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Category: Defense



  • Taxpayers Protection Alliance Congratulates President-Elect Donald Trump

    David Williams on November 9, 2016

    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) congratulates President-Elect Donald Trump for his victory last night. Without question, the country clearly spoke with a voice that wants change in Washington.  With a $19 trillion debt, an economy that continues to struggle, agency regulations running wild, and an antiquated tax system, there are plenty of problems to solve and no time to waste. From more than $136 billion in improper payments to a wasteful and unnecessary catfish program, spending has spiraled out of control. Spending reduction and waste elimination must be a top priority for the new administration. Congressional earmarks are still a problem, despite a ban.  Last year, TPA identified 365 earmarks worth $14.8 billion in the Defense spending bill.  President-elect Trump must veto any spending bill with earmarks. Instead of increasing the Pentagon’s budget, President-elect Trump must insist on an audit of the Pentagon immediately. Auditing the Pentagon enjoys bipartisan support and it is the law of the land that must finally be followed. It is important for national and fiscal security to audit the Pentagon.Comprehensive tax reform is an absolute must for the new administration and TPA is encouraged by some of the things that have been said during the campaign. 

    Click "read more" below for the full statement

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  • TPA's Tricks and Treats for 2016

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on October 28, 2016

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    Halloween is just around the corner! Families across America will soon be ready to celebrate with candy, costumes, and fun! The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is preparing for the “scary season” in a much different way by watching what government has done to spook taxpayers this past year. You guessed it, it’s time for TPA’s annual Taxpayer Tricks and Treats! This year, there’s no shortage for taxpayers to be terrified by with wasteful spending, missed opportunities, and the frightening prospect of lawmakers returning for some last minute scares!  Not to worry, there were some treats. They weren’t easy to find, but we found some. And, we wrapped up the list with items that were tricks and treats.  ENJOY!!

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  • TPA's Tricks and Treats for 2016

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on October 24, 2016

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    Halloween is almost here! Families across America will soon be ready to celebrate with candy, costumes, and fun! The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is preparing for the “scary season” in a much different way by watching what government has done to spook taxpayers this past year. You guessed it, it’s time for TPA’s annual Taxpayer Tricks and Treats! This year, there’s no shortage for taxpayers to be terrified by with wasteful spending, missed opportunities, and the frightening prospect of lawmakers returning for some last minute scares!  Not to worry, there were some treats. They weren’t easy to find, but we found some. And, we wrapped up the list with items that were tricks and treats.  ENJOY!!

    Click 'read more' below to see the 2016 Tricks and Treats!

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  • What TPA Wants to Hear in Tonight's First Trump-Clinton Debate

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on September 26, 2016

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    With just more than six weeks until the 2016 Presidential election, tonight will mark the first of three debates between Republican candidate Donald Trump and the Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. The event is expected to shatter ratings records because the race is tightening up and voters want to see the first one on one debate between the two candidates.  There has been way too much rhetoric and not enough substance so far in the campaign.   Voters want to hear about the issues, not personal attacks.  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has a long list of issues to address, but there are four areas in particular that taxpayers want to hear about from the candidates.

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  • The Cost of Trump's Defense Plan

    Demian Brady on September 16, 2016

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    Demian Brady is the Director of Research for the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. This article originally appeared on the National Taxpayers Union Foundation website on September 9, 2016.

    This week Donald Trump released his defense policy plan that includes proposals to increase the size of the active-duty force of the Armed Services and to expand the naval fleet and size of the Air Force. His proposals would increase spending by at least $16 billion per year. However there is uncertainty regarding elements of his plan that could drive up the ultimate price tag. For example, Trump called for a total of 36 Marine Corps infantry battalions, currently the Corps has 24 active and eight reserve battalions. Adding four active battalions could cost up to $10 billion over the next five years. The total cost would be significantly higher if Trump intends to establish 36 active Battalions. In additional, there insufficient information to determine the cost of his plan to “build a state of the art missile defense system.” In a related speech, Trump said he will “ask Congress to fully offset the costs of increased military spending.” He outlined six proposals to offset the cost of the defense build-up, but the savings that could be quantified would only cover a portion of the increases. On an annual basis, reducing the size of the federal workforce through attrition would cut spending by $3.7 billion and opening additional public lands to energy leasing would boost offsetting receipts by $170 million. Trump’s proposals to reduce improper payments and recover unpaid taxes could generate additional savings and tax receipts over the long-term, but would require additional spending in the short-term.


    Click 'read more' below to see the full analysis

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  • TPA Signs Coalition Letter Urging NDAA Conferees to Preserve FOIA Process

    Michi Iljazi on August 30, 2016

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    The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2017 is still being negotiated as House and Senate conferees are working to put together a compromise bill. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has always been in favor of greater transparency when it comes to the Pentagon and currently there are provisions in the Senate version of the bill that could weaken the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process, making it easier for government to get away with wasting taxpayer money.  At a time when deficits are on the rise and we see story after story that shows just how much money is being thrown away on defense, it is important that the FOIA process not be weakened by lawmakers, instead it should be strengthened so that all Americans are able to see exactly where their hard earned money is going. Keeping that goal in mind, TPA signed onto this letter, urging NDAA conferees to remove a particular section of the Senate’s version of the NDAA that would weaken the current FOIA process. As the NDAA moves through conference, TPA will be keeping an eye on what changes are made and how the negotiated version ultimately looks.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter

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  • TPA Signs Bipartisan Coalition Letter Urging NDAA Conferees to Strengthen Military Whistleblower Protections

    Michi Iljazi on August 1, 2016

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    Congress remains in recess, but there will be plenty of work to do when the return in September. Putting together a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in conference with House and Senate members is a top priority and Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is hopeful the conferees will get that done. This year’s bills in both the House and Senate versions contain specific provisions to strengthen the integrity of military whistleblower protections. Whistleblowers are an important line of defense against waste, fraud, and abuse and it is critical to ensure whistleblowers that are civilians, government employees, or military are able to be protected, and not intimated. Recently TPA signed a bipartisan coalition letter urging NDAA conferees to maintain the provisions included in the House and Senate NDDA bills, so as to “solidify common sense protections for military whistleblowers facing retaliation and incentivize internal whistleblowing within the Department of Defense.”

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter

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  • The Pentagon Should Look To Reform Acquisition Spending To Save Taxpayer Money

    David Williams on July 25, 2016

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    Proper and responsible budgeting is a problem in Washington.  Spending continues to grow despite big deficits (the White House announced last week the budget deficit is set to rise to $600 billion this year) and recent reforms such as the Budget Control Act and curbs on earmarks have been conveniently forgotten by members of Congress. Some companies are seeking to profit from dysfunction in D.C. by destroying procurement protocols and pursuing what could be considered backdoor earmarks. One particular tech company is targeting the Pentagon to fund an incomplete and insufficient defense intelligence program by working Congressional contacts to pull an end-around on the Army’s contracting process. While “disruption” in Defense spending is a worthy goal, this particular special interest gimmick would leave taxpayers on the hook for a system that doesn’t meet our military’s needs in the near- or long-term leading to higher costs in the future.

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  • With Lots to Do and Not Much Time Left, Congress Takes a Seven-Week Break

    David Williams on July 22, 2016

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    This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on July 21, 2016

    Last week the heat index in the nation’s capital reached 104 degrees, meaning summer is definitely in full swing in Washington. And, just as the temperature heated up, Congress cooled down and headed home for their annual summer recess. Unfortunately for taxpayers, lawmakers still have a great deal of work to do in an already abbreviated calendar that will only be shorter once they return in September, that’s right, September. There are many fiscal problems that are gripping the country, including a deficit that is expected to reach $600 billion this year. Now, while Congress can’t wave a magic wand and solve every problem, there are things that they have the power to do and should have gotten done before they decided to leave town for a month and half.

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  • TPA Joins Coalition Urging Fiscal Reforms in NDAA Conference

    Michi Iljazi on July 12, 2016

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    Congressional lawmakers will soon be headed to a seven week recess break, there are still many appropriations bills that need to be passed and other issues that the House and Senate have yet to take up with the legislative calendar winding down on 2016. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is one of those issues, and after passing House and Senate versions the bill is now headed to conference where members of both chambers will put together a final version to be voted on later this year. TPA has continued to call for greater transparency, reforming or eliminating the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Account, and spending reductions in the NDAA. Recently, TPA joined Taxpayers for Common Sense and National Taxpayers Union on this coalition letter urging the NDAA conferees to make major reforms. The letter outlines specific ways that will responsibly reduce spending while making sure to preserve our national defense.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter

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  • TPA Finds $10 Billion in Earmarks in Senate Defense Spending Bill

    Michi Iljazi on June 21, 2016

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    WASHINGTON, D.C.
    – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a list of earmarks stuffed into the fiscal year 2017 Senate Defense Appropriations Act.   TPA combed through the Bill and found 235 earmarks totaling $10.1 billion (click here to see the full list). As with the House version, there were many familiar wasteful projects that once again found their way into the Senate bill. Failed programs like the F-35, the Littoral Combat Ship, and the Abrams Tank all had earmarked money included in the Senate bill. The continued waste at the Pentagon shows the real need for more transparency.  It is becoming increasingly clear that Congress is continuing to earmark money for their pet projects even though there is an earmark ban in the House and Senate.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full statement

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  • TPA Reminds House of $11 Billion in Earmarks in Defense Spending Bill

    Michi Iljazi on June 15, 2016

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. –
    As the House moves closer a final vote on more than $500 billion fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations Act, it is important to remind lawmakers of the waste that is in the bill. TPA combed through the legislation and found 235 earmarks totaling $11.1 billion (click here to see the full list) that were not requested by the Pentagon and inserted by members of Congress. These earmarks show that Congress’ self-imposed earmark ban is nothing more than a lie to taxpayers.  There were many familiar wasteful projects on the list, including the F-35, the Littoral Combat Ship, and the Abrams Tank. All of these programs have been notorious for their waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars and have not been requested by the Pentagon.

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  • TPA Uncovers $11 Billion in Earmarks in Defense Appropriations Bill

    Michi Iljazi on May 19, 2016

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. –
    Earlier this week, the House released their initial markup for the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations Act that will spend more than $500 billion. TPA combed through the report and found 235 earmarks totaling $11.1 billion (click here to see the full list) that were not requested by the Pentagon and inserted by members of Congress. These earmarks show that Congress’ self-imposed earmark ban is nothing more than a lie to taxpayers. There were many familiar wasteful projects on the list, including the F-35, the Littoral Combat Ship, and the Abrams Tank. All of these programs have been notorious for their waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars and have not been requested by the Pentagon.

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  • TPA Joins Coalition Supporting OCO Amendment to FY2017 NDAA

    Michi Iljazi on May 19, 2016

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    Last night the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, by a vote of 277-147. The issue of Pentagon spending is important to the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) and making sure that elected officials are working with the Defense Department to put forward the best policies to provide for the national defense is critical. Unfortunately, wasting taxpayer money is not something that is in the best interests of national security. Time and again TPA has exposed billions of dollars in earmarks buried in defense spending, we continue to call for an end to wasteful programs like the F-35 and Abrams Tank, and there is also the issue of budget gimmicks like the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Account. Yesterday, TPA joined a broad coalition letter led by Taxpayers for Common Sense supporting an amendment to the FY 2017 NDAA that “codifies criteria developed by the Office of Management and Budget in 2010 to clarify when military spending should be designated as contingency operations and properly be part of the Overseas Contingency Operations budget.” The bipartisan amendment was sponsored by Reps. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Barbara Lee (R-CA), and Mark Sanford (R-SC) and adopted in a voice vote with several other amendments. TPA will continue to keep an eye on defense spending related bills, including the coming Defense Appropriations bill, which is likely to include more earmarks, as it has in years past.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full letter

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  • Coalition Outlines Billions in Specific Pentagon Spending Reforms for Congress

    Michi Iljazi on April 21, 2016

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    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) continues to believe that spending reform is one of the most pressing issues for elected officials in Congress today. As budget deadlines pass and Congress gets further away from getting back to regular order, it is critical that Washington find a way to reduce spending, in all areas. The budget of the Pentagon is filled with wasteful spending that should be trimmed both immediately and responsibly. Recently, TPA joined a broad coalition effort sending a letter to Congress not only urging spending reform, but outlining specific cuts that could be realized if politicians had the will to act. The savings proposed totaled $38.6 billion in taxpayer dollars. Those savings come from just seven reforms; imagine how much money taxpayers could be saved if Washington looked at every agency.

    Click 'read more' below to see the letter

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  • Budget Proposals Offer Ideas for Ways Forward on Balancing the Budget

    Michi Iljazi on March 21, 2016

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    This is the time of year when Congress begins work on a budget for the coming fiscal year, and last week marked the introduction of a pair of budget proposals from the both the House GOP and the Republican Study Committee (RSC). Both proposals are far better than President Obama’s eighth and final budget (click here to read more) released in late January. Each of the proposals released last week lay out a structure for a budget that will be balanced over the next decade by implementing spending cuts and enacting a series of reforms on spending programs and entitlements.

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  • TPA's 2016 New Years Resolutions for Washington!

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on December 31, 2015

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    The time to say goodbye to 2015 has arrived as the New Year is upon us. From losing weight to reading more, it’s that time of year when millions of Americans make their resolutions for the coming year.  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) put together a list of our own resolutions for Washington.

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  • A 2015 Festivus for Taxpayers!

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on December 23, 2015

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    Folks around the country are spending time with their loved ones getting ready to celebrate the holidays with a variety of traditions that bring families together each year. There is one holiday tradition that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance enjoys, and that’s celebrating FESTIVUS! Yes, the Seinfeld-inspired holiday that people know and love is how TPA celebrates the season! Once again, we’ve put together a great list that’s perfectly themed for Kramer’s favorite holiday! Our Festivus message is always one that the President and Congress should be paying careful attention to as they prepare for the New Year, enjoy!

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  • The GOP Presidential Field Abandons Fiscal Restraint At The Pentagon

    David Williams on December 21, 2015

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    This article appeared in The Daily Caller on December 18, 2015

    Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas was a disappointment for fiscal conservatives who care about reckless federal spending, particularly at the Pentagon. If the previous debate was any indication, the prospect for a constructive conversation about the future of military spending showed real promise. During the previous debate on November 10th, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) called out the GOP field because most of the candidates have spent the better part of this campaign season pledging to ramp up an already bloated Pentagon budget. “How is it conservative to add a trillion dollars in military expenditures?” Sen. Paul asked. “You can not be a conservative if you’re going to keep promoting new programs that you’re not going to pay for.” Paul’s comments turned out to be one of the highlights of that night back in November, and it seemed like a real opportunity to create momentum for a shift within the Republican party about the direction of Pentagon budget policy. But unfortunately, the Republican candidates slipped loudly back to their comfort zone during this week’s debate. Even Sen. Paul himself was silent on the issue, except for one coded line about being “willing to hold the line on all spending.” As for the rest of the candidates, it was an all-out field day of pledges to throw more money at the Pentagon without any talk of reform.

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  • BREAKING: TPA Releases List of 365 Earmarks Worth $14.8 billion in Defense Appropriations in FY 2016 Omnibus

    Michi Iljazi on December 18, 2015

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    Earlier this week, Congress released an Omnibus-spending bill (click here for the full bill) for the next fiscal year that will cost approximately $1.1 trillion and will likely be passed by Congress before the weekend is over. Despite a change in leadership in the House of Representatives, the FY 2016 Omnibus continues the same trend of massive spending bills being passed just as deadlines approach. Though there were some important provisions included in the Omnibus, including an extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act and a lifting of the ban on crude oil exports, there were also some troubling provisions like more subsidies for solar and wind. This morning, TPA released a list of earmarks found in the Defense appropriations section of the more than 2,000-page bill (click here for the full list). There were 365 Defense earmarks totaling $14,833,435,000. This is a 25 percent increase in projects from last year’s CROmnibus, which contained 293 projects. It was also a 14 percent increase in cost over last year’s $13,063,116,000. There were more than a few familiar programs that were on the list, including three additional F-35 aircrafts, money for the still unwanted Abrams Tank, and the problem-plagued Littoral Combat Ship.

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