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Archive for June, 2014

Clarity on the Missing Emails

Monday June 30th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:00am PDT   •   2 Comments

As a showcase for speechmaking and stonewalling, the ongoing hearings on the IRS targeting campaign have generated more heat than light. Fortunately, a few moments of clarity emerged in a June 23 hearing by the House Oversight Committee. Rep. Thomas Massie, an MIT grad, explained the probability of Lois Lerner’s hard drive failing in…
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Privatize and Specialize the VA

Sunday June 29th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 11:46am PDT   •   1 Comment

The way the Department of Veterans Affairs goes about providing health care to the veterans of the U.S. military, as it exists today, is an abject failure. In the words White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors, the federal government agency is possessed by a “corrosive culture,” one that is characterized by “significant…
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Tracking Wasteful Government Spending

Thursday June 26th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 4:24pm PDT   •   0 Comments

Believe it or not, there actually are people in the federal government whose job is to identify wasteful spending by the bureaucrats who operate federal government agencies. They work for an entity known as the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which publishes an annual report list the various types of wasteful activities that they’ve identified….
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Federal Abuse Has No Borders

Wednesday June 25th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:20am PDT   •   0 Comments

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the Department of Homeland Security, deploys a budget of $12.9 billion, an increase of 6.45 percent from fiscal year 2013. CBP has an internal affairs division to deal with misconduct, but according to an investigation by McClatchy news service, CBP’s internal affairs division “is…
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Americans Still Paying for IRS Mistakes and Improper Actions

Monday June 23rd, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:20am PDT   •   1 Comment

Abuse of Americans by the Internal Revenue Service is nothing new. As Gary Klott wrote in the New York Times in 1987, the federal agency was basing promotions on how much money its agents had seized. An IRS office in Los Angeles bore a sign reading “Seizure Fever – Catch it!” and those who…
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“We Can’t Afford That!”

Thursday June 19th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 4:40am PDT   •   0 Comments

The 2014 election season is underway, where the growth of the national debt driven by irresponsible spending has made a surprise appearance in an ad attacking an incumbent politician. The Hill reports: Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit advocacy group with ties to billionaire donors Charles and David Koch that’s geared toward young adults, is attacking…
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Bullet Train Bags Big Bucks

Wednesday June 18th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:05am PDT   •   1 Comment

As we have noted, California’s vaunted $68 billion “bullet train” is unpopular with taxpayers but a big hit with politicians, always eager for a new place to spend. So no surprise that the train to nowhere has already succeeded in bulking up government. Last year California’s High-Speed Rail Authority nearly tripled its staff to…
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What the Stimulus Package Really Stimulated

Tuesday June 17th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 4:02pm PDT   •   0 Comments

It sometimes takes years to get a clear picture of historical events. Take 2009’s “stimulus” package, also known as the American Recovery and Restoration Act, which was supposed to revitalize the private sector of the U.S. economy at a time of crisis. Via Jim Pethokoukis, we find that the St. Louis branch of the…
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Is Government Outsourcing Wasteful?

Monday June 16th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:00am PDT   •   0 Comments

We recently noted that California governor Jerry Brown’s 2014-15 budget would result in the overstaffing of Caltrans design and construction departments by about 3,500 full-time employees at a cost of more than $500 million. This comes at a time when, as Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee observed, a declining workload is “not being…
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Striking Back Against the VA’s Bonuses

Thursday June 12th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 7:15am PDT   •   0 Comments

We’ve been following the story of the perverse incentives that the VA’s administrators had in creating the secret wait lists to ration and restrict needed medical care to American veterans. The latest salvo in fixing that problem was just fired in the U.S. House of Representatives, where a ban on further bonuses to the…
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