Archive for January, 2018

Yawn. Another Episode of Government Shutdown Theater Begins

Monday January 22nd, 2018   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:19am PDT   •   0 Comments

Late on Friday, January 19, 2018, politicians in the U.S. Congress failed for the nineteenth time in the last 42 years to approve a resolution that would allow the U.S. government to continue borrowing money to support all of the spending that they’ve mandated. As a result, nonessential federal government employees have been directed…
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The Off-the-Books Bureaucracy

Thursday January 18th, 2018   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:30am PDT   •   0 Comments

For years, bureaucrats at U.S. government agencies have been involved in unlawful schemes to pass off significant parts of their workload to contractors who are not bound by the restrictions of the U.S. Constitution. That’s the gist of a startling claim made by Robert J. Hanrahan Jr., an employee of the National Nuclear Security…
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Another $2.8 Billion Boards Bullet-Train Boondoggle

Wednesday January 17th, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 8:39am PDT   •   3 Comments

“A slew of delays and higher-than-expected costs are driving the anticipated price of high-speed rail construction in the central San Joaquin Valley by more than one-third, to about $10.6 billion,” writes Tim Sheehan in the Fresno Bee. “That’s a $2.8 billion jump from the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s estimate in 2016 of $7.8 billion…
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California Blazes Fed by Unspent Fire Prevention Fees

Tuesday January 16th, 2018   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:06am PDT   •   0 Comments

Last year, the Thomas fire in California’s central coast region made the national news night, after night, after night, as it became the biggest fire in state history. Combined with several other outsized wildfires, 2017 shattered state records for both wildfire-related losses and the sheer amount of money spent to suppress them. What many…
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Tax Deduction Trick Leaves Punitive Rates in Place

Monday January 15th, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 11:50am PDT   •   0 Comments

As we noted, the new federal tax bill caps the amount state taxes filers can deduct on their federal return at $10,000. That displeases California’s senate boss Kevin de Leon, whose Protect California Taxpayers Act will allow Californians to pay their state income taxes as though they were a charitable donation, and therefore fully…
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Barreling Toward Government Shutdown Theater

Thursday January 11th, 2018   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:01am PDT   •   0 Comments

Like a kayak over a waterfall, the U.S. Congress is barreling toward another episode of government shutdown theater. Jordain Carney of The Hill explains: Lawmakers are scrambling to avoid a government shutdown as they barrel toward another funding deadline without a clear path forward. GOP leadership is remaining tightlipped about their plan, with Senate…
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Government Oroville Cover-up is a Dam Shame

Monday January 8th, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 12:04pm PDT   •   1 Comment

Last February 7 during heavy rains the Oroville Dam’s concrete spillway failed, launching fears of a complete dam failure, and forcing the evacuation of 188,000 people. As it turned out, government engineers knew for decades that the alternate earthen spillway was unreliable but failed to reinforce it with concrete. As Rep. John Garamendi famously…
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Is It Time for a Balanced Budget Amendment?

Monday January 8th, 2018   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:24am PDT   •   0 Comments

It can be argued that the U.S. government has an excessive spending problem, where the politicians that American voters send to Washington D.C. in each election seem to have very little appetite to rein in their free-spending habits, where the opportunity to spend other people’s money on things that can make them more popular…
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Friday January 5th, 2018   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 3:39pm PDT   •   2 Comments

The recently passed federal tax bill lowers the corporate rate from 35 to 21 percent, reduces rates in five of the seven tax brackets, and according to the New York Times will cut taxes for about 75 percent of filers in 2018. The bill also caps the amount of state taxes filers can deduct on their federal…
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Bureaucrats and Politicians Trying to Pull Fast Ones

Wednesday January 3rd, 2018   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:27am PDT   •   0 Comments

The week between the Christmas and New Year’s often makes for a slow news week, where all the hubbub and activity of the holidays work to refocus the attention of Americans on their families and friends rather than what’s going on in their communities or is happening in Washington D.C. Since this is my…
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