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Category: Spending



  • TPA Launches New Partner Site on Postal Reform!

    Michi Iljazi on March 9, 2016

    usps site

    Last week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) launched a new website, www.postalreformforus.org, that focuses exclusively on reforming the United States Postal Service (USPS). The website is filled with content from TPA and other groups such as Americans for Tax Reform, the National Taxpayers Union, and the R street Institute who are dedicated to working on reforming the USPS. The new site features blogs, press releases, and videos all showcasing the issues that are a part of reforming the USPS. This new website is needed because USPS continues to face a financial crisis that is only being made worse by a lack of leadership and accountability within the agency. The website will focus in on major issue areas related to reform and hopefully put the USPS on a path toward fiscal solvency, coupled with a single focus of carrying out the original mission of the Postal Service: delivering the mail.

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  • Secret Service Protection for Candidates Costing Taxpayers Millions of Dollars

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on March 1, 2016

    ss

    Yesterday, in an op-ed for FoxNews.com, Dr. Ben Carson vowed to keep his campaign for the Presidency going, despite calls for him to bow out gracefully.  If Ben Carson, or any other candidate, does poorly on Super Tuesday, they should look at the cost to taxpayers of continuing their campaigns.  This is especially important for all Republicans candidates who claim to be fiscally conservative and care about the deficit and the debt.  The biggest taxpayer expenditure of any presidential campaign is Secret Service protection.  Foregoing Secret Service protection, paying for the protection from their campaign coffers, or dropping out of the race would save taxpayers millions of dollars.

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  • New Report on D.C. Streetcar Reveals Questionable Spending of Taxpayer Money

    Michi Iljazi on February 27, 2016

    dc streetcar report

    Taxpayers Protection Alliance Releases Report on DC Streetcar Spending

    With Service Set to Begin, New Report Details Millions of Dollars in Taxpayer Funded Expenditures on Marketing & Communications

    (Washington) – This week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a new report detailing questionable spending for the marketing and communications operation for the soon-to-be launched D.C. Streetcar.  To date, the 2.4-mile project has cost $200 million, or $83 million per mile. Last year, TPA submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) requesting all expenditures related to marketing and communications for the streetcar project between January 1, 2011 and July 27, 2015.  After exhaustive and extensive research of thousands of pages of FOIA-related documents from DDOT, TPA identified more than $2 million of taxpayer money in costs devoted to marketing, public relations and communications for the project.

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  • New Report on D.C. Streetcar Reveals Questionable Spending of Taxpayer Money

    Michi Iljazi on February 23, 2016

    dc streetcar report

    Taxpayers Protection Alliance Releases Report on DC Streetcar Spending

    Just Days Before Service Set to Begin, New Report Details Millions of Dollars in Taxpayer Funded Expenditures on Marketing & Communications

    (Washington) – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a new report detailing questionable spending for the marketing and communications operation for the soon-to-be launched D.C. Streetcar.  To date, the 2.4-mile project has cost $200 million, or $83 million per mile. Last year, TPA submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) requesting all expenditures related to marketing and communications for the streetcar project between January 1, 2011 and July 27, 2015.  After exhaustive and extensive research of thousands of pages of FOIA-related documents from DDOT, TPA identified more than $2 million of taxpayer money in costs devoted to marketing, public relations and communications for the project.

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  • GAO Gets A Well Deserved Pat on the Back, from Themselves

    Michi Iljazi on February 19, 2016

    gao

    It isn’t often that government agencies can be given credit for saving taxpayers money.  In fact, with a national debt of $19 trillion and rising deficits making a comeback it’s actually shocking. That being said, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is indeed able to bring some good news for taxpayers and taxpayer advocates like the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA).Just this week, the GAO put out their own report examining the work they did in 2015.

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  • TPA Submits Comments Regarding Postal Service's Annual Compliance Report

    Michi Iljazi on February 5, 2016

    usps

    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) remains focused on our work looking at how the United States Postal Service (USPS) is mismanaging time and resources, including taxpayer dollars, on services they have no business being involved in. This week, TPA submitted public comments to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) in response to the agencies Annual Compliance Report for the year 2015. TPA’s comment was focused on the need for better leadership and greater accountability as the agency struggles to fix their financial mess, while stressing that the USPS must get back to their core mission of delivering the mail.

    Click read more below to see the full comment

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  • TPA and The Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy Release Report on Wasteful Spending

    Michi Iljazi on January 30, 2016

    wv

    Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy and Taxpayers Protection Alliance Release Report on Wasteful State Spending, Misuse of Taxpayer Funds

    Charleston, W. Va. - Thursday, the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance released a new report entitled: Wild and Wasteful West Virginia: Exposing Waste, Fraud and Abuse of Your State Tax Dollars. The report (click here to read) exposes and highlights more than $330 million in wasteful spending spread across almost 60 different state programs. The examples cited in the report demonstrate that West Virginia has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. State lawmakers, who must now confront a $353 million budget shortfall, should look to cut wasteful expenditures instead of burdening the state’s already financially beleaguered residents with fees and tax increases.

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  • TPA and The Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy Release Report on Wasteful Spending

    Michi Iljazi on January 28, 2016

    wv

    Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy and Taxpayers Protection Alliance Release Report on Wasteful State Spending, Misuse of Taxpayer Funds

    Charleston, W. Va. - Today, the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance released a new report entitled: Wild and Wasteful West Virginia: Exposing Waste, Fraud and Abuse of Your State Tax Dollars. The report (click here to read) exposes and highlights more than $330 million in wasteful spending spread across almost 60 different state programs. The examples cited in the report demonstrate that West Virginia has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. State lawmakers, who must now confront a $353 million budget shortfall, should look to cut wasteful expenditures instead of burdening the state’s already financially beleaguered residents with fees and tax increases.

    » Read More
  • NFL Subsidies: Taxpayers Left High and Dry After Rams Move to Los Angeles

    David Williams on January 26, 2016

    rams

    This article appeared in Inside Sources on January 20, 2016

    With a great deal of fanfare from the National Football League (NFL) and the owner of the St. Louis Rams, the announcement was made on January 14 that the St. Louis Rams would be moving to Los Angeles.  What was left out of that announcement was that taxpayers would still be on the hook paying for the Edward Jones Dome in. St. Louis. St. Louis and Missouri taxpayers paid the full $280 million cost of construction for the Edward Jones Dome in 1995. In an effort to keep the Rams in St. Louis, government officials tried to persuade the team to stay with the promise of $500 million for a new billion-dollar stadium.  Rams owner, and billionaire, Stan Kroenke decided to move despite the generous taxpayer gift.  The problem is that Missouri taxpayers aren’t off the hook because they will be paying $12 million until 2022 on the Edward Jones Dome.

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  • South Mississippi Cities Deserve Better Than Government Broadband

    David Williams on January 14, 2016

    ms

    This op-ed appeared in the Sun Herald on January 2, 2016

    Mississippi will receive $1.5 billion as part of its settlement from the British Petroleum oil spill. A new plan proposes to use a significant portion of that settlement to build a government-owned broadband "fiber ring" connecting several South Mississippi cities including Biloxi, Gulfport and D'Iberville. Biloxi Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich said the total cost of the network, which officials hope will eventually encompass 12 cities and three counties, could top $100 million. While broadband service is an important tool for students, business owners, job seekers, public safety and health care professionals, spending the BP settlement money on a network owned and managed by the cities is a waste of public funds and puts taxpayers on the hook for future financial exposure. And it is hard to imagine that residents in Biloxi will tolerate the delays the Fiber Ring installation will cause in the current infrastructure projects on the Point.

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  • The GOP Presidential Field Abandons Fiscal Restraint At The Pentagon

    David Williams on December 21, 2015

    gop debate

    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

    cap

    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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  • TPA Releases Statement on 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill

    Michi Iljazi on December 16, 2015

    Taxpayers Protection Alliance Notes Good, Bad, and Ugly on Omnibus
    Watchdog Group slams process while noting wins and losses for taxpayers

    (Washington) – The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), representing millions of taxpayers across the country, reacted to the agreement reached by lawmakers to fund the government over the next fiscal year with the release of an Omnibus spending package worth more than $1 trillion. TPA President David Williams made the following comment after the 2,000-page bill was released to the public: “The good, the bad, and the ugly is the best way to classify this bill. Despite recent changes in House leadership, there’s been no change to a process that has continued to let down taxpayers. A massive spending bill filed as deadlines to fund the government are running out has become an all too familiar way to pass major legislation. Congress is throwing a bunch of presents under the tree for taxpayers the night before Christmas and there’s more than a few lumps of coal in taxpayers’ stockings.” The 2,009-page Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (full text here) was a mix of both good and bad news for Americans.

    click 'read more' below to read the full statement

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  • 15 Reasons Congressional Research Service Reports Should Be Public

    Kevin R. Kosar on December 8, 2015

    usc

    The following article appeared on Medium.com on October 26, 2015
    Kevin R. Kosar is a senior fellow and governance project director for the R Street Institute

    I worked at the Congressional Research Service for 11 years as an analyst and manager. I greatly enjoyed supplying congressional staff, committees, and members of Congress with nonpartisan research and advice. I got to help conceptualize legislation, assist committees with hearing preparation and testify before Congress. It was fun, heady work. I also wrote a lot of CRS reports, as did my beloved colleagues. Each year, the agency publishes about 1,000 reports, which cover general subject matter, like advertising by the federal government and cloture in the U.S. Senate. Congress, not the CRS, owns them. That means nobody at the CRS is free to distribute its reports to anyone outside Congress — not without jumping through bureaucratic hoops. Unfortunately, our national legislature, as a matter of practice, does not publish all CRS reports in one place, like Congress.gov. CRS reports get posted here and there on various congressional webpages. Additionally, any member or congressional staffer can share reports with the public; it’s a congressional prerogative. As a result, there are CRS reports floating all over the Internet. By one count, there are 27,000 CRS reports scattered over 1,400 U.S. government websites.

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  • Senator Lankford Continues Tradition of Exposing Government Waste

    David Williams on December 2, 2015

    lankford

    Before Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) retired, he was known for being a taxpayer watchdog and his government waste report.  Sen. Coburn would hold a press conference and shame government agencies and bureaucrats for the massive amounts of waste they perpetrated at the expense of taxpayers. This is one Washington tradition that should be carried on forever.  Fortunately, Sen. Coburn’s successor, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), released his own report spotlighting excessive and wasteful spending as well as regulatory overreach from federal agencies. The report, entitled “Federal Fumbles: 100 ways the government dropped the ball,” details billions of dollars in spending and regulations that range from the idiotic to absolute bizarre. With more than $100 billion in waste and $800 billion in needless regulations, there are plenty of ridiculous examples that fill Sen. Lankford’s report.

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  • Rand Paul is Right: Unlimited Military Spending isn't Conservative

    David Williams on November 23, 2015

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    This article appeared in Rare on November 16, 2015

    After the previous three Republican presidential debates devolved into a series of spectacles marked by petty infighting and general disorder, the most recent one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was marketed as the first real opportunity for substantive discussion. One exchange, in particular, did highlight an incredibly important topic for conservatives: Congress’ addiction to blindly giving the Pentagon as much money as it wants. In an exchange with Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Rand Paul asked whether Rubio, and by extension other Republicans, could be true conservatives promising “to make the country safe” while supporting unlimited military spending that contributes to the national debt. The short answer is no, they can’t.

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  • Just in Time for the Holidays, More Financial Losses Reported from the U.S. Postal Service

    Michi Iljazi on November 13, 2015

    Today, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released its financial results detailing a loss of $5.1 billion for the 2015 fiscal year. As a continuation of the Postal Service’s financial meltdown, this year marks its ninth consecutive year-end loss of more than a billion dollars. In response to the figures released by the USPS and the subsequent analysis from their leadership, Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) President, David Williams, made it clear that more transparent management and accounting is needed to repair the agency.

    Click 'read more' below to see the full press release

    » Read More
  • TPA Releases New Joint Report on Costly and Questionable Animal Testing Studies

    Michi Iljazi on November 4, 2015

    Deadly Doses: Recreational Drug Experiments on Animals & How It Wastes Millions of Tax Dollaras


    Washington, D.C. -
    Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a report in cooperation with the Animal Justice Project detailing the disturbing facts about drug experimentation on animals and what the practice is costing taxpayers. The report, Deadly Doses: Recreational Drug Experiments on Animals & How it Wastes Millions of Tax Dollars, examines animal drug testing programs that are being bankrolled by the American taxpayer. Studies that involve LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, other recreational drugs and what amounts to animal torture are being funded by the American taxpayer to uncover the secrets of the blink-rate of rabbits, the decision-making skills of monkeys, and other nonsensical research priorities. TPA President David Williams blasted the wasteful spending revealed in the report, and called out the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the outrageous waste of taxpayer money on these studies. » Read More
  • GOP Debate Number Three: The Economic Debate That Wasn't

    Michi Iljazi on November 2, 2015

    cnbc

    The 2016 campaign continues to be a major part of the discussion as candidates from both parties travel across the country attempting to woo voters. The debates are supposed to be a platform where the candidates can separate themselves and provide clarity about what plans they have on specific policy areas.  Unfortunately, the debates have not provided a real discussion on issues.  Instead, they have become a melee of zingers and one-liners. Last week’s third GOP primary debate was one of the least substantive and what makes matters worse is that weeks of buildup centered around the promise that it would be focused on economic issues, an important topic of discussion as the economy struggles and the country is faced with a $18 trillion debt. In Boulder, Colorado last Wednesday ten of the remaining fifteen GOP candidates met on stage to debate what CNBC billed as a debate centered on economic issues. The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) was looking forward to hearing the moderators ask questions about tax reform, regulatory policy, entitlement reform, and pro-growth ideas. Frank exchanges about the candidates views and plans on these issues would have been a win for the candidates, CNBC, and taxpayers.  But, instead, the audience of 14 million was treated to a bizarre debate where the moderators, as much as the candidates, failed to provide voters with any substance.  Considering that a two-year budget deal that busted the budget caps was passed by the House and Senate last week, a golden opportunity to talk about fiscal issues was lost.

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  • Why This Budget Deal Makes No Sense For Taxpayers

    David Williams on October 28, 2015

    ob

    This article originally apeared in The Daily Caller on October 27, 2015

    It was announced on Monday night that congressional leaders and the White House have agreed to a two-year budget deal that lifts the budget caps by $80 billion. In addition to lifting the budget caps, the debt ceiling will be suspended until 2017. That’s not a compromise, that’s capitulation. The budget caps were put in place in 2011 because the country was faced with a debt-ceiling crisis. Sound familiar? The Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, which set the caps and ultimately led to sequestration, was Congress and the president admitting they couldn’t be trusted to be fiscally responsible. The spending caps set forth by the BCA and implemented through sequestration are the first nominal (real) cuts in spending that the federal government has seen in decades. The latest budget deal busts the caps by $80 billion; $50 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2016 and $30 billion in FY 2017. The increase would be equally divided between defense and non-defense discretionary spending, neither of which need more money.

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