jim DeMint , R-S.C., added an amendment to a bill to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration (S 782) that would nullify the newly published Obama administration regulations, which focus on ‘gainful employment’ prospects for graduates of programs that receive federal financial aid.”

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  • FCC Scrutinized For Coordinating New Internet Regulations With Outside Group

    David E. Williams on June 3, 2011

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been very active lately.  And, taxpayers know that when a federal agency/commission is busy that is not good news for taxpayers or the private sector.  The FCC’s biggest obsession over the last few years has been with regulating the Internet through a concept known as “net neutrality,” which is loosely defined as a system that allows information on the Internet to move freely without regard to content.  In reality, net neutrality is a not so subtle attempt to regulate the Internet.  Battles have been waged by groups on the left and right side of the political spectrum regarding net neutrality.  In short, the folks on the left want the Internet regulated and embrace the expanding bureaucracy that will surely follow.  The folks on the right believe that the free market will bring innovation and that a light regulatory touch is all that is needed. Now there is quite compelling evidence that the FCC coordinated with pro net neutrality groups on the left in advancing the regulation.

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  • New Unnecessary Department of Education Regulation Mired in Controversy

    on June 2, 2011

    The Department of Education (DoEd) just released regulations known as “gainful employment” rules which, according to the Chronicle for Higher Education, states that, “Under the rule, vocational programs whose students have the highest debt burdens and lowest loan-repayment rates will become ineligible to receive federal student aid.”  This regulation comes after a stormy and acrimonious rulemaking process that drew 90,000 public comments. The lofty rationale behind the rule is that it will make great strides in solving America’s student debt crisis. Of course, it will do no such thing. It represents the worst kind of misguided, biased and hypocritical rulemaking -- all pretense; no solution. Gainful employment will do little to ameliorate the student debt crisis, but is a cynical attempt to kill career colleges, a life blood of education for millions of Americans who choose not to go to traditional colleges or universities. This rule must be overturned.

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  • An Earmark By Any Other Name Would Smell As Porky

    on May 31, 2011

    Leading up to the election last year there was quite a bit of talk about eliminating earmarks from the federal budget so Democrats and Republicans agreed to a two year earmark moratorium.  Taxpayers weren’t sure if it was a just a ploy to get re-elected or if Congress had truly seen the light and decided that it was time to end the practice of earmarking.  In April, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance uncovered earmarks in the fiscal year 2011 NASA and Department of Defense spending bills indicating that Congress had not been broken of the bad habit of earmarking.

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  • National Science Foundation Wastes Billions of Dollars

    David Williams on May 26, 2011

    At this point one would think that the federal government has found every conceivable way to waste money.  But, a new report by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.),“The National Science Foundation: Under the Microscope”, which details how the national Science Foundation (NSF) squanders billions of dollars on silly research projects and mismanagement, shows the federal government’s never ending creativity in wasting tax dollars.The good news is that with major news networks like Fox picking up on the story,the NSF may be forced to address the problems.

    The NSF was established in 1950 to “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…”  They carry out their mission by giving grants to “support scientists, engineers and educators directly through their own home institutions (typically universities and colleges.  Researchers and academics have held the NSF in high esteem for its peer review process and ground breaking research into areas such as cloud computing and nanotechnology.  That reputation may begin to change. » Read More
  • MEADS Needs To Be Defunded Immediately

    David Williams on May 24, 2011

    As Leon Panetta is confirmed as Secretary of Defense there are many questions that he will have to face. One of the most daunting tasks in front of Sec. Panetta will be the ability to balance a strong defense with necessary budget cuts. A program that could serve as a real life case study is the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). MEADS, originally conceived as the replacement to the Patriot missile system, is being jointly built by the United States, Italy, and Germany with the Americans shouldering more than 50 percent of the cost. Even though the Army doesn’t want the project, there was an additional $800 million allocated in February 2011 for the project through 2013.

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  • Transportation Funding Will Be A Big Challenge For Former Earmarkers

    David Williams on May 23, 2011

    After seven extensions to the last transportation authorization bill, the 2005 Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU), Congress is poised to pass a transportation authorization bill in 2011.   The recent talk about spending cuts and shunning earmarks will make this authorization bill even more interesting than previous ones.  A transportation authorization bill is important to enable the federal government to fund the transportation needs of the country.  Unfortunately, over the last 20 years, transportation authorization bills have been politicized and earmarked without regard to transportation needs.  A recent editorial by the new Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), is either good news for taxpayers or just more rhetoric.

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