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Category: Spending



  • TPA Responds to the 2014 State of the Union Address

    David Williams on January 29, 2014

    In his fifth State of the Union address, President Obama reiterated familiar themes that have resulted in a slow economic recovery over the past 5 years.  In a new and reckless move, President Obama promised to use his Executive power to enact initiatives that Congress wouldn’t pass such as a move to increase the minimum wage for federal contractors. This establishes a bad precedent that circumvents the system of checks and balances. The biggest missed opportunity was that there was no mention of how to rein in government spending.  In fact, the President seemed to suggest more spending on projects that could be classified as corporate welfare when noted that, “Federally-funded research helped lead to the ideas and inventions behind Google and smartphones.  That’s why Congress should undo the damage done by last year’s cuts to basic research so we can unleash the next great American discovery – whether it’s vaccines that stay ahead of drug-resistant bacteria, or paper-thin material that’s stronger than steel.“ One of the most bizarre parts of the President’s speech was his attack on last year’s sequestration (automatic spending cuts).  The President signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 which created sequestration.  If the President didn’t like sequestration, he shouldn’t have signed it into law.  Now, he has been left with no real plan to cut spending. President Obama mentioned Obamacare and the millions that have enrolled since the launch.  Obama did not mention the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on a broken website or the millions of Americans that lost their healthcare insurance due to Obamacare.  Millions of Americans found out the hard way last year that President Obama’s promise that “if you like your healthcare coverage, you can keep it,” was just a good talking point and not the truth.

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  • Governor O'Malley's Final Budget Increases Spending and Leaves Fiscal Mess to Successor

    Michi Iljazi on January 22, 2014

    o'malley
    Governor Martin O'Malley (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

    Taxpayers in Maryland have endured the tax and spend policies of Governor Martin O’Malley for seven years and as he prepares to leave office as leader of a state with, as a recent Tax Foundation study put it, one of the “least friendly business climates” in the nation, he has given Maryland residents his final annual budget and there’s really no surprise that it does exactly what a big spender like O’Malley would do: spend more taxpayer money. Last week, in the first major act of his final year in office, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley dropped his final annual budget (complete with a fancy power point presentation) and it was nothing less than more of the same from a chief executive who has presided over tax and fee increases, government spending increases, a disastrous state-based health care exchange, and increased deficits that show no sign of going anywhere soon. This is a blueprint that should concern taxpayers in Maryland who see the need for reforming the state so that small businesses want to invest for the future there and  an environment where private sector jobs are on the rise and government spending in on the decline. This budget does the opposite and doubles down on the failed policies of Governor O’Malley that have kept Maryland low on the economic totem pole throughout his tenure. Instead of finding ways to reduce the tax burden on businesses and individuals in the state that have come as a direct result of O’Malley’s actions, he does nothing to help small business and taxpayers while increasing government payrolls and government paychecks.

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  • BREAKING NEWS: Watchdog Group Uncovers $7 Billion in Earmarks in Defense Appropriations

    David Williams & Michi Iljazi on January 16, 2014

    pentagon

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) uncovered 186 earmarks worth $7 billion (click here to see the full list) in the Defense Appropriations Bill that was part of H.R. 3547, the 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act, aka the Omnibus appropriations bill. Among the 186 earmarks is $90 million for the Abrams tank, a classic case of Congress spending money the Pentagon doesn’t want or need. According to a Daily Tribune article, “The Pentagon had proposed halting tank production for five years in 2013 as a cost-saving measure.” This omnibus bill was set in motion when Congress passed the Ryan-Murray budget which increased spending and gutted the sequester. In 2010, Congress pledged to give up earmarks, but this latest spending bill shows that earmarks have come back with a vengeance The picture has become clearer with each ‘bipartisan’ agreement we get from Congress: the sequester is on its way out; increased spending and appropriations is on the way back in. What is even more disappointing is to hear the rationales from elected officials who try to make excuses as to why increased spending is either ‘not really an increase’ or why ‘we’re cutting future growth’ so as to mask the present day spending.Members of both parties and chambers are responsible for these earmarks and should be ashamed of themselves. TPA will keep looking through the whole Omnibus for more earmarks and continue to urge the Senate to vote against this pork-filled spending bill and return to regular order. » Read More
  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance Urges Rejection of $1 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill

    Michi Iljazi on January 15, 2014

    ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) urged Congress to reject the $1.1 trillion Omnibus spending bill for fiscal year (2014). On Monday January 13 (unlucky for taxpayers),Congress released a 1,500-page spending bill crafted by House and Senate appropriators. There’s not much to praise when looking at both the substance of the bill and the manner in which it was delivered. In what has been a disappointing string of bipartisan agreement, taxpayers will once again be left on the hook for spending that likely includes programs that are neither needed nor wanted. Another problem with the appropriations bill is that the sequester was “altered” in way that reverses cuts on both domestic and Defense spending. The Omnibus also funds and increase for Head Start and Obamacare. Defense appropriations contains a $5 billion increase for the Overseas Contingent Operations (OCO) account, which is immunized from sequestration.  The Ryan-Murray budget deal was just the beginning of the end for the sequester.  We have now seen another “tweak” less than a month later that reverses automatic cuts agreed to by Congress and the White House just a few years ago.

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  • Failure to Launch! Mississippi Senators Force NASA to Waste Taxpayer Dollars on Rocket Engine Testing Facility

    Michi Iljazi on January 14, 2014

    nasa

    Congress is in the middle of budget debates including the release of a 1,500 page Omnibus spending bill and a debt limit that is set to be reached in February. But, it seems like some members of Congress are clueless to the dire financial straits of the country. For example, last week, Bloomberg News reported that NASA will forge ahead with plans to complete a project early this year that will build a structure to test rocket engines at Stennis Space Center in the state of Mississippi. However, there are two issues: first, the finished program will cost taxpayers $352 million; second, NASA doesn’t need it! There is no reason why $352 million should be used to fund the construction of a facility in Mississippi that the agency responsible for the project has said won’t even be able to be used. Unfortunately, in Washington, D.C. politics trumps common sense. Due to the efforts of both of the state’s Senators, Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Thad Cochran (R-MS), the testing facility was put on a continued track for completion despite the fact that there are no rocket engines that currently exist which warrant such a facility be built for testing purposes.

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  • GROUNDED: Funding for MEADS Denied in Defense Authorization Bill

    Michi Iljazi on January 6, 2014

    MEADS
    MEADS Battle Manager

    The final weeks of 2013 gave way to a flurry of activity from Congress as they threw together compromise legislation that found its way to the floor before many folks had time to look over the details of the bills.  This was done all for the sake of getting things done before the holidays. One such piece of compromise legislation was the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which is used to set the budget of the Department of Defense. Though the House had originally passed a comprehensive defense appropriations bill last summer, the Senate bill was delayed and eventually scrapped altogether in favor of a compromise bill with limited process for debate all in the hopes that it would pass before elected officials adjourned for the remainder of the year. Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has been outspoken in advocating for a reduced budget at the Pentagon that would allow for responsible cuts that would eliminate waste while preserving the national security interests of the United States. A specific program that TPA has long-identified as outdated and wasteful is the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), otherwise known as the ‘Missile to Nowhere’. The program, which began in 2005, saw it’s funding prohibited in 2011, 2012, and in 2013 by way of the NDAA; and while President Obama kept the program out of the Pentagon’s budget, that didn’t stop Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel from shelling out $380 million in continuing resolution (CR) funds in 2013 to continue funding design and development of MEADS. Now, just in time to start the new year, there looks to be a major victory for taxpayers as funding for the aptly named “Missile to Nowhere” was left out of the defense appropriations bill signed by President Obama just after Christmas.

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  • TPA's New Year's Resolutions for 2014

    David Williams & Michi Iljazi on December 31, 2013

    nye

    Every New Year millions of Americans resolve to change their ways and improve their lives by making New Year’s resolutions such as losing weight or changing their behavior to live a healthier lifestyle.  In the spirit of those resolutions, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) urges Congress and the whole federal government to resolve to go on a fiscal diet and change their wasteful spending and regulatory habits.  And, we will be following up on each and every one of these issues (and more) in 2014. The list TPA put together includes a wide range of issues that lawmakers have been involved with and the need for action on many of these is more than obivious. The issues include: Telecommunications/Technology, Defense, Taxes, Energy, and Wasteful Spending.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full list of TPA's New Years Resolutions for 2014!

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  • Senator Coburn's 'Wastebook 2013' Reminder of DC's Worst Spending Habits

    Michi Iljazi on December 30, 2013

    nato
    Residence of US Ambassador to NATO in Brussels (Courtesy 'Wastebook 2013')

    There has been a long tradition of wasteful spending in the nation’s capital for decades and the problem has only gotten worse as each year passes. A recent tradition has done wonders to expose just exactly how bad the spending habits out of Washington have become and how much taxpayers are shelling out for things that they clearly shouldn’t be paying for. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) left an early Christmas present for all the big spenders on Capitol Hill this week when he released his ‘Wastebook 2013’ report highlighting a plethora of examples of how taxpayer dollars have been wasted over the last year. The more than $30 billion dollars the report cites is just the first of many reasons taxpayers should be hoping that politicians get a handful of coal as they return home for the remainder of the year.  This report is even more troublesome considering that agencies spent money on these projects despite the fact that agencies instituted furloughs because of sequestration. The rushed worked of Congress over the last few weeks has given way to a slew of less than desirable pieces of legislation. First, the Murray/Ryan Budget Deal altered the sequester caps and set a dangerous precedent for spending cuts moving forward. Next, the compromise National Defense Authorization Act that passed the Senate last night after passing the House last week. Finally, an agreement to push final  Farm Bill passage to January 2014; with details scarce.  There is very little hope that  the Farm Bill will contain much real reform. The ‘Wastebook 2013,’ released by Sen. Coburn’s office this week, is nearly 200 pages of ridiculous and unnecessary spending that everyone should read.

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  • TPA's New Years Resolutions for 2014

    David Williams & Michi Iljazi on December 27, 2013

    new years

    Every New Year millions of Americans resolve to change their ways and improve their lives by making New Year’s resolutions such as losing weight or changing their behavior to live a healthier lifestyle.  In the spirit of those resolutions, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) urges Congress and the whole federal government to resolve to go on a fiscal diet and change their wasteful spending and regulatory habits.  And, we will be following up on each and every one of these issues (and more) in 2014. The list TPA put together includes a wide range of issues that lawmakers have been involved with and the need for action on many of these is more than obivious. The issues include: Telecommunications/Technology, Defense, Taxes, Energy, and Wasteful Spending.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full list of TPA's New Years Resolutions for 2014!

     

    » Read More
  • Senator Coburn's 'Wastebook 2013' Reminder of DC's Worst Spending Habits

    Michi Iljazi on December 26, 2013

    romance
    National Endowment for the Humanities' "Popular Romance" project (courtesy 'Wastebook 2013')

    There has been a long tradition of wasteful spending in the nation’s capital for decades and the problem has only gotten worse as each year passes. A recent tradition has done wonders to expose just exactly how bad the spending habits out of Washington have become and how much taxpayers are shelling out for things that they clearly shouldn’t be paying for. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) left an early Christmas present for all the big spenders on Capitol Hill this week when he released his ‘Wastebook 2013’ report highlighting a plethora of examples of how taxpayer dollars have been wasted over the last year. The more than $30 billion dollars the report cites is just the first of many reasons taxpayers should be hoping that politicians get a handful of coal as they return home for the remainder of the year. This report is even more troublesome considering that agencies spent money on these projects despite the fact that agencies instituted furloughs because of sequestration. The rushed worked of Congress over the last few weeks has given way to a slew of less than desirable pieces of legislation. First, the Murray/Ryan Budget Deal altered the sequester caps and set a dangerous precedent for spending cuts moving forward. Next, the compromise National Defense Authorization Act that passed the Senate last night after passing the House last week. Finally, an agreement to push final  Farm Bill passage to January 2014; with details scarce.  There is very little hope that  the Farm Bill will contain much real reform. The ‘Wastebook 2013,’ released by Sen. Coburn’s office this week, is nearly 200 pages of ridiculous and unnecessary spending that everyone should read. » Read More
  • National Defense Authorization Act: Bad Process Yields Bad Legislation

    Michi Iljazi on December 24, 2013

    dod

    Late on Thursday December 19, 2013 the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed the Senate and was sent to President Obama for his signature just moments before he left for Hawaii on his annual Christmas vacation. The bill made its way through the House of Representatives twice, once last summer and another time a few weeks ago, before getting stalled in the Senate due to the question of how exactly the Senate would go about moving the massive defense spending legislation through the chamber. The process was rushed and limited; and in turn produced a massive ill that left much to be desired in the way of meaningful reforms to some of our most costly defense programs.  Passing a Defense authorization bill is critical to defending the nation but also defending tax dollars. As the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) pointed out in December of 2011, once appropriators get a hold of the bill there is no telling what will happen (read previous blog posting here).  In December 2012 Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) revealed just how much our defense department is doing that has absolutely nothing to do with protecting our country in his report titled, “Department of Everything.” Oh by the way, the total that Sen. Coburn tallied was $68 billion. During last summer, the National Defense Authorization Act moved through the House of Representatives, and TPA was quick to analyze every one of the amendments that was up for consideration to be added to the bill.  Even though TPA preferred many more amendments, the fact that the House of Representatives was able to allow a process that put 100 amendments on the table was reason to applaud and be optimistic of real reform at the Department of Defense. The amendment process is one of the few ways that real and meaningful reform can be achieved and when dealing with legislation the size and scale of the National Defense Authorization Act, it is extremely important that every opportunity be given to make improvements to the bill and allow for a process that gives lawmakers a full and free range of input on exactly what will (and will not) be a part of final language. There were many amendments that TPA had expressed opposition to and many we urged members to support, including an amendment sponsored by Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Jared Polis (D-Col.), and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) that “Ends authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act” which received the most attention of any amendment. TPA was proud to be a part of numerous bi-partisan coalitions commenting on both the process and the content of the bill.

     

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  • Senator Coburn's 'Wastebook 2013' Reminder of DC's Worst Spending Habits

    Michi Iljazi on December 20, 2013

    green ninja
    NASA's "Little Green Man" (courtesy 'Wastebook 2013')

    There has been a long tradition of wasteful spending in the nation’s capital for decades and the problem has only gotten worse as each year passes. A recent tradition has done wonders to expose just exactly how bad the spending habits out of Washington have become and how much taxpayers are shelling out for things that they clearly shouldn’t be paying for. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) left an early Christmas present for all the big spenders on Capitol Hill this week when he released his ‘Wastebook 2013’ report highlighting a plethora of examples of how taxpayer dollars have been wasted over the last year. The more than $30 billion dollars the report cites is just the first of many reasons taxpayers should be hoping that politicians get a handful of coal as they return home for the remainder of the year. This report is even more troublesome considering that agencies spent money on these projects despite the fact that agencies instituted furloughs because of sequestration. The rushed worked of Congress over the last few weeks has given way to a slew of less than desirable pieces of legislation. First, the Murray/Ryan Budget Deal altered the sequester caps and set a dangerous precedent for spending cuts moving forward. Next, the compromise National Defense Authorization Act that passed the Senate last night after passing the House last week. Finally, an agreement to push final  Farm Bill passage to January 2014; with details scarce.  There is very little hope that  the Farm Bill will contain much real reform. The ‘Wastebook 2013,’ released by Sen. Coburn’s office this week, is nearly 200 pages of ridiculous and unnecessary spending that everyone should read.

    » Read More
  • Washington D.C. is Dysfunction Junction as Congress is Set to Play Grinch for Taxpayers

    Michi Iljazi on December 11, 2013

    capitol

    There seems to be a great deal of lack of leadership,  confusion, mismanagement, and fingerprinting in the nation’s capitol when it comes to strategy for the future… and we’re not talking about the Washington Redskins; it’s Congress.  Both chambers of Congress were back in session this week, but for only a limited time and from all indicators it seems that they are ready to make your holidays more expensive than you expected. The House of Representatives is expected to finish their legislative business for the year on Friday and the Senate is expected to adjourn for the year sometime next week, which gives the two chambers only a short time period to conclude any work they want to accomplish for the 2013 calendar year. Details have been emerging over the past several days about what exactly the House and Senate are expected to push through before their respective holiday recesses and from all that has been revealed so far, it doesn’t look good for the taxpayers. Here’s a breakdown of the business at hand. First, a budget agreement was announced late on December 10 that may be voted on in the House late this week and the Senate early next week. Negotiations between Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) produced a final deal based on a framework that, from what has been made public so far, is a step in the wrong direction and a early lump of coal for taxpayers. There are no meaningful reforms on entitlements or the tax structure (individual or corporate), and there may very well be increases on taxes/fees, but what the biggest problem is with this deal is that it could very well be the first step in undoing the sequester. Regardless of the menial reforms that budget conferees are seeking in the short terms to levy the coming 2014 sequestration cuts, altering the spending caps should be a non-starter for any agreement that comes to the table. When elected officials are ready to tackle the real problem of long-term spending, then and only then should they have the means to get rid of sequestration, which they agreed to in the first place as a result of their failure to identify detailed long-term budget cuts as the nation continues to grapple with a $17 trillion dollar debt. You can read TPA’s statement on the budget deal here, as well as a coalition letter urging preservation of the BCA 2011 spending caps.

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  • TPA Responds to Announced Budget Deal, Signs Coalition Letter Urging Preservation of BCA 2011 Spending Caps

    Michi Iljazi on December 11, 2013

    TPA President David Williams responds to the Murray-Ryan Budget accord announced on Tuesday evening:

    “Washington has yet again failed the American taxpayer by choosing phony spending cuts over fiscal responsibility. The agreement reached tonight between Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) does nothing to address the long-term spending problems that this nation faces. Unfortunately what it does do is create more problems by setting the precedent to increase spending levels previously agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2011. While millions of Americans look for ways to change their spending habits by tightening their belts, Washington remains clueless and increases spending.  It is inexcusable to think that just a few short years after agreeing to long-term spending restraint, deals are being made behind closed doors to break those very agreements. Sequestration wasn’t the ideal solution for anyone but it was the failure of Congress and the President to agree to specific spending cuts that led us to where we are now, and there is no reason to believe that we won’t see repeated attempts to do away with more required cuts down the road.”

    This budget announcement by comes shortly after TPA signed onto a letter spearheaded by the Conservative Action Project urging lawmakers to oppose any budget deal that “raises spending levels or increases revenue”

    Click 'read more' below to read the letter

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  • Taxpayers Exposed as New Report Details Fraud in Social Security Disability Insurance Program

    Michi Iljazi on December 9, 2013

    The growth in spending by the federal government has been one of the worst things that taxpayers have had to deal with over the last several years and one aspect of federal spending that has seen major increases is entitlements. The more money that is being spent on entitlement programs, the more opportunity there has been for taxpayers to be exposed to waste, fraud and abuse. A new report by Our Generation highlighted some of the most egregious examples of how the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) has been defrauded at the expense of your tax dollars. SSDI is a federal insurance program funded by payroll taxes and overseen through the Social Security Administration. The program is aimed at providing supplemental income to individuals who are physically restricted in their ability to work due to disability, commonly physical disability. The program has seen a great deal of growth over the last two decades, and over the last five years the Disability Trust Fund has been running a deficit. The growth in the payments being distributed accompanied by the lack of job creation in this administration has been a dangerous combination for the taxpayer-funded entitlement.

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  • TPA Joins Coalition Effort Urging Support for the Eliminate Preventable Waste Act

    Michi Iljazi on December 6, 2013

    The federal government has a spending problem and federal agencies have shown a particular penchant for spending money in ways that defy explanation. Just this week, we learned that the State Department ran up a $400,000 bar tab. Also, let’s not forget the wasteful spending by the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Homeland Security, and the Transportation Security Administration among others. Payment errors are also a major problem for federal agencies (and taxpayers) and the problem is getting worse.  The Government Accountability Office noted that federal agencies reported $115.3 billion in improper payments in fiscal year 2011 alone. This is inexcusable at a time when taxpayers are feeling the burden of a $17 trillion dollar debt and a government in Washington D.C. that seems not all that concerned when it comes to making meaningful spending cuts and trying to do away with structural reform that would reduce spending in the short and long term. With that in mind, TPA was pleased to join an effort led by Americans for Prosperity signing this letter, along with American Commitment, Americans for a Balanced Budget, Americans for Tax Reform, COAST (Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes), Concerned Women for America, Cost of Government Center, Generation Opportunity, Less Government, National Center for Public Policy Research, National Taxpayers Union, and the R Street Institute urging Congress to support the Eliminate Preventable Waste Act, sponsored by Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Ga.). The legislation would “require federal agencies to show a reduction in the error rate for payments in federal spending. If the rate of improper payments increases in a given fiscal year, then the administrative budget for the agency will be cut by the same percentage of the error rate.” In a time where debt and deficits continue to plague the country’s finances, this is one step of many that Congress can take to move toward solving an enormous and preventable problem. In a spending atmosphere of difficult decisions to make, getting rid of improper payments should be a relatively easy fix.

    Click ‘read more’ below for the full letter

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  • House Republicans Should Reject Senate Farm Bill’s Fiscal Train Wreck

    David Williams on November 18, 2013

    farm

    This article originally appeared in Townhall.com on November 15, 2013

    As is par for the course in recent years, House conservatives again find themselves the vanguard against big-spending machinations from the Executive Branch and the Senate. The latest front in this battle is the Farm Bill, which currently sits in a conference committee on Capitol Hill. Committee members are tasked with reaching a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the bill. And, compromise in Washington, D.C. usually means more spending. Though neither version is perfect, it’s the Senate Farm Bill that would bankroll billions in mandatory spending, doing little to curtail wasteful subsidies and locking into place the status quo for another five years. The House bill, on the other hand, contains deep cuts to food stamps and, more importantly, makes subsidy spending discretionary rather than mandatory. The Senate bill would cut food stamps by a mere $4.5 billion (in addition to $11 billion in already agreed-upon cuts), while the House proposal cuts an extra $40 billion - ten times that amount. For conservatives, that's certainly a better place to start. Senate Democrats are reportedly insisting they will not agree to cuts above $10 billion, so Republicans in the conference committee are tasked with holding the line.

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  • TPA Travels to Uganda for Taxpayer Conference on Taxation and Spending

    David Williams on November 15, 2013

    uganda
    Joseph Kasibante, President of National Taxpayers Protection Organisation in
    Kampala, Uganda holds a press conference with TPA President David Williams

    I have spent the last 7 days in Kampala, Uganda with Joseph Kasibante, President of the National Taxpayers Protection Organisaton (NTAPO). We conducted the first Uganda/United States Parallel Session on Taxation: “What can Ugandan and United States taxpayers learn from each other’s tax systems and tax systems from around the world?”  This session was a unique and important opportunity for taxpayer groups from two different countries to come together and discuss spending and taxation issues.  Our mission was to discuss ideas and collaborate to make government more accountable and give taxpayers a stronger voice in government.  The session started with a presentation to the Tax Justice Task Force of SEATINI-Uganda.  SEATINI is "an African initiative to strengthen Africa's capacity to take a more effective part in the emerging global trading system and to better manage the process of Globalization."  The session ended on November 14 with a press conference at the government owned Media Centre (apparently this is where all important press conferences are held) and a coalition meeting of taxpayers, media, and consumer advocates.  There are many differences between Uganda and United States as it relates to spending and taxation, but there are many similarities.  For example, a newspaper article yesterday criticized Ugandan MPs for excessive and needless travel.  Sound familiar?

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  • Six Weeks Later: Obamacare Implementation Getting More Painful

    Michi Iljazi on November 14, 2013

    ocare

    It’s been more than a month since the rollout of Obamacare.  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has been warning taxpayers for years even before the law was implemented. The October 1st launch of the Obamacare website saw some initial ‘glitches’ but for the most part the media coverage was minimal due to the competing story in DC about the government shutdown. However, a funny thing happened on the way to November, as the website “glitches” actually became serious deficiencies and soon the problems with the website began to expose the serious flaws in the preparation of this massive overhaul as well as the enormous cost to taxpayers. Unfortunately for Americans across the country, the website was just a preview of the pain that Obamacare would inflict on the public.  And now, six weeks later, that pain is being felt by millions of taxpayers and there doesn’t seem to be a happy ending anywhere near in sight. First, let’s look at the cost to taxpayers for the federal exchanges. A recent report by Peter Gosselin in Bloomberg Government shows that the cost to build, as well as the late surge before the launch, and now bringing in new experts to help fix what isn’t working right, now shows that taxpayers footed more than $1 billion for the construction and subsequent fixes to the Obamacare website.

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  • Another Day in the Park as Coburn Report Exposes Massive Waste at the National Park Service

    Michi Iljazi on November 13, 2013

    nps
    NPS Historic Preservation Training Center in MD (courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

    Though the nation just celebrated Halloween and TPA highlighted some of the worst and most expensive tricks elected officials have played on Americans this past year, the hits seem to just keep on coming. Waste by government agencies is nothing new, and this year we have highlighted many  terrible examples of exactly the kind of waste that takes place be it at the Veterans Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, or the Internal Revenue Service; just to name a few. Now, a recent report released by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) exposes a continuous string of dereliction that Congress is engaging in wasting tax dollars through the National Park Service (NPS). The report, PARKED! How Congress’ Misplaced Priorities are Trashing Our National Treasures, lays out some of the most egregious examples of exactly how the NPS has become such a bastion of wasteful spending and outright dysfunction. The continued addition of new federal land and federal parks while simultaneously allowing existing properties to go without proper maintenance has created a massive backlog, while adding to the budget costs of additional properties. The backlog isn’t the only problem as there are countless examples that highlight the spending problem at NPS.

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