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Category: Defense



  • Getting More for Our Money on Missile Defense

    David Williams on November 13, 2017

    Image result for missile defense


    This article originally appeared in Real Clear Defense on November 7, 2017

    The United States faces a grave and growing threat from North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. With North Korea conducting two ICBM tests in July of 2017, Kim Jong-Un is a pariah intent on putting the United States and allies on the defense. For the first time, North Korea has demonstrated the ballistic missile technology necessary to directly attack the U.S. homeland. And these developments are not unfolding in a vacuum. Ballistic missile threats from Russia and China are ever-present and rapidly evolving.  However, these pressing issues are no excuse to hand the Department of Defense a blank check.  Only a smart and nimble national defense will prove capable in diffusing these threats and protecting the country.  Reforming the military’s purchasing protocol by instituting multi-year procurement can accomplish that goal. » Read More
  • More Crony Capitalism as Boeing Ramps Up Trade Dispute With Bombardier

    David Williams on August 24, 2017


    This piece was published in the Independent Journal Review on August 22, 2017.

    Whether it’s subsidized loans through the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank or their latest trade dispute with Bombardier, Boeing has an uncanny knack to look for government help instead of doing things for themselves. In particular, Boeing’s allegations before the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) to try Bombardier before the U.S. Commerce Department on antidumping and countervailing duty charges brings light to a decades-old fight over international aircraft subsidy programs within a new atmosphere of protectionism in Washington. » Read More
  • To Reign in Government Waste, the Pentagon Must be Audited

    Ross Marchand on July 7, 2017


    Taxpayers have grown accustomed to astronomical spending figures tossed around matter-of-factly at the Department of Defense (DoD).  The Pentagon, for instance, is expected to pour an astounding $1.5 trillion into the F-35 over the life of the program. The Overseas Contingency Fund continues to be a budget buster, despite declining operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, unlike other federal departments, watchdog organizations and concerned citizens have no official way of distinguishing “legitimate” spending programs from wasteful operations. The Pentagon has shielded its books from audits, taking advantage of an exemption from a process that all parts of government are expected to undergo each and every year. As a result, taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for erroneous expenses without knowing the full extent of the waste. » Read More
  • By Tinkering with Process, a New BRAC Can Save Billions

    Ross Marchand on June 27, 2017

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    Congress has seen more than its fair share of Pentagon budget kurfluffles over the past decade, ranging from sequester showdowns to the dysfunctional (and expensive) F-35 program. But, members of Congress across the ideological spectrum can agree that the string of forlorn, nearly-vacant military bases across the nation ought to be shuttered or consolidated. Talk has increased of another round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), in which a commission studies military bases and recommends closures subject to congressional approval. The notion of taxpayers footing the bill for nearly-abandoned installations is an unpopular one, and for good reason. A letter signed by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and 44 other groups across the political spectrum reinforced the bipartisan idea of closing more bases. » Read More
  • Earmarks Are Still A Problem, Don’t Let Congress Make It Worse

    David Williams on March 20, 2017

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    This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on March 14, 2017

    Lawmakers in Washington are moving at a faster pace than they have been for several years. And while it is encouraging to see some progress on tax and health care reform, it is also problematic that there is movement to bring back earmarks. Congress banned earmarks in 2011 after Republicans gained control of the House. And now, six years later, with full control of the legislative and executive branches, the threat of earmarks shouldn’t be a problem. Not so fast. The fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill that passed the House last week contained 406 earmarks worth $14.5 billion. None of the earmarks listed were requested by the Pentagon, and instead inserted by one or more members of Congress.

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  • BREAKING: Taxpayers Protection Alliance Uncovers $14.5 Billion in Earmarks in Defense Spending Bill

    Michi Iljazi on March 6, 2017

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Defense Appropriations Act conference report, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has uncovered 406 earmarks totaling $14.5 billion (click here to see the full list) that were not requested by the Pentagon and inserted by members of Congress. That is an 11 percent increase in the number of projects and a one percent decrease in total dollars from FY 2016.  As some lawmakers push to return to officially bring back earmarks since they were banned in 2011, TPA continues to show that earmarks never died.  These earmarks are more alarming considering President Trump’s call for an increase Defense spending in FY 2018.

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  • TPA Releases Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity for 115th Congress

    Michi Iljazi on January 25, 2017

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    This week, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a series of issue briefs for the 115th Congress titled Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity.  The publication puts forward an aggressive reform agenda for Congress. The publication focuses on 14 different policy areas where reform is needed to help reduce the size of government, cut spending, enact tax reform, and help get the economy back on track.  Issues covered in the publication include Defense Spending, Earmarks, Energy, Health Care, Intellectual Property, Mergers, Regulatory Reform, Solar Subsidies, Tax Reform, Telecommunications Policy, Trade Policy, United Nations/World Health Organization and United States Postal Service Reform. TPA President David Williams said of the release, “The newly elected Congress has No More Excuses for not acting on real and meaningful reform when it comes to reducing spending and getting the debt under control. TPA’s Roadmap to Fiscal Sanity provides a path forward.”

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  • Trump Must Slay the Sacred Cow of the Budget: Defense Spending

    Andrew Langer on January 5, 2017

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    Andrew Langer is the President of th Institute for Liberty. This op-ed appeared in The Washington Examiner on January 3, 2017.

    President-elect Trump is going to have plenty of messes to clean up when he sweeps into the Oval Office, but the first might have to be at the Defense Department. Far removed from the forces in the field, the bloated bureaucracy at the Pentagon has become its own special miasma of waste and excess, as proven by a study by the Defense Business Board that detailed $125 billion in administrative waste in the Pentagon's business operations. The report essentially detailed how the Pentagon could save $125 billion over five years by streamlining its bureaucracy.

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  • Taxpayer New Years Resolutions for 2017

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on January 2, 2017

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    The New Year has begun, and after saying goodbye to 2016, taxpayers are ready to welcome 2017.  While many people resolve to shed a few pounds and break some bad habits, this year’s list of resolutions highlights all of the major issues that the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) will focus on throughout the year.


    Congress


    The resolution for Congress in 2017 is clear: No More Excuses. Washington (including the incoming Trump administration) have no more excuses for not getting things done for taxpayers. On a wide range of issues, including tax reform and regulatory reform, members of the House and Senate can longer make excuses for not doing the necessary work to fix some of the major problems impacting taxpayers. It is time for Congress to get to work. For more on Congress, click here

    Click "Read Blog" below to see all of TPA's 2017 Resolutions!

    » Read More
  • Is Trump’s Pick for Budget Director a David Stockman Redux?

    Veronique de Rugy on December 30, 2016

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    Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a columnist for Reason magazine and the Washington Examiner, and blogs about ecomomics for National ReviewClick here to contact her, and follow her on Twitter: @veroderugyClick here to read previous columns. This piece originally appeared on Noozhawk.com on December 23, 2016.

    In his 1986 memoirs, The Triumph of Politics, David Stockman wrote: "The politicians were wrecking American capitalism. They were turning democratic government into a lavish giveaway auction. They were saddling workers and entrepreneurs with punitive taxation and demoralizing and wasteful regulation." For the four years he served as President Ronald Reagan's budget director, Stockman fought for his vision of sustained economic growth and social progress through sound money, lower tax rates and curtailment of federal spending, welfare and subsidies to private interests. Unfortunately, he lost his dream of a true Reagan revolution because many congressional politicians refused to implement the big spending cuts that had to be matched with the big tax cuts.

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  • TPA Signs Coalition Letter Criticizing Congress for Budget Gimmicks in NDAA

    Michi Iljazi on December 6, 2016

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    Pentagon spending continues to be a focus for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and many other taxpayer advocates who care about fiscal responsibility. Recently, TPA President David Williams laid out the case for how President-elect Trump can make good on his promises to change Washington by tackling problems with the defense budget. Yesterday, a report came out detailing how the Pentagon has been wasting over $120 billion on bloated bureaucracy in recent years. Keeping all of that in mind, TPA signed this letter criticizing Congress for their continued gaming of the budget as it relates to Pentagon spending and specifically the authorization of an additional $3.2 billion as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that just passed Congress last week.  TPA firmly believes that the best way to secure our nation and our people is to ensure that the financial resources we have are being used in the best way possible to protect against threats both foreign and domestic. Using budget gimmicks to plus-up Pentagon spending on wasteful programs doesn't make the country any safer.

    Click "read more" below to see the full letter

    » Read More
  • TPA's 2016 Taxpayer Turkeys

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on November 23, 2016

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    Thanksgiving
    in upon us, and that means it’s time for families to get together for good times, great food, and a few football games. It also means that it’s time for Taxpayers Protection Alliance’s (TPA) annual Taxpayer Turkeys! This year TPA has been paying close attention to what elected officials are doing and how they are hurting taxpayers. Here’s our list of turkeys for this year and you can also hear about them on the latest TPA podcast (click here to listen).

    Click "read more" below to see the 2016 Taxpayer Turkeys!

    » Read More
  • Wasteful Military Spending Will Be Trump's First Big Test

    David Williams on November 22, 2016

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    This article originally appeared in Inside Sources on November 16, 2016

    President-elect Donald Trump has many challenges facing him as he prepares to take office in January. Perhaps his biggest challenge will be the Pentagon’s budget Even though Trump has talked about excessive spending and draining the swamp, his national security platform includes spending more on the military. Some estimate his increase will surpass $500 billion over the next 10 years, which is reckless considering the amount of waste at the Pentagon. Spending restraint at the Pentagon will not only be a challenge for Trump, it will be a challenge for Republicans reluctant to cut military spending.

    » Read More
  • TPA's 2016 Taxpayer Turkeys

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on November 21, 2016

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    Thanksgiving
    in upon us, and that means it’s time for families to get together for good times, great food, and a few football games. It also means that it’s time for Taxpayers Protection Alliance’s (TPA) annual Taxpayer Turkeys! This year TPA has been paying close attention to what elected officials are doing and how they are hurting taxpayers. Here’s our list of turkeys for this year and you can also hear about them on the latest TPA podcast (click here to listen).

    Click "read more" below to see the 2016 Taxpayer Turkeys

    » Read More
  • 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

    » Read More
  • 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!!

    » Read More
  • TPA's Tricks and Treats for 2016

    David Williams and Michi Iljazi on October 24, 2016

    hw1

    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!

    » Read More
  • 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.

    » Read More
  • 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

    » Read More
  • 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

    » Read More
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