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Archive for May, 2014

The $6.4 Billion Bridge to No Accountability

Wednesday May 14th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:05am PDT   •   2 Comments

As we have noted, the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge cost $6.4 billion, a full $5 billion more than the original estimate, and the project came in ten years late. The delay of a decade, however, was not sufficient to resolve serious safety problems with the bridge. Those were the subject of…
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More Government Snoop Dogs

Monday May 12th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:15am PDT   •   0 Comments

Most taxpayers will be unfamiliar with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), but they might want to get up to speed for several reasons. The NTIA is “the Executive Branch agency that is principally responsible by law for advising the President on telecommunications and information policy issues.” The NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus…
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The Cost of Regulations

Sunday May 11th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 8:03am PDT   •   1 Comment

How much does the average American household spend to cover the cost of government regulations? Answering that question can be difficult, because Americans pay that cost every time they make any kind of transaction. Because it’s a cost of doing business, it gets directly passed along to every consumer and is incorporated into the…
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Government Insider Trading

Friday May 9th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:05am PDT   •   1 Comment

Insider trading is normally conducted by individuals with access to public companies’ information. But as this report notes, governments also conduct “insider trading in jobs” as shown by the case of Gerardo Lopez, a sergeant-at-arms in the California Senate. In 2012 Lopez was involved in a gunfight at his house that left one person…
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The Compact for a Balanced Budget

Thursday May 8th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 5:45am PDT   •   0 Comments

George Will writes of a new state-based initiative to amend the U.S. Constitution to regain control over the federal government’s spending: From the Goldwater Institute, the fertile frontal lobe of the conservative movement’s brain, comes an innovative idea that is gaining traction in Alaska, Arizona and Georgia, and its advocates may bring it to…
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Double-Dip Waste

Wednesday May 7th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:05am PDT   •   0 Comments

Taxpayers prone to wonder why government is so wasteful should take a hard look at government-employee pensions in general and the practice of double-dipping in particular. As this report notes, Bill Carnahan, head of the Southern California Public Power Authority, took both his full-time salary and his pension at the same time, and he…
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De-Capitalization in the 21st Century

Tuesday May 6th, 2014   •   Posted by Burt Abrams at 10:52am PDT   •   0 Comments

A cartoon, like a picture, is worth a thousand words. Nonetheless, I’ll risk adding a few more to this one. In case you haven’t heard, French economist Thomas Piketty’s book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” is a runaway best seller. In Professor Piketty’s view, under capitalism, the rich get richer (because they own the…
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$3 Billion Scamiversary

Monday May 5th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:05am PDT   •   0 Comments

In 2004, California’s $3 billion Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, Proposition 71, promised life-saving cures and therapies for a host of afflictions. Voters approved the measure, which created the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Ten years later CIRM has spent nearly $2 billion, but as this report notes, “No cures have yet…
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Fannie Puts the Load on Taxpayers

Friday May 2nd, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:07am PDT   •   0 Comments

Back in 2012 analysts were predicting that the federal bailout of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be the most expensive government rescue of the financial crisis. At the time the cost was $153 billion and rising, and those costs would continue to climb regardless of federal plans for the agencies….
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Uncle Sam’s Biggest Creditors

Thursday May 1st, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:30am PDT   •   0 Comments

Via Political Calculations, the biggest lenders to the U.S. federal government as of Tax Day 2014: The biggest surprise in this edition of our chart (compared to the previous edition) is the appearance of Belgium on the list, which jumped ahead of several other nations by more than doubling the amount that is being…
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