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Keyword: spending

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  • [Church of Scientology Press Release] Medicare at 50 - Still Flawed, After All These Years

    Medicare at 50--Still Flawed, After All These Years ST. PAUL, Minn.—This Thursday, Medicare will mark a milestone—50 years since it was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 30, 1965. Designed as part of LBJ’s “Great Society” initiative, Medicare was intended to provide low-cost hospitalization and medical insurance for the nation’s elderly. But the program has been in crisis for years and needs an escape plan, not a rescue plan, says Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a national organization dedicated to preserving patient-centered health care and protecting patient and...
  • U.S. Bank Stadium could be coming in over budget, Duane Benson discusses future

    07/25/2015 1:31:29 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 20 replies
    kttc ^ | 7-23-15 | Ali Killam
    Some controversy is swirling around the new Vikings Stadium, as some are saying the project could be millions of dollars over budget. One member of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is speaking out on the issue and facing opposition from other members. Duane Benson has served as the MSFA treasurer since the group's inception back in 2012, however, he is preparing to leave the group in light of recent turmoil and says the $1.1 billion project's finances are anything but in order at the moment. As the groundbreaking project continues to break the bank, Benson says there is a problem--perhaps...
  • Social Security Disability checks face 19 percent cut in 2016 unless solution found

    07/23/2015 2:55:14 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 102 replies
    The Charleston Post and Courier / The Associated Press ^ | July 22, 2015 | David Slade 
    Goose Creek resident Kelly Schuler said he was earning a six-figure income in corporate sales when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and after his symptoms became apparent and he lost his job, Social Security Disability Insurance payments became his financial lifeline. Now he finds himself among the 11 million Americans who could see their monthly checks slashed by 19 percent next year, unless federal lawmakers address a looming shortfall in the Social Security fund that pays disability benefits. The main Social Security fund that pays retiree and survivor benefits is not expected to run short for another two decades,...
  • That's One Mighty Big Bucket of $$$

    07/13/2015 11:27:21 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 7/11/2015 | Tom Gantert
    Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO of Michigan League for Public Policy, is against eliminating the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit so that money can be used to fix the roads. The Detroit Free Press reported that Jacobs said using the EITC to free up money for roads is like "trying to fill the Grand Canyon with a bucket of sand." ForTheRecord says: The state’s version of the Earned Income Tax Credit will cost the state budget $118 million in the upcoming fiscal year. That’s 10 percent of the road funding target. A bucket of sand that is roughly 10 percent...
  • Michigan House Wise to Shift Corporate Welfare Spending to Roads

    07/09/2015 5:05:15 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 4 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 7/8/2015 | Michael LaFaive
    The state House of Representatives recently cut funding for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation with the goal of freeing up money for roads. This reprioritization of spending is prudent, but it faces opposition in the state Senate. A good deal of empirical evidence supports the case that government economic development policies — otherwise known as corporate welfare — are ineffective at achieving their goals of faster economic growth, increased employment and greater diversification. For example, a 2004 study titled, “The Failure of Economic Development Incentives” was a review and analysis of the academic literature on the subject of MEDC-type programs....
  • Study: They Spend Millions, but Minimal Transparency Required for Government Union Finances

    07/08/2015 10:48:29 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 7/7/2015 | Anne Schieber
    Michigan’s public sector unions collect tens of millions of dollars from government and school employees, but if members want to learn how their dues money is being spent, all they'll find is a one-page report disclosing just three aggregated spending figures. Unlike private sector unions, which are subject to federal labor law and financial disclosure requirements, state and local unions are subject to oversight by individual states. (This is related to the fact that states can also choose not to recognize or bargain with public sector unions.) Michigan's financial reporting requirements for public sector unions are "ineffective in providing important...
  • Southwest light-rail e-mails show messaging behind cost announcement

    07/08/2015 5:34:46 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 5 replies
    MPLS Star Tribune ^ | 7-8-15 | Janet Moore
    At 8:10 a.m. on Monday, April 27, the Metropolitan Council released the startling news that the price tag of the proposed Southwest light-rail line had increased by $341 million to $2 billion. Met Council Chair Adam Duininck said in a news release at the time that “all options are on the table,” including not building the line at all. E-mails among Duininck, Metro Transit officials and other political players — including Gov. Mark Dayton — obtained through a Minnesota Data Practices Act request reflect the behind-the-scenes positioning in the days leading to the announcement. The 231 pages of e-mails don’t...
  • Progressive Paradise Lost

    07/04/2015 10:07:58 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies
    The Daily Signal ^ | July 1, 2015 | Salim Furth
    It’s a progressive paradise.Public employees get 30 vacation days a year. Anyone who works over eight hours in a day gets paid time-and-a-half. Employees have strong rights.The minimum wage is high: 77 percent of the median wage.Environmental regulations are settled beyond the pressure of local economic interests. The forests and mountains are pristine destinations for ecotourism.Energy costs are kept high, pushing consumption down to a level deemed “socially beneficial”. Utilities have strong public backing and provide jobs to thousands.Union jobs in shipping are protected from outsourcing to cut-rate foreign competitors.The social safety net is buoyant and provides a solid working-class standard...
  • A New Ruinous Era Of Tax-And-Spend In California Is Upon Us

    06/24/2015 6:50:35 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 15 replies
    IBD ^ | 06/24/2015
    "When I ran the second time, I didn't say that — and you didn't ask me. So we'll have to leave that as an open question." When taxes are "an open question," we think we know the answer. So the state with the highest income and sales taxes in the nation is now looking at new tax revenues to pay for roads. That probably means a gas tax hike, in a state that already pays America's highest prices at the pump and ranks as a "tax hell" in most ratings by business and taxpayer groups. But hey, things can always...
  • Living in Detroit Surprisingly expensive

    06/19/2015 2:15:44 AM PDT · by Cronos · 23 replies
    The Economist ^ | 4 Feb 2015 | DK
    DETROIT may be one of the only cities in the rich world where it is possible for someone on a fairly modest income to buy a street. At the edges of Boston-Edison, a historic district of gorgeous old houses built as one of the city’s first wealthy suburbs, so low has the cost of housing fallen that fairly grand houses can be acquired simply for the cost of back property taxes. ..Chief among the costs that are higher in Detroit is transport. One of the reasons people who live in Manhattan don’t mind paying so much for housing is that...
  • The Hillary economic plan: “Revenue enhancements” and massive ObamaCare spending increases

    06/18/2015 3:13:08 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 9 replies
    Hotair ^ | 06/18/2015 | Ed Morrissey
    While the media has rushed to pick apart policy proposals from Republican presidential candidates, not much attention has focused on Hillary Clinton’s positions — because she hasn’t staked out any. Even though she has campaigned for months, Hillary has avoided taking any positions at all until Saturday’s relaunch in Roosevelt Park. Even that speech was a laundry list of slogans rather than any serious commitments or policy proposals, more like a State of the Union speech and delivered with less aplomb and personality.After some media criticism about the lack of substance, Team Hillary let the media know that her...
  • How They Sold $17-Plus Million Spending Hike as $10 Million Cut

    06/05/2015 12:43:17 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 4 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/3/2015 | Tom Gantert
    A pitch mailed by the Kalamazoo Public Schools to a local nonprofit asking for help passing a millage hike on May 5 included the following: “For many years, the state has underfunded public education, and local school districts have needed to make significant budget cuts as a result.” The letter also stated that Kalamazoo Public Schools had cut spending by about $10 million in the last five years. The special education tax hike squeaked through with just 51 percent of the votes. According to the Kalamazoo Public Schools’ audited financial reports, its costs for all “governmental activities” – (the overall...
  • In their universe, a costly train is success

    06/03/2015 6:39:35 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 14 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 6-3-15 | Joe Soucheray
    The political class -- they build themselves new office buildings and such -- live in a different universe from the rest of us, and the rest of us are getting routinely pickpocketed. No greater proof of this truth exists than the remarks of St. Paul's own City Council Member Dave Thune last week after Metro Transit released the financial figures for the first six months of the Green Line. Passengers boarding the Green Line from its debut in June, 2014 through the end of the year paid $6.21 million into the farebox, or about 35.8 percent of what it costs...
  • May Consumer Spending Has Biggest Annual Drop Since Great Financial Crisis, Gallup Survey Finds

    06/01/2015 9:52:09 PM PDT · by Nachum · 18 replies
    zero hedge ^ | 6/1/15 | tyler durden
    It may not have the clout of the official monthly Dept of Commerce Retail Sales report not due out for two more weeks, but in retrospect considering how many credibility issues with seasonal adjustments government data has had in recent months, the Gallup Consumer Spending report may have become far more realistic than official government data.In which case all hope of a Q2 GDP rebound abandon, ye who read this: after a strong April, in which the average consumer reported a daily spend of $91, $3 higher than a year prior, and the highest spending month since before the great financial...
  • Green Line's $6.21M in 2014 fares pay 35.8 percent of expenses

    05/29/2015 6:16:02 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 17 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 5-28-15 | Fredrick Melo
    While Metro Transit's Green Line isn't exactly paying for itself through passenger fares, it's doing a better job than most other Minnesota public transit options. Passengers boarding the state's second light-rail line from its debut in June through the end of 2014 paid $6.21 million into the fare box, or about 35.8 percent of what it costs to operate the 11-mile route. "I think 35 percent is a really good percentage," said St. Paul City Council member Dave Thune. "I love it. I think it has been a success. The kind of traffic it's seeing, going from one end of...
  • Pure Michigan Scare Tactics

    05/29/2015 5:56:49 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 5 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/26/2015 | Jarrett Skorup
    The House Republicans recently released a proposal that would dedicate an extra $1 billion annually to roads by 2019. A chunk of the extra money comes from redirecting money from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to the state’s transportation infrastructure. The MEDC is the state’s corporate welfare arm, which hands out select subsidies to corporations and oversees the film incentive program and the Pure Michigan advertising campaign. Specifically, the House GOP plan would redirect $185 million of spending on “economic development” programs to road construction and maintenance. The MEDC does not want its funding cut and responded with what is...
  • Washington is ready to spend

    05/26/2015 6:09:31 AM PDT · by C19fan · 9 replies
    The Hill ^ | May 26, 2015 | Rebecca Shabad
    Washington wants to spend more. Just four years ago, the nation's rapidly expanding debt was seen as Washington's number one crisis. When House Republicans took the majority in 2011, they made it their overarching mission to rein in spending. Together with the White House, they agreed to limit spending for the next decade by the use of budget caps. Now those spending ceilings are unpopular with members of both parties.
  • Jeb Bush: Let’s face it, Republicans spent too much when my brother was president

    05/21/2015 1:05:37 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 30 replies
    Hotair ^ | 05/21/2015 | AllahPundit
    Back when he first announced, I figured upwards of 65 percent of the Jeb Bush presidential campaign would consist of him cautiously criticizing the obvious weak points of Bush 43 policy, one of which assuredly is spending. If you’re linked by blood to a president who left office under dismal circumstances, job one is explaining how you’ll be different. Then Megyn Kelly asked him about Iraq, Dubya’s biggest liability, and we watched Jeb spend a full week grasping for ways not to squarely disagree with his brother.Which is to say, this shouldn’t be newsworthy but I guess now it is....
  • Mark Dayton keeping veto promise on education bill

    05/21/2015 5:59:20 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 9 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 5-21-15 | Christopher Megan
    Hours after a chaotic end to the 2015 legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton said he wants to summon lawmakers back to the Capitol to fix an "insufficient" education funding bill. Dayton renewed his promise Tuesday to veto the $17 billion spending bill that had yet to cross his desk, noting it left out his top priority of universal preschool. That means lawmakers, who came within $25 million of a deal that didn't materialize before the end of the legislative session Monday, will have to come back to St. Paul in the coming weeks for a special session held somewhere other...
  • Let Our Cities Move (by Bill DeBlasio and Mick Cornett)

    05/13/2015 10:46:59 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 16 replies
    The New York Times ^ | May 13, 2015 | Bill DeBlasio and Mick Cornett
    EVERY day, millions of Americans rely on a remarkable network of roads, bridges, subways, trains and buses to connect us to work, school and opportunity. But our transportation system, once the envy of the world, is in jeopardy. In New York City, subways and buses are overcrowded and often unreliable, and roadways and bridges are in dire need of repair and rehabilitation. From the next phase of the Second Avenue subway to plans to connect the Metro-North Railroad to Pennsylvania Station, to the proposed new subway line under Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, there isn’t a short- or long-term expansion project...
  • Chris Christie Spent $82,000 of State Money on Snacks at NFL Games

    05/11/2015 11:29:05 AM PDT · by Zakeet · 54 replies
    NY Magazine ^ | May 11, 2015 | Jessica Roy
    According to New Jersey Watchdog, Christie reportedly spent over $82,000 of taxpayer money on concessions at MetLife Stadium. Christie paid for food and drinks at MetLife with a debit card 58 times over the 2010 and 2011 NFL seasons, accruing a bill of $82,594. That means he spent an average of nearly $1,500 on food and drinks every time he attended a football game.
  • I have a better idea than light rail - oil pipelines

    05/11/2015 6:50:35 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 5 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 5-9-15 | Joe Soucheray
    The Metropolitan Council continues to struggle with a marketing problem that just won't go away. The projected cost of extending light rail from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie has ballooned to $2 billion, which would make it the largest public infrastructure project in state history. That certainly would be a lot of bridges repaired and lanes of freeway added. Mark Fuhrmann, the project director for Metro Transit, said the other day that delaying the project could jeopardize federal funding. In other words, if we don't act now, we could lose the government's contribution needed to build the line. The government's share?...
  • Illinois Supreme Court Strikes Down Law to Rein in Public Sector Pensions

    05/08/2015 7:36:14 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 70 replies
    WSJ ^ | 5-8-15 | Joe Barrett and Ben Kesling
    The Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s 2013 pension overhaul, unraveling an effort by lawmakers to rein in benefits for the consistently underfunded public-sector system. The current pension shortfall is estimated at $111 billion, one of the largest nationally. The high court affirmed a decision in November by a state circuit court that the legislative changes violated pension protections written into the state constitution. The decision is a victory for a consortium of public-sector unions while creating a huge challenge for new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who already faces a yawning budget deficit for the coming fiscal year.
  • Plenty of ideas would trump that $2 billion train

    05/04/2015 6:29:56 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 10 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 4-28-15 | Joe Soucheray
    As recently as 2010, the estimated cost for the Southwest Light Rail Transit line was estimated to be $1.2 billion, or about the cost of a new football stadium. Then the cost jumped to $1.7 billion because somebody spun the magic wheel. Now the cost is projected to be $2 billion. OK, $1.994 billion, but if they find an endangered earthworm or an especially exotic cattail, all bets are off and the project will shoot over $2 billion in a European minute, for the Metropolitan Council loves to keep playing Europe. The train stops are called Royalston, West Lake, Blake...
  • Pres. Candidate Bernie Sanders: $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Could Lower Youth Unemployment

    05/03/2015 5:37:17 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 49 replies
    Pajamas Media ^ | 05/02/2015 | by Nicholas Ballasy
    [1]WASHINGTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said at a town hall meeting the minimum wage should be raised to $15 per hour and advocated for expanding Social Security benefits.“If one person is making $18 million and another person is making $118,000 a year, who pays more into Social Security? Neither, they’re paying the same because there is a cap upon which after you, at a certain level, you don’t pay anything more and that level is about $118,000,” Sanders said at the meeting in Washington.“If you lift that cap, and you don’t have to start at $119,000, you can...
  • A tax on non-metered downtown parking to fund bike and pedestrian improvements — yay or nay?

    04/27/2015 5:58:08 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 33 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 4-23-15 | City Hall Scoop
    The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are asking lawmakers to put a new tool in their toolbox, so to speak: a parking surcharge that could eventually fund downtown amenities like pedestrian walkways and bike paths. Proposed legislation would allow the Twin Cities to impose a tax on non-metered parking, including stalls in public and private ramps and surface lots, within a defined area of their respective downtowns.
  • Democrats Introduce Resolution Calling For Debt-Free Public College

    04/21/2015 3:31:03 PM PDT · by Zakeet · 43 replies
    Huffington Post ^ | April 21, 2015 | Sam Levine
    A group of congressional Democrats introduced a resolution on Tuesday seeking to ensure that students who attend public colleges and universities can graduate without debt. The Senate resolution was introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), while Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) introduced the House version. The lawmakers support plans to increase financial aid, help states lower tuition and make it possible for students to earn degrees in less time. In a statement, they noted that the cost of college has increased by 300 percent over...
  • Republicans look to lift spending caps

    04/20/2015 6:27:53 AM PDT · by C19fan · 32 replies
    Politico ^ | April 20, 2015 | Rachel Bade
    GOP congressional leaders are racing to approve a budget blueprint for the coming year that abides by strict spending limits, determined to show that the party can maintain fiscal discipline. But some rank-and-file Republicans are already expressing interest in a much bigger deal that would adjust those caps, sweep away the still-developing blueprint and ease the budgetary pressure on the Pentagon — and, grudgingly, domestic programs if necessary.
  • Where your tax dollars go

    04/18/2015 9:31:14 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 5 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 4-14-15 | John Gray
    It's a question that naturally springs to mind when tax season rolls around: Where are all those tax dollars being spent? In total, Washington will spend $12,304 per citizen. Unfortunately, the government will collect only $10,878 in tax revenue per person. That means that, you, the American citizen, will be left with an additional tab of $1,426, on average. The $1,426-per-person represents this year's deficit of $455 billion. Perspective: Adjusting for inflation, the government spent $894 per person in 1940, $7,319 per person during the peak of World War II (1945), $6,026 per person in 1980 and slightly more than...
  • On Met Council, we get cronyism, not reform

    04/16/2015 8:01:39 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 4 replies
    Star Tribune ^ | 4-15-15 | DAVID OSMEK
    In January, the 89th Legislature convened to begin its work. With the elections behind us and the House under Republican leadership, we opened the session with a renewed sense of bipartisanship. Many suburban legislators, myself included, had high hopes for one particular bill that would inject some common-sense into a major concern of local city councils — the Metropolitan Council. The Met Council is an unelected body that has the power to tax and spend over $1 billion every year and inject itself regularly into local government decisions. It has the authority to dictate (among other things) where new trains...
  • 27.49% of Everyone's Tax Bill Is Spent on Health Care

    04/16/2015 10:47:20 AM PDT · by free_life · 44 replies
    Weekly Standard ^ | April 16, 2015 | Jeryl Bier
    Every year since 2011, the White House has used tax time to post a "Federal Taxpayer Receipt" showing taxpayers how their federal tax dollars are being spent. President Obama introduced the concept in his 2011 State of the Union address, and Wednesday the White House posted the fifth installment so taxpayers can see how "tax dollars are being spent on priorities like education, veterans benefits, and health care." While users can punch in their own tax liability and see dollar amounts assigned to each category, the figures are based on percentages from the prior fiscal year budget. Comparing those percentages...
  • Many say "consumption" drives the US economy. This financial expert says that is completely wrong.

    04/16/2015 9:57:34 AM PDT · by fredericbastiat1 · 84 replies
    TheBlaze Books ^ | 2015-04-06 | Benjamin Weingarten
    If you listen to the news on the economy or financial markets, you have probably heard statements like “consumption drives the American economy,” or “consumption is 70% of the economy.” But in a new book out that follows in the footsteps of Henry Hazlitt’s classic “Economics in One Lesson” — though in a much more fun package — titled “Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You about Economics,” Forbes and RealClearMarkets Editor, and senior economic advisor to Toreador Research and Trading John Tamny challenges this and much other “conventional wisdom” on taxes, regulations,...
  • Here are the Highest Paying School Districts in Michigan

    04/14/2015 5:24:22 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 5 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 4/10/2015 | Jarrett Skorup
    In 2013-14, the highest paid teachers in the state on average were from Redford Union Schools in Wayne County. They made $86,675 a year, according to the Michigan Department of Education. However, data cited by the state on teachers' salaries isn't always accurate. For example, teachers in Detroit public schools whose management had been turned over to a state Education Achievement Authority office (EAA) – a “school district” comprised of the poorest-performing schools in Michigan – were the state's second-highest paid, according to data released in March by the Michigan Department of Education. Except, the reported figures were almost certainly...
  • Math Is Hard For Obamacarians

    04/13/2015 3:34:33 AM PDT · by rootin tootin · 6 replies
    American Spectator ^ | 4/13/2015 | David Catron
    If you are masochistic enough to read the “reporting” of the legacy media on Obamacare, you will have noticed a spate of recent stories with titles like the following from CNBC: “Health spending post-Obamacare seen $2.5 trillion lower.” This headline is not only awkwardly worded. It is, like the article over which it appears, misleading. It misrepresents a new study from the left-leaning Urban Institute concerning projected health care spending in a way that suggests the nation has saved enormous amounts of money thanks to the “Affordable Care Act.” This is absurd, of course, but it highlights an underappreciated element...
  • With New Immigration Proposals, State Lawmakers Hope To Build Momentum [Medicaid For Illegals!]

    04/07/2015 5:50:53 PM PDT · by Steelfish · 4 replies
    LATimes ^ | April 07, 2015 | MELANIE MASON
    With new immigration proposals, state lawmakers hope to build By MELANIE MASON California lawmakers hope to keep momentum going with new immigration-related proposals Proposal would offer Medi-Cal to people who qualify regardless of immigration status. Democratic lawmakers will unveil a slew of new immigration-related proposals Tuesday, including measures that would extend state-paid health coverage to those in the country illegally and offer more protection against deportation. Legislators behind the 10-bill package aim to build on the landmark immigration laws passed in California in recent years, such as one that allows people without legal residency to obtain driver's licenses. By keeping...
  • $45 billion in tax dollars goes missing in Afghanistan

    04/05/2015 6:29:29 AM PDT · by Whenifhow · 29 replies
    Examiner ^ | April 4 2015 | Lawrence Lease
    Millions of dollars have disappeared from Afghanistan and the Special Inspector General for ..Reconstruction is placing the blame on the Pentagon’s mismanaged accounting practices for the problem. The SIGAR released the report Friday reporting that only 57% of the $795 million appropriated to CERP from 2002-2013 could be accounted for in terms of who was awarded contracts, and for how much money. The SIGAR report breaks down the $21 billion, by fund, into the highest-costing contracts & their recipients, from 2002 until May 2014. The CERP initiative “enables U.S. commanders in Afghanistan to respond to urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction...
  • Republicans pass budgets in both House and Senate, trim $5.1 trillion in spending

    03/27/2015 7:17:26 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 27 replies
    Hotair ^ | 03/27/2015 | Ed Morrissey
    Remember when a disagreement between Republicans on the budget was “cataclysmic” for GOP claims to governance? Democrats last passed a normal budget resolution six years ago, but Republicans went all of seven days before both chambers finally passed budget resolutions. Our long national nightmare, at least as envisioned by Politico, is over: The Senate passed a Republican-authored budget plan early on Friday that seeks $5.1 trillion in domestic spending cuts over 10 years while boosting military funding.The 52-46 vote on the non-binding budget resolution put Congress on a path to complete its first full budget in six years. It...
  • Colorado prepares to refund tax revenues back to taxpayers for first time in nearly 15 years

    03/25/2015 1:29:54 PM PDT · by ThethoughtsofGreg · 12 replies
    American Legislator ^ | 3-25-15 | Ben Wilterdink
    Colorado taxpayers are very likely to get a break when they file their taxes next year as the state prepares to refund some tax revenues back to taxpayers for the first time in nearly 15 years. This is due to a provision in the state’s constitution, little known outside of Colorado, called the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR. This provision is one of the most effective limits on both Colorado state spending and on state revenue collection. TABOR works by establishing a limit on how much tax revenue the state can collect in a given year. Generally, the cap...
  • Eligibility for public programs not properly checked, state review finds

    03/25/2015 5:26:03 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 1 replies
    star tribune ^ | 3-24-15 | chris serres
    A state legislative auditor’s report found that the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) failed to ensure the eligibility of participants in large public assistance programs and that it did not always perform timely inspections of child care centers. The findings mirror those of other recent auditor reports and could fuel calls to reform the way state administrators verify eligibility for programs that together cost nearly $7 billion a year in federal money. For more than a decade, the legislative auditor has reported flaws in the way the state determines who qualifies for Medical Assistance, which provides health insurance to...
  • Minnesota GOP plan funds transportation with general fund, not tax hike

    03/24/2015 6:08:13 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 3 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 3-24-15 | David Montgomery
    Republican lawmakers on Monday proposed a $7 billion plan that they called an investment in transportation over the next decade. The proposal has some common ground with plans from leaders of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, but big divisions remain. The parties are far apart on how much money a transportation plan should include, how much of it should go to Twin Cities metro-area mass transit and -- above all -- whether the plan should be paid for by raising taxes or cutting spending. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the Senate DFL majority each proposed their own plans in January. Their approaches...
  • Obama criticizes GOP’s budget in Ohio speech

    03/18/2015 2:42:36 PM PDT · by Jim Robinson · 7 replies
    Washington Post ^ | March 18, 2015 | By David Nakamura and Juliet Eilperin
    CLEVELAND — President Obama used this manufacturing hub — and important swing state — as the backdrop to draw a sharp distinction Wednesday with his Republican rivals over the economy, as both sides aim to frame the debate for the coming presidential race. The day after House Republicans unveiled their budget proposal — which would cut more than $5 trillion out of the federal budget over the next decade and balance the budget by cutting domestic programs — the president touted some of the very programs that would come under the GOP axe. Obama dismissed a House plan that “doubles...
  • The Lee-Rubio tax blueprint

    03/18/2015 12:48:39 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 22 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | March 17, 2015 | Allen West
    Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida have released a blueprint for federal tax reform called “The Economic Growth and Family Fairness Tax Plan.” First, we should not embrace the language of progressive socialism in believing tax reform should have as a goal to advance “family fairness.” The plan should simply be entitled “The American Growth and Opportunity Plan.” That said, the Lee-Rubio plan is a great improvement over the current system. For the individual tax structure, the plan introduces a two-tier system to replace the current seven tax brackets. This plan moves America from a...
  • House Republicans seek ObamaCare repeal, more defense $$ in new budget plan

    03/17/2015 10:06:41 AM PDT · by Jim Robinson · 8 replies
    FOX News ^ | March 17, 2015
    House Republicans, unveiling their first budget blueprint since the party took control of Congress, issued a sweeping spending plan Tuesday that calls for complete repeal of ObamaCare, major changes to Medicare and controversial moves to boost defense spending despite tight budget limits. GOP leaders say their budget would balance in less than 10 years, and in that time cut spending by $5.5 trillion compared with current projections. The spending plan stands little chance of ever being signed by President Obama, but makes clear that the party is not dialing back its ambitions despite a rocky start to the latest congressional...
  • Republicans try end-run around spending caps

    03/17/2015 7:30:52 AM PDT · by C19fan · 13 replies
    Politico ^ | March 17, 2015 | David Rogers
    The great Achilles heel in the House Republican budget Tuesday can be found in a blue-and-white chart, tucked away on page 40 and mapping out a 10-year path for the annual appropriations bills that keep the government operating. On the surface, it appears to keep faith with the spirit of the discretionary spending caps under the 2011 Budget Control Act, a major priority for many fiscal conservatives. But to get the votes of party hawks, the budget makes a sweeping end-run around the caps by declaring an additional $94 billion as emergency spending for the war against terrorism.
  • Obama's Budget Plan: Tax And Spend With A Vengeance

    03/16/2015 4:04:47 AM PDT · by IBD editorial writer · 8 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | 03/13/2015 | Staff
    Fiscal Policy: When the president released his budget in February, he said it was full of new ideas for the 21st century. But now we know it's just good old tax-and-spend liberalism.
  • Senate Democrats target sequesters, demand tax hikes, more spending

    03/12/2015 5:53:09 PM PDT · by jazusamo · 21 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | March 12, 2015 | S.A. Miller
    Emboldened by winning the shutdown showdown over homeland security, and poised to triumph on raising the debt limit, Senate Democrats set their sights Thursday on the budget sequesters, demanding that Republicans hike taxes and raise spending. It was a shot across the bow for Republican budget writers, who are set to unveil their proposals next week, which are expected to further slash spending and balance the budget in 10 years — slowing the growth of runaway national debt that currently tops $18 trillion. Senate Democrats insisted that keeping the automatic spending cuts would jeopardize the economic recovery, hurt the middle...
  • Minnesota Republican Party ads pitch giving surplus back

    03/11/2015 5:56:01 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 6 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 3-11-15 | rachel stassenberger
    The Minnesota Republican Party answered a complex Capitol budget question with a simple solution: Give it all back. With a print, television and online ad campaign, the party is proposing that lawmakers and the governor return all of the projected $1.9 billion surplus to taxpayers. 'The Republican Party of Minnesota says send it back -- send it all back," Party Chairman Keith Downey says in the ad. Downey, who is running for re-election to the party post this spring, said Tuesday he did not have a prescription for how he thought the nearly $1.9 billion should be returned. He declined...
  • Give it back(MN surplus)

    03/11/2015 5:29:21 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 10 replies
    mngop ^ | 3-11-15 | mngop
    Today the Republican Party of Minnesota held a press conference calling for Democrats to give back the nearly $2 billion state budget surplus to hardworking Minnesotans! That surplus belongs to Minnesotans and the Democrats should give it back, not spend it. That's roughly $350 per every Minnesotan. The Democrats raised taxes by an unnecessary $2 billion, and now state government has a nearly $2 billion surplus, which they are proposing to spend! On top of that, Democrats are actually proposing to raise taxes another $6 billion on top of the $2 billion surplus!
  • The Ferguson Kleptocracy

    Ferguson has allowed its focus on revenue generation to fundamentally compromise the role of Ferguson’s municipal court. The municipal court does not act as a neutral arbiter of the law or a check on unlawful police conduct. … Our investigation has found overwhelming evidence of minor municipal code violations resulting in multiple arrests, jail time, and payments that exceed the cost of the original ticket many times over. One woman, discussed above, received two parking tickets for a single violation in 2007 that then totaled $151 plus fees. Over seven years later, she still owed Ferguson $541—after already paying $550...
  • The DFL Party and the culture of corruption

    03/07/2015 1:37:45 PM PST · by TurboZamboni · 7 replies
    Start Tribune ^ | 3-6-15 | David Hann
    If you picked up a Star Tribune last weekend, you might have read two seemingly unrelated stories. On Saturday, news of a $1.9 billion surplus, with the state budget growing to $42.5 billion for the next two years (“Surging surplus raises the stakes, Feb. 28). On Sunday, a solid piece of investigative journalism about political cronyism on the Iron Range (“Range agency deep into DFL politics, pockets,” March 1). What if these two stories were related? Researchers at Indiana University published a study last year that explored the impact of public officials’ corruption on the size and allocation of state...