Showing posts with label Taxpayers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taxpayers. Show all posts

Friday, August 21, 2015

Foreign Criminals Who Could Be Shipped Home Cost Taxpayers Millions

President Barack Obama is shown the inside of a cell as he visits the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma July 16, 2015. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
Taxpayers are shelling out millions each year to house an increasing number of foreign criminals in U.S. federal prisons because their home countries won’t take them back.
Federal prisons are housing more than 40,000 non-U.S. citizens from 79 countries that participate in the International Prison Transfer Program, in which eligible and willing inmates can serve out the rest of their time behind bars in their homeland.
Used correctly, the treaty should ease prison overcrowding and save taxpayers millions of dollars, the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General said in a report made public Thursday.
Treaty nations refused to take 959 transfer-approved foreign inmates from 2011 to 2013, costing U.S. taxpayers $26 million.
Federal inmates from the 97 treaty nations number roughly 43,000, and account for one in five federal prisoners, according to the IG. That number is on the rise. Federal prisons housed 10,000 fewer inmates from treaty nations a decade ago. Less than one percent of those inmates from transfer treaty nations — 0.6 percent — go home, partly because nations like Canada and Mexico in particular often refuse to take their criminals back.
“It really comes down to a question of numbers,” DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz said in a statement. “Transferring more foreign national prisoners to serve the remainder of their sentence in their home country would not only help reduce overcrowding in the federal prison system, but also lower costs.”

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Boehner Wants More ‘Facts’ Before Ending Planned Parenthood Funding. Here’s 8.

House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that he wants to put “facts first” before using the appropriations process to end federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The most recent reports of harvesting and selling body parts from aborted unborn babies have renewed the call to end the more than half a billion dollars that the organization receives in government funding each year.
Here are just a few more facts that Boehner (and all of Congress) should consider before continuing to send the hard-earned dollars of American taxpayers to the nation’s largest abortion provider:
Fact #1: Planned Parenthood Has Become a Billion-Dollar Organization on the Backs of Taxpayers
Planned Parenthood has ridden the waves of taxpayer funding to millions of dollars in annual surpluses. During its last reporting year, like many before it, the organization reported revenues over expenses exceeding $127 million and net assets of more than $1.4 billion. During that same year, Planned Parenthood received over $528 million in taxpayer-funded grants and reimbursements from federal and state coffers – 41 percent of the organization’s total revenue. As a Government Accountability Office reportreleased this past March demonstrates, a large portion of that taxpayer money comes from a variety of federal sources, including Title X and Medicaid.
Fact #2: Planned Parenthood Performs 1 in 3 Abortions in the U.S.
In the 2013-2014 reporting year alone, Planned Parenthood reported performing 327,653 abortions- and nearly 1 million abortions over the pastthree years. There have even been allegations from former employees of mandatory “abortion quotas” that affiliates must meet and the national organization recently announced that all affiliates would have to begin providing abortion services.
Fact #3: Planned Parenthood has Decreased Preventive Care, While Increasing Abortions
While, according to the organization’s most recent report, Planned Parenthood affiliates performed 327,653 abortions during the last reporting year, they made only 1,880 adoption referrals and provided just 18,684 prenatal services. Indeed, abortion accounted for 94 percent of the organization’s pregnancy-related services (abortion, adoption referral, prenatal services). According toanalysis by Americans United for Life, even cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood have decreased 50 percent since 2004, while the number of abortion procedures has increased by about 70,000 each year during the same time period. And despite some supporters’ statements to the contrary, Planned Parenthood does not and cannot provide mammograms.
Fact #4: Planned Parenthood Has Been Accused of Financial Fraud with Taxpayer Dollars
Planned Parenthood affiliates have been accused of potential fraud when it comes to government reimbursements for services. In 2013, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast agreed to pay an over $4 million settlement for Medicaid fraud according to the Texas Attorney General. Summaries of state audits of family planning programs have indicated similar abuse and fraudulent practices by Planned Parenthood affiliates to the tune of over $8 million across 9 states.
Fact #5: Planned Parenthood Fights Commonsense Laws that Protect Women and Children
Along with its many challenges to commonsense state laws regulating abortion doctors and clinics and fighting a bill in Congress to limit dangerous and gruesome late-term abortions, Planned Parenthood has even opposed legislation that would protect infants born alive after failed abortions. More recently, Planned Parenthood was involved in attempts to derail an anti-human trafficking bill in Congress because the legislation included a longstanding and widely-supported policy against taxpayer funding of abortion.
Fact #6: Planned Parenthood Stands Accused of Jeopardizing the Safety and Health of Women and Girls
While claiming to support the interests of women, Planned Parenthood has also been accused by pro-life advocacy groups of abetting the sex trafficking of minor girls and at least four affiliates in Delaware, Virginia, Colorado and Illinois have been similarly accused of neglecting the health and safety of patients.
Fact #7: Women Can Receive Wider Range of Care at Other Centers
Health care services are already being provided for those who need them without unethical practices or entanglement in abortion. More than 2,000 pregnancy centers provide medical testing, prenatal care, ultrasounds and child-birth classes, among other services to women facing unplanned pregnancies, empowering them with life-affirming options.
In addition to those resources specifically for pregnant women, the federal government funds roughly 1,200 federally qualified health clinics across the country that served 21 million people in 2012 alone and often provide birth control options, cancer screenings and women’s health exams, not to mention a wide-range of primary health services for women, children and men.
Fact #8: Planned Parenthood Advances a Culture that Devalues Life
Planned Parenthood is the leader of a gruesome and ruthless industry, which daily adds to the 56 million unborn children and countless women harmed by abortion.
The videos released over the last week have merely shown the nation where the logic of abortion-on-demand inevitably leads: to where tiny livers and lungs are useful for harvesting, but the nameless baby they come from is too small, dependent, disabled, or simply too inconvenient to be allowed to continue living. The value of a life within Planned Parenthood’s walls is measured by its utility and convenience – rather than the inherent dignity of every human being.
Congress Must Stop Funding Planned Parenthood
Regardless of the outcome of the very necessary congressional inquiry, there is no reason to continue entangling federal money with an organization nearly allof whose pregnancy-related services are abortion procedures.
There is nothing stopping individuals, organizations and businesses from continuing to fund Planned Parenthood with private dollars (although, requests by Coca-Cola, Ford and Xerox to remove their names from Planned Parenthood’s corporate donors list may be indication that even the private sector isn’t too happy with the latest, horrific revelations about the non-profit).
Policymakers looking to put limited taxpayer funds to more efficient and effective use should redirect those dollars to centers and clinics that can provide more comprehensive care for women. All women – but especially those facing difficult circumstances – deserve better care for their health and more options than the cold doors of an abortion facility.
No society that is truly committed to protecting basic human rights can continue funding an industry that harms women, takes the lives of the most vulnerable children and cheapens our respect for life – especially when its leader allegedly harvests and sells tiny organs for profit.
Those should be all the facts Congress needs to end funding of Planned Parenthood.

Friday, July 10, 2015

California's Generosity To Illegals Is Crippling The State

California is once again leading the way in financial irresponsibility by subsidizing health care for illegal alien children, further burdening the state’s taxpayers.
The LA Times reports that the subsidized healthcare is a part of a $115.4 billion budget and would be available to 170,000 children at the age of 18 or younger. The cost is expected to be $132 million when fully implemented. The program will begin in May.
The Los Angeles Daily News features proponents of subsidized healthcare to illegal children saying that the state can afford to help low-income illegal children because California has billions of dollars in surplus.
Even if this were true, why does the burden have to be on us taxpayers? They are the ones who came here illegally. Yes, the children are here through no fault of their own but the sad reality is that children are often victims of bad circumstance through no fault of their own. For instance, if their parents are arrested for tax embezzlement, that’s not the children’s fault but we don’t reward the unlawful behavior of tax embezzlement as a result.
But the dirty little secret is that California is not as financially sound as the left would have you believe. In fact, the financial system is in dire straits, and a sizable portion is due to illegal immigration.
First, a little background: California would not be in this position if not for rogue, judicial activist judges. The people of California voted for Proposition 187 in 1994 by a vote of 59% to 41%, which prohibited illegal aliens from access to welfare programs, including public education and health care. This was back when Californians had common sense.
So naturally, as the left is wont to do when voter initiatives and legislation don’t go their way, they sued, hoping that a handful of judges in black robes would overrule the will of the people. And that’s what happened.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Time for American Taxpayers to revolt

This was the horrible week in which millions of Americans paid their taxes to the ever increasing and intrusive federal government. This year, the tax burden has grown with Tax Freedom Day appearing on April 24, meaning that Americans will spend approximately one third of the year working for government before they can provide for their families.

Taxes are certainly oppressive in this country. Compared to last year, tax revenue increased 4.3% to $1.478 trillion in the first 6½ months of the 2015 fiscal year. Even worse, the insatiable federal government continues to spend money with reckless abandon.  Through April 1 of this year, the budget deficit was an astounding $439 billion, a significant increase from 2014.

Not only are taxes and deficits increasing, but the actual size of the federal tax code is exploding. When the income tax was created in 1913, the tax code was only 400 pages. It increased to 26,000 pages by 1984 and has tripled in size in the last 30 years. Since the implementation of Obamacare in 2010, the federal tax code has increased another 3,300 pages, resulting in more rules and regulations for Americans to decipher. Today, the federal tax code is over 74,000 pages of bureaucratic nonsense, making it impossible for the average American to complete their own tax return. It is no surprise that 94% of Americans need professional assistance in finishing their tax return.

Monday, September 9, 2013

10 Ways Obamacare Isn’t Working

NewscomObamacare is an unworkable law.
It’s obvious because the Administration keeps trying to “fix” it—to no avail. It has delayed parts of the law, ignored others, and carved out exemptions for its political allies.
1. WAIVERS: The Administration established a legally questionable program of temporary waivers when firms announced they were considering dropping coverage rather than comply with the law’s costly requirements. Even though more than half of the recipients of these waivers were members of union plans, many union leaders are still not satisfied—they wantanother waiver, to receive taxpayer-funded subsidies for their employer-provided coverage.
2. ILLEGAL TAXPAYER SUBSIDIES FOR CONGRESS: Last month, following heavy lobbying from leaders in both parties—and an intervention from President Obama himself—the Administration issued a rule regarding coverage for Members of Congress and their staffs, who will retain their taxpayer-funded insurance subsidies in the exchanges. Unfortunately, asprevious research has documented, the Administration had no legal basis on which to make this ruling.
3. EMPLOYER MANDATE: In July, the Administration announced it would not enforce Obamacare’s employer mandate until 2015, effectively granting big business a one-year delay. This action came despite language in Section 1514(d) of the law requiring employers to act “beginning after December 31, 2013,” and despite the fact that hard-working Americans are not getting a delay from the other harmful effects of Obamacare.
4. PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS: Immediately after Obamacare was signed, Democratic staffers admitted that under the law as written, insurers “still would be able to refuse new coverage to children because of a pre-existing medical problem.” The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) took it upon itself to issue regulations prohibiting plans from turning down such applicants three years earlier than the law required. As a result, insurersstopped offering child-only plans in 17 states, fearing that only parents of sick children would apply for insurance coverage.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


President Obama’s former car czar, Steven Rattner, now says that federal taxpayers should bail out the entire city of Detroit. In a Friday op-ed for the New York Times, Rattner writes, “neither the state nor the federal government has evinced any inclination to provide meaningful financial assistance. That’s a mistake. No one likes bailouts or the prospect of rewarding Detroit’s historic fiscal mismanagement. But apart from voting in elections, the 700,000 remaining residents of the Motor City are no more responsible for Detroit’s problems than were the victims of Hurricane Sandy for theirs, and eventually Congress decided to help them.”

Except, of course, that the citizens of Detroit have voted repeatedly for the same politicians who got them into this mess over and over. But Rattner continues, “America is just as much about aiding those less fortunate as it is about personal responsibility. Government does this in so many ways; why shouldn’t it help Detroit rebuild itself?”
The big problem with this proposal is that it puts the burden on federal taxpayers for bad local decisionmaking. But that doesn’t bother Rattner: “Given the depth of Detroit’s hole, no one should doubt that one of the important principles of the auto rescue — shared sacrifice by creditors, workers and other stakeholders — should be maintained.”
The only problem is that the sacrifice is consistently made by taxpayers, not by those who make policy or benefit from it.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

THE BIG FAIL: Obama Said That “Some Of The Businesses We Encourage Will Fail” But His Investments With Taxpayers’ Dollars Have A Dismal Record Of Success

Today, Obama Said “Some Of The Businesses We Encourage Will Fail.” OBAMA: “Today, there are thousands of workers building long-lasting batteries and wind turbines and solar panels all across the country. Jobs that weren’t there four years ago. And sure, not all technologies we bet on will pan out. Some of the businesses we encourage will fail. But I promise you this, there is a future for manufacturing here in America. There’s a future for clean energy here in America. And I refuse to cede that future to other countries.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Green Bay, WI, 11/1/12)
the_big_failA123 SYSTEMS: In October 2012, Taxpayer-Backed A123 Systems, A Maker Of Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries For Electric Cars, Filed For Bankruptcy. “A123 Systems Inc. (AONE), a maker of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, filed for bankruptcy after failing to make a debt payment that was due yesterday. The company listed assets of $459.8 million and debt of $376 million as of Aug. 31 in Chapter 11 documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Chapter 11 is the section of the Bankruptcy Code used by companies to reorganize.” (Dawn McCarty and Craig Trudell, “Electric Car Battery Maker A123 Systems Files Bankruptcy Papers,” Bloomberg Businessweek, 10/16/12)
ABOUND SOLAR: Abound Solar Was Given A $400 Million DOE Loan Guarantee For “Plans To Open A Massive Solar-Panel Plant In Tipton,” Indiana. “Abound Solar Inc., a Loveland, Colo.-based manufacturer that plans to open a massive solar-panel plant in Tipton, has raised $110 million from investors and closed on a $400 million government loan guarantee to increase its production capacity, the company announced Tuesday.” (“Abound Solar Completes Financing For Tipton Plant,”Indianapolis Business Journal, 12/15/10)
  • In July 2012, Abound Solar Announced It Would File For Bankruptcy And Lay Off 125 Employees. “Abound Solar, which filed for a Chapter 7 liquidation in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, had said last week that it planned to shut down and would lay off 125 employees.” (Caroline Humer, “Abound Solar Files To Liquidate in Bankruptcy,” Reuters, 7/2/12)
AMONIX SOLAR: In July 2012, “Amonix Solar Manufacturing Plant In North Las Vegas, Heavily Financed Under An Obama Administration Energy Initiative, Has Closed Its 214,000-Square-Foot Facility 14 Months After It Opened.” (Hubble Smith, “Amonix Closes North Las Vegas Solar Plant After 14 Months, Heavy Federal Subsidies,” Las Vegas Review-Journal , 7/18/12)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

THE BIG FAIL: “This Is A Symbol Of Where America Is Going”

Taxpayers Are Paying Millions For Workers At An Electric Car Battery Factory That Has Yet To Produce A Single Battery


Workers At Stimulus Funded Battery Plant “Have So Little Work To Do That They Spend Hours Playing Cards And Board Games, Reading Magazines Or Watching Movies.” “Workers at LG Chem, a $300 million lithium-ion battery plant heavily funded by taxpayers, tell Target 8 that they have so little work to do that they spend hours playing cards and board games, reading magazines or watching movies. They say it’s been going on for months.” (Ken Kolker, “Volt No Jolt: LG Chem Employees Idle,” WOOD-TV [Holland, MI], 10/18/12)
  • “‘There’s No Work, No Work At All. Zero Work,’ Another Current Employee Said. ‘It Is What It Is. What Do You Do When There’s No Work?’” (Ken Kolker, “Volt No Jolt: LG Chem Employees Idle,” WOOD-TV [Holland, MI], 10/18/12)
Taxpayers Have Spent $7 Million Paying The Idle Workers. “A Target 8 analysis of federal records shows taxpayers spent $7 million to train workers and have paid more than $700,000 for workers’ health and dental insurance.” (Ken Kolker, “Volt No Jolt: LG Chem Employees Idle,” WOOD-TV [Holland, MI], 10/18/12)
  • 40 Percent Of The $133 Million Spent By The Company So Far Has Gone To Foreign Companies. “The company has spent $133 million so far, most for construction and equipment, records show. About 40% has gone to foreign companies — mostly to Korea, a Target 8 analysis shows.” (Ken Kolker, “Volt No Jolt: LG Chem Employees Idle,” WOOD-TV [Holland, MI], 10/18/12)
  • $533,000 From The Stimulus Award Was Spent On The Groundbreaking Ceremony. “The company also spent more than $533,000 of that federal grant for the groundbreaking, records show.” (Ken Kolker, “Volt No Jolt: LG Chem Employees Idle,”WOOD-TV [Holland, MI], 10/18/12)
“[Workers] Say The Last Of The Materials Needed To Make Battery Cells, Including Chemicals, Was Shipped Back To Korea.” “They say the last of the materials needed to make battery cells, including chemicals, was shipped back to Korea. It’s not clear if that includes any of the $1.8 million in materials paid for with that federal Recovery Act money. Workers say they made test battery cells, starting late last year, perhaps 100,000 or more, and that they did a good job. They say they produced perhaps 4,000 a week. But, they say, that worked ended for the most part last December.” (Ken Kolker, “Volt No Jolt: LG Chem Employees Idle,” WOOD-TV [Holland, MI], 10/18/12)

Monday, September 17, 2012

General Motors Pushing U.S. to Sell Stake: Report

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- The Treasury Department is resisting General Motors' push for the government to sell off its stake in the auto maker, The Wall Street Journal reports. Following a $50 billion bailout in 2009, the U.S. taxpayers now own almost 27% of the company. But the newspaper said GM executives are now chafing at that, saying it hurts the company's reputation and its ability to attract top talent due to pay restrictions. Earlier this year, GM GM -1.16% presented a plan to repurchase 200 million of the 500 million shares the U.S. holds with the balance being sold via a public offering. But officials at the Treasury Department were not interested as selling now would lead to a multibillion dollar loss for the government, the newspaper noted. 

Via: Market Watch

Friday, August 24, 2012

Selling Charlotte: DNC convention business requires millions from taxpayers

The Democratic National Convention will be Charlotte’s most prestigious event, bringing tens of thousands of visitors and worldwide exposure. It’s the crowning achievement of the city’s two-decade quest to become a world-class convention destination.
What’s less known are the tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money spent to compete in the convention business and the wildly inflated projections of economic impact used to justify the Convention Center’s construction and expansions.
In fact, the city of Charlotte and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority have not scrutinized how the Convention Center has performed. Elected officials who oversee it do not understand it.
Yet they have continued to pour money into the convention business, even in the face of a national glut of meeting space and Charlotte’s inability to fill its building.
The Charlotte Convention Center has cost taxpayers as much as $30 million annually for construction debt, operating losses and incentives worth of hundreds of thousands of dollars to win business. The promised payback from the investment hasn’t materialized.
Meanwhile, Charlotte residents pick up much of the tab: Most Convention Center funding comes from a countywide 1 percent tax on restaurant and bar bills – a majority of which is paid by Mecklenburg County residents who dine out.

Read more here:

Monday, August 20, 2012

US taxpayers bail out California homeowners, as banks fail to pay their share

Contrary to what voters were led to believe, California took the unprecedented step this month to give banks and struggling homeowners up to $100,000 in taxpayer funds to reduce underwater mortgages.

Originally, banks and lenders were supposed to pay 50 percent of the cost of reducing the principal for those whose homes are worth less than their mortgage. But when the banks refused, California took the controversial step of paying the entire amount, up to $100,000.

"We thought, you know, 50-50 was much more attractive and we'd have much more traction with lenders, and it just didn't turn out to work as well as we would have liked," said Diane Richardson, legislative director of the California Housing Finance Agency.

The program, known as the Hardest Hit Housing Market fund, is part of a $7.6 billion federal effort to help underwater homeowners in 18 states. California received $2 billion. But when banks and lenders who service loans refused to write down even a small portion of the negative equity loans, California decided to use the taxpayer money to pay 100 percent of the mortgage reduction.

Richard Green, a professor of real estate at the University of Southern California, said it's not what taxpayers signed up for.

"I think taxpayers would be furious at the idea that everybody gets completely off the hook for this," Green said. "There are people that say, look, I've been a renter all these years, I've been paying my mortgage all these years, why am I bailing out these people who made a bad decision? I think the politics of it are very combustible."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

IRS told employees to ignore potential fraud in program used by immigrants

IRS supervisors ignored employees who tried to warn agency higher-ups of fraud in a program designed to collect taxes from immigrants, resulting in the agency paying out potentially bogus refunds.
The Treasury inspector general for tax administration said the IRS even eliminated some methods employees had used to figure out questionable refund requests, and that the agency doesn’t have the ability to verify applicants’ identity or foreign status.
Investigators “found an environment which discourages employees from detecting fraudulent applications,” said J. Russell George, the inspector general.
The IRS pays out $6.8 billion in refunds to taxpayers who file using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs), who are generally immigrants, here both legally and illegally. The amount of fraud was not stated.
The agency said it has put new checks in place to try to crack down on fraud, with employees getting training from the Homeland Security Department on how to verify documents when an immigrant applies for an ITIN.

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