Taxpayers Protection Alliance
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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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  • Government Shutdown Looms

    David Williams on March 29, 2011

    Federal agencies are preparing for a potential government shut down if democrats and republicans don't come to an agreement about funding the federal government for the rest of (or part of) the 2011 fiscal year.  A government shut down means different things to different people.  Those who have become dependent on the federal government's largess are concerned their gravy train may come to a temporary halt.  On the other side, weary taxpayers are looking forward to a vacation from government spending.

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  • California Scheming

    David Williams on March 28, 2011

    Last year, Bell, California made national headlines when investigative reports uncovered that the city administrator was being paid $787,000 annually and the Police Chief was on the dole for $457,000, which included 20 weeks paid vacation.  City Council members were also raking in $100,000 while the median income of Bell (population 38,000) was $28,000.  Now, Costa Mesa, California hires $3,000/week communications specialist after sending layoff notices. » Read More
  • Cutting Spending is Critical to a Healthy and Growing Economy

    David Williams on March 23, 2011

    On March 18, 2011 The House of Representatives and the Senate passed another continuing resolution (CR) to make sure that the government could stay open for business. The good news is that this CR, which will last 3 weeks, contains $6 billion in spending cuts. The bad news is that $6 billion is just a drop in the bucket in a $3.7 trillion budget. » Read More
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