Archive for May, 2014

VA Bosses Bagged Bonuses


Friday May 30th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 8:30am PDT   •   0 Comments

As we recently noted, the Veterans Administration has been cooking the books and falsifying information about wait times. According to CNN, at least 40 veterans died while awaiting treatment at the VA facility in Phoenix. President Obama says he’s angry over the situation but he has not fired VA boss Eric Shinseki. Now, as...
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The Tip of the Government Health Care Iceberg


Thursday May 29th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:37am PDT   •   2 Comments

Some excerpts from the Office of the Inspector General’s report on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ bureaucrat-led fraud of the real conditions at Phoenix’s VA hospital and a number of other VA facilities, the first of many we will be hearing in the news. We’ll present the results in a Q&A style format: How...
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The BOE Bottomless Money Pit


Wednesday May 28th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:15am PDT   •   3 Comments

Jon Ortiz of the Sacramento Bee has dubbed the State Board of Equalization (BOE) headquarters in the state capitol as a “Terror Tower,” with good reason. Since the 24-story office building opened 21 years ago, taxpayers have “shoveled about $60 million into combating defects that have plagued the tower, including invasive mold, leaking windows,...
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The President’s $17 Billion Helicopter Fleet


Monday May 26th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:13am PDT   •   1 Comment

Taxpayers calculating the cost of government should remain on full alert for waste on all fronts, but particularly in the military. Consider, for example, this story in the Daily Beast about the new fleet of presidential helicopters. These will be “the most expensive helicopters ever made,” with each one logging in at $400 million,...
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Two Years Until the Social Security Disability Trust Fund Is Empty


Friday May 23rd, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 11:07pm PDT   •   3 Comments

The trust fund in question is Social Security’s Disability Insurance (SSDI) trust fund, which is set to be fully depleted sometime in 2016. Brianna Ehley of the Fiscal Times has the details on the fund that provides up to 20% of the money paid to recipients of Social Security disability benefits: According to the...
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Taxpayers Subsidize Killer VA Health System


Wednesday May 21st, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:05am PDT   •   1 Comment

According to the official government website, “The President’s vision for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is to transform VA into a 21st Century organization that is Veteran-centric, results-driven, and forward-looking.” So no surprise that “the President’s 2015 Budget includes $163.9 billion for VA in 2015. This includes $68.3 billion in discretionary resources and...
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USPS Still Losing After All These Years


Monday May 19th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:04am PDT   •   3 Comments

As Josh Hicks reports in the Washington Post, the U.S. Postal Service lost $1.9 billion in the second quarter, and the losses come despite increases in revenues, higher prices for stamps, and a boost in USPS package shipping. The losses, Hicks notes, mark “the 20th time in the last 22 quarters in which the...
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Millionaire “Public Servants”


Sunday May 18th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 2:29pm PDT   •   3 Comments

Not long ago, we looked at the situation where politicians and bureaucrats use their authority to regulate economic activity to impose costs on regular Americans. In doing that, we noted the role of the “corporate cronies”, who use push for government regulation as a means to put their market competitors at a disadvantage so...
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IRS Dishes Out $13-15 Billion in Improper Payments


Friday May 16th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:04am PDT   •   4 Comments

Most Americans have completed their tax returns and may even have got back some of their own money. Now they should get out the government cost calculator again because as Kelly Cohen reports in the Washington Examiner, last year the IRS gave out between $13.3 billion and $15.6 billion in improper payments. That amounted...
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The Incentives of Bureaucrats


Thursday May 15th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 2:19am PDT   •   4 Comments

If you count up the number of civilians who work for the U.S. federal government, you’ll find that nearly one out of eight work for the Department of Veterans Affairs, primarily in the federal government-run, single payer-style health care and hospital system that has been established to specifically deal with the medical needs of...
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