Author Archive: K. Lloyd Billingsley

K. Lloyd Billingsley is Communications Counsel at the Independent Institute.
Full biography and recent publications

Federal “Operation Choke Point” Abuses Americans


Wednesday January 28th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:41am PST   •   0 Comments

In recent years, government has been ramping up the deployment of federal agencies against the very citizens who pay for them. The National Security Agency, for example, has been conducting massive surveillance operations against innocent Americans. The Internal Revenue Service has been deployed against groups that favor smaller government and lower taxes. Now the...
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Federal Double Standard on Debt


Monday January 26th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:09am PST   •   0 Comments

“People who owe old debts to the Social Security Administration are getting a reprieve this tax season,” explains Fox News. “The federal government won’t be seizing their tax refunds.” Before anybody starts celebrating, that requires some clarification. As we noted, the “debts” in question are highly dubious. Mary Grice, now 58, was four years...
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Same as the Old Boss?


Wednesday January 21st, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:27am PST   •   0 Comments

As California Senate boss, Darrell Steinberg compiled quite a record of abuse and waste. In 2012, for example, he killed the California Channel’s live broadcast of hearings on four ballot measures dealing with taxes and spending, depriving voters of vital information. He compounded this censorship by claiming: “I pride myself on being open and...
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California’s Bloated Judicial Bureaucracy


Monday January 19th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:27am PST   •   0 Comments

As we have noted, government never hesitates to waste money on projects of dubious utility. For example, commuters can get along quite well without California’s $68 billion high-speed rail boondoggle. The state does not need two massive tunnels under the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, but the governor wants to spend $25 billion the project. Likewise,...
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The Widespread Misery Inherent in the System


Friday January 16th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:47am PST   •   0 Comments

Covered California, the Golden State’s wholly owned subsidiary of Obamacare, has been cancelling the coverage when people report changes in their income, changing their eligibility for tax credits. This problem exposes people to severe tax penalties but Covered California bosses blame it on their $454 million computer system. On the other hand, those turning...
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Bullet Train Boondoggle Breaks Ground


Wednesday January 14th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:37am PST   •   0 Comments

“The California High-Speed Rail Authority expects that millions among the traveling public will want to ride its sleek, 220-mph bullet trains between the Bay Area and the Los Angeles Basin when the system starts running in the early 2020s,” explains Tim Sheehan in the Fresno Bee. But when the project, launched with a 2008...
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Government Tunnel Vision Shafts Taxpayers


Monday January 12th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:27am PST   •   0 Comments

As part of his $25 billion plan for California’s water system, governor Jerry Brown wants to build two tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. Each tunnel would be 40 feet high, 35 miles long, and together they would cost nearly $17 billion. Backers of the plan would do well to consider the pitfalls...
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Bridge Still Full of Troubled Water


Wednesday January 7th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:29am PST   •   0 Comments

Water is supposed to flow under a bridge, not into it, but as we noted last year, that is not the case for the stylish new eastern span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, which cost $6.4 billion, $5 billion more than the original estimate, and came in ten years late. All that time...
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Stimulus Ad Copy Surge


Monday January 5th, 2015   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:22am PST   •   0 Comments

“Program That Backed Solyndra Now Showing Successes,” proclaims a December 29 article by Henry C. Jackson of the Associated Press. He finds an example of success in Hugoton, Kansas, site of a new cellulosic ethanol refinery funded in part by a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. The same program, Mr. Jackson...
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Unaccountable, That’s What You Are


Wednesday December 31st, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 5:44am PST   •   0 Comments

This column alerts taxpayers to government waste, fraud and abuse, which abound at all levels. On those rare occasions when government bodies do the same, it’s certainly worth a look. As Jon Ortiz notes in the Sacramento Bee, “Nearly two-thirds of California state government data systems checked by auditors over two years contained unreliable...
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