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Category: Defense



  • TPA Releases Analysis of Amendments to National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on May 21, 2014

    The House of Representatives is debating H.R. 4435, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) is providing members of Congress and all Americans with a guide on specific amendments and how members of Congress should vote. The guide is simple: the amendment number; the sponsor(s) of the amendment; a description of the amendment (text was taken directly from the House of Representatives website); and the correct way to vote.  As an added feature, TPA has flagged some of the amendments with “Vote No! (Earmark Alert)” as potential earmarks. TPA takes a clear stand on these proposed amendments and makes clear whether they are beneficial to taxpayers or not. It is time for Congress to take steps to ensure that the Department of Defense (DoD) is given the necessary tools to defend the nation and not use this legislation yet another means to waste taxpayer money. TPA will continue to monitor these amendments as the bill makes its way through the House, Senate, and eventually conference committee.

    click 'read more' below to see the list of amendments

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  • NDAA Watch: TPA Sends Coalition Letter to House Urging Support of BRAC Amendment

    Michi Iljazi on May 19, 2014

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    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance has been keeping a close eye on Congress as the process for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) begins to move at a faster pace. This week, the House of Representatives is likely to file amendments, set rules for debate, and ultimately vote on an NDAA bill before adjourning for the Memorial Day weekend. One amendment that TPA and other groups are supportive of comes from House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the amendment to the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act is designed to allow the Department of Defense to find savings through the consolidation and closure of domestic military facilities via the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Finding cost savings within defense spending is crucial at a time when the national debt is over $17 trillion and opportunities to cut cost are there for the taking.

    Click read more below to see the full letter

    » Read More
  • It's Time to Audit the Pentagon

    Michi Iljazi on May 13, 2014

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    Last week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) highlighted how transparency should play a key a role in the markup of the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and how such efforts to make the markup process more open would help make legislation better for taxpayers. With those same concerns for transparency in mind, the Pentagon should take a serious look at reforming the ways in which they manage their own finances and seriously cut down on the taxpayer money that is predominantly wasted at the Department of Defense. Auditing the Pentagon is a reasonable request, and considering the agency hasn’t had an official audit in more than a decade, it would stand to reason that the time has come for those handing the accounting at DoD need to seriously consider ways in which the trillions of dollars, yes trillions, can be carefully examined so that all citizens can see where the money is going. The Pentagon, like any federal agency, only exists with the taxpayer money appropriated to it. The problem however, is that there has been no accurate accounting of how the money has been spent and that is why there is need for improvements and why those improvements must really take hold. Any entity that is not held to rudimentary standards when it comes to financial record keeping is essentially risking all the money it has been given.  A lack of accountability leads to money being wasted, and since the derelict bookkeeping is an epidemic at DoD, quite a bit of taxpayer money is at risk.

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  • Senate Should Follow House on NDAA Transparency

    Michi Iljazi on May 7, 2014

    capitol

    The best tool to prevent the government from wasting taxpayer dollars is exposure. The more the public knows about how elected officials are spending their money, the tougher it becomes for that money to be wasted.  This is certainly the case when it comes to Pentagon spending, and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has been a stalwart advocate of transparency when it comes to how the Department of Defense (DoD) spends tax dollars. Just recently, TPA highlighted more than 180 earmarks that totaled more than $7 billion in the Omnibus-spending bill, just for DoD alone. Now, with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) beginning it’s lengthy process from markup to final passage, it is time to turn attention towards a piece of legislation that is continually passed by Congress, yet continually put together behind closed doors in the Senate. The House Armed Services Committee will begin their full markup of the NDAA today, and we have already seen a summary of what HASC Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) is ready to put on the table. Looking to spend more than $600 billion this time around, there is certainly onus on Congress to proceed not only carefully, but openly. The full House NDAA markup will be available, as it has been since Congressman McKeon began chairing the HASC in 2011. Unfortunately, without full transparency in both the House and the Senate, taxpayers are left holding the bag on a more than half a trillion dollar piece of legislation that is essentially put together by a small group of elected officials seeking whatever means necessary in order to make sure it can reach final passage without it ever seeing any sunlight until after it’s already signed into law. Retiring Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) laid down a familiar marker early this year when discussing the possibility of opening up the Senate process in marking up the NDAA. Roll Call detailed Senator Levin’s opposition where he cited classification concerns.

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  • TPA Releases New Video: Top 10 Taxpayer Flops, Follies and Fiascos of 2014

    David Williams & Michi Iljazi on April 14, 2014

    angry wife
    Find out what 'angry wives' have to do with taxpayer waste!


    Taxpayers will reach the dreaded April 15th deadline to file their taxes tomorrow, so the Taxpayers Protection Alliance presents a new web video titled Top 10 Taxpayer Flops, Follies and Fiascos of 2014. This year’s list includes a National Institutes of Health study that says wives should calm down; a taxpayer-subsidized reality show for the Army; and the United States Postal Service paying a “futurist” named Faith Popcorn to give stamp advice.



    Click Here to the see the video » Read More
  • TPA Releases New Video: Top 10 Taxpayer Flops, Follies and Fiascos of 2014

    David Williams & Michi Iljazi on April 9, 2014

    angry wife
    Find out what 'angry wives' have to do with taxpayer waste!


    As taxpayers approach the dreaded April 15th deadline to file their taxes, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance presents a new web video titled Top 10 Taxpayer Flops, Follies and Fiascos of 2014. This year’s list includes a National Institutes of Health study that says wives should calm down; a taxpayer-subsidized reality show for the Army; and the United States Postal Service paying a “futurist” named Faith Popcorn to give stamp advice.



    Click Here to the see the video » Read More
  • MEADS Making a Comeback Via Ukraine Crisis?

    Michi Iljazi on March 25, 2014

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    When it comes to issues dealing with international conflict and foreign engagement, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) rarely stakes out political or policy ground regarding debates that give way during these situations. However, one debate that is surfacing as a result of what is happening in Ukraine is the importance of missile defense in today’s global landscape. TPA is no stranger to this issue and there should be genuine concern from taxpayers that some may be using a crisis halfway around the world to try to drum up supportfor a defense program, the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), that is so undesirable the bad reviews are not just domestic, but international. MEADS is an international missile-to-missile intercept program with the U.S. as the lead country funding the program. MEADS, which started in 2005, is a program so wasteful and so bad, that even the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) prohibited the funding of the program in 20112012, and in 2013. The problems with MEADS, and why it is aptly named the ‘Missile to Nowhere,’ are because of the prohibitive cost, scheduling problems, and bad performance. The fact that anyone is even discussing a possible resurrection of MEADS at a time when we need budget constraint at the Pentagon is alarming. There is another reason that MEADS should be nowhere in the conversation of how we go about reassuring our allies in Europe, during what is clearly a delicate time for global community. MEADS wasn’t just a failure on the domestic side, it was a folly overseas too as we attempted to sell the program to allies in Europe.

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  • Unnecessary Defense Acquisitions are a Costly Mistake for the Pentagon, Taxpayers

    David Williams on March 19, 2014

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    This article originally appeared on Townhall.com, March 17, 2014

    It may sound like a fairy tale, but once upon a time the federal government operated in the black, running surpluses that allowed the Department of Defense (DoD) to make significant investments in experimental or future replacement equipment and weapon systems, without drawbacks, oversight or taxpayer scrutiny. Unfortunately, the clock has struck midnight and the budgetary fairy tale is long over. There is no question that investing in our nation is important. However, we are no longer living in the lap of defense spending luxury and taxpayers aren’t willing to turn a blind eye to wasting billions of dollars on unnecessary programs. And, regardless of the financial situation of the country, it makes no sense to continue to use taxpayer money on outdated and severely flawed programs. According to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) defense acquisitions report, the Pentagon is set to spend $1.5 trillion to acquire 85 separate weapons programs in the coming years. The GAO also estimates that those 85 programs will experience a projected $411 billion in cost growth and average delays of 27 months. When it comes to consensus in Washington, there is often little. However, in a time where budget restraint should be the norm, billions of dollars of wasteful defense spending is not something either Republicans or Democrats are able to ignore. Realizing the federal government has been getting away with highway robbery of taxpayers, Representatives Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) are leading the charge to completely overhaul defense acquisitions. It’s time the Pentagon stop gambling billions of dollars on fantasy defense programs that will have little to no real impact on improving the systems our warfighters need to meet today’s threats, and start taking real reform seriously.

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  • President Obama's Budget: A Month Late and Trillions Dollars Short of Fiscal Responsibility

    David Williams on March 4, 2014

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    TPA Responds to the White House FY 2015 Budget Release:

    Today, President Obama unveiled his Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget.  The FY 2015 budget is a month late (which has become a tradition for this President) and trillions of dollars short of fiscal responsibility. The President continued his preference for spending more with a budget proposal that spends $3.9 trillion, which is an increase from the $3.8 trillion the federal government is planning to spend in FY 2014. The White House budget aims to confiscate more money from taxpayers and small business owners to fund a laundry list of big government programs disguised as “stimulus” and “infrastructure.” These new spending priorities are sure to be filled with waste and inefficiency, much like many of the programs funded by the 2009 stimulus package... Even though this is only the opening salvo in the budget war for this year, it is instructive to see that the President clearly doesn’t recognize the fiscal reality of a $17 trillion debt and an economy that remains stagnant. There is no way for taxpayers and entrepreneurs to succeed unless the White House gets serious on spending restraint and tax reform. This budget does neither and with no meaningful offers to cut spending, overhaul the tax code, or reform entitlements, this budget is simply a way to double down on the failed policies of big government spending that have been a hallmark of the Obama Presidency. There should be a clear path to fiscal responsibility through meaningful spending reductions and tax reform. That is clearly not the approach from this White House based on what we have seen today. 

    For the full response, click 'read more' below » Read More
  • Congress Watch: Debt Ceiling Hike and Military COLAs

    Joe Jansen on February 17, 2014

    (Joe Jansen has a decade and a half of experience working as a staff member on Capitol Hill.  He has worked in almost every legislative capacity in both the House and Senate. Joe will be a frequent contributor to TPA’s blog.  Joe's views do not necessarily reflect those of TPA.) Last week, both the House and Senate passed a “clean bill” to increase the debt limit.  The fact that the debt ceiling was raised with no corresponding spending cuts was not shocking.  What happened afterward, however, should have been.  Late last year, House and Senate negotiators reached agreement on a two-year budget compromise.  The deal generally ended the sequester resulting from the last debt-ceiling increase.  Over the next two years, spending will increase by around $60 billion.  This increase was offset by extending a specific Medicare sequester item nine or ten years down the road, an increase in airline fees, and a change to military retirement benefits – the last of which saved approximately $7 billion beginning at the end of 2015.  Under current law, retired military veterans receive pension payments immediately upon their retirement.  Each year, this payment increases (a cost of living adjustment or “COLA”) by the same percentage as the rate of inflation.  For working age veterans, the budget agreement changed the rate by which the cost of living increase grew to the rate of inflation minus 1 percentage point.  Once retirees hit 62 years old, the rate of increase would return to the rate of inflation.  There were two main arguments against the budget agreement.  The first was that Congress was already scrapping the sequester in order to increase spending – spending “paid for” through higher fees and “cuts” ten years down the road.  The fact that veterans’ pension benefits were being reduced was the second.

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  • TPA Joins Broad Coalition Urging End to Budget Gimmicks at the Pentagon through Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Account

    Michi Iljazi on February 7, 2014

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    Whether it’s adhering to spending limits set forth by sequestration, making meaningful reforms within the Department of Defense (DoD) budget, or taking a serious look at many of the programs and weapons systems that simply are not worth the taxpayer dollars funding them; Congress has seriously dropped the ball to reform Defense spending.  And, the result has been a disaster for taxpayers. The Abrams Tank, Joint Strike Fighter and MEADS are just a few examples of missed opportunities to save money and make DoD more prepared for future conflicts. TPA was proud to be a part of a coalition effort focusing on the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account and how it is being used as a way to increase spending that DoD hasn’t requested. Last month TPA documented over $7 billion in earmarks in the Omnibus spending bill that the Pentagon never requested, and now TPA has signed on to a trans-partisan letter along with American Friends, Service Committee, Americans for Prosperity, Campaign for America’s Future, Campaign for Liberty, Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, Center for International Policy, Citizens Against Government Waste, Citizen Outreach, Coalition to Reduce Spending, Come Home America, Council for a Livable World, CREDO, DownsizeDC.org Inc., Foreign Policy in Focus, Freedom Works, Friends Committee on National Legislation, GOProud, Kitchen Table Patriots, Less Government, National Priorities Project, National Security Network, National Taxpayers Union, NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Peace Action, Peace Action West, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), Project On Government Oversight, R Street Institute, Republican Liberty Caucus, Take Back Washington, Taxpayers for Common Sense, USAction, US Labor Against the War (USLAW), Win Without War, and Women’s Action for New Directions to express collective “disappointment at the continued use” of the OCO account to “circumvent the very spending caps that Congress itself put in place.“

    To read the full letter, click 'read more' below

    » Read More
  • F! -35: Taxpayers Footing Bill for Plagued Joint Strike Fighter

    Michi Iljazi on February 4, 2014

    f35
    F-35C Lightning II (courtesy Wikimedia)

    The last few months have been filled with compromise in Washington, which may seem like a good thing.  But, for taxpayers, those compromises have translated into more spending and continued waste of taxpayer money. The need for reform couldn’t be clearer when looking at the $1 trillion Farm Bill, which does little to end subsidies and keeps in place an agricultural policy based largely on picking winners and losers instead of allowing the free market to work. Another painful example was the Omnibus spending bill that was passed last month where the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) uncovered more than $7 billion in earmarks. The Pentagon is filled with countless examples of some of the worst kind of waste that taxpayers have footed the bill for going back decades. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter gives new meaning to the word waste, yet there are still those defending (no pun intended) a project with problems that never cease to exist. The F-35 was created in 2006 and throughout the last eight years the program has been rife with delays and cost overruns that have maligned the integrity of the F-35 to the point where it has become known more for the problems associated with it, as opposed to what it is was originally designed to embody. A recently released report from the Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation listed a variety of issues that detail just how wasteful and deficient this program has become less than ten years since it first took off.

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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.

    » Read More
  • 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

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    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
  • 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
  • National Defense Authorization Act: Bad Process Yields Bad Legislation

    Michi Iljazi on December 24, 2013

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    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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  • TPA Presents the Sequester Flip-Floppers of 2013

    by David Williams & Michi Iljazi on December 13, 2013

    The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) announces the Sequester Flip Floppers of 2013. Below is a list of members of Congress who voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which contained the path to sequestration. Now, they have effectively voted to alter sequestration and break the spending caps by voting for the Murray/Ryan Budget. Sequestration wasn't the best or smartest way to cut spending but it had to be done. The dire warnings about furloughs and economic catastrophe never came true with the Department of Defense cutting furloughs back from 22 days to 6 days. The recent jobs number of 7 percent unemployment and revised GDP growth upwards in the third quarter shows that the economy was able to absorb the cuts. And, let's not forget, it was Congress’ vote on the BCA and their failure to pass specific budget cuts that led us to the sequester in the first place. Further continuation of the sequester is a small step toward fiscal responsibility and any move that alters or eliminates the caps is a precursor to a larger disappointment on spending cuts down the road. Making any changes to the sequester that break spending caps puts taxpayers at greater risk and those who voted for the sequester and are now voting to alter the sequester have made it into TPA's Flip Flopping Hall of Shame. It is important to note that both Democrats and Republicans Flip Flopped.

    To see the list click, 'read more' below

    » Read More
  • Senators Aiming for Taxpayer Dollars Through Defense Authorization Bill

    Michi Iljazi on November 19, 2013

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    As the end of 2013 nears, Congress has several pieces of major legislation that have yet to be fully resolved and one of those is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA serves as the authorization for funding for the Pentagon and the Senate is working on getting their version of the bill through final passage before the Thanksgiving holiday. The House of Representatives passed their own NDAA this past summer and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) was playing careful attention to everything that was added and removed during the entire legislative process and the same will be done as the Senate considers their version of the legislation. There are several issues of concern that taxpayers need to be aware of as this bill makes its way through the Senate and many of these issues could prove costly if action is not taken to oppose efforts to continue the trend of wasteful spending that has been plaguing all of Washington. Appropriations bills have long been used by members of Congress as vehicles for their own special projects and funding measures and the NDAA is no exception. However, in one of the ultimate insults to the integrity of the process and intelligence of the voters, Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) will be seeking to use this defense-funding bill to jam an Internet sales tax into law. This isn’t the first time that the NDAA has been used as a possible pathway for an internet sales tax, but after the vote on the Marketplace Fairness Act earlier this year in the Senate, TPA is very unsettled by this development and we urge strong opposition to any amendment that would sneak in an internet sales tax into a defense authorization bill.

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