NIH Offers $3M 'to Develop Novel Methods of Female Contraception' The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is offering $3 million in funding “for the development of novel female contraceptives” in fiscal year 2014, and eligible recipients include, among others, universities, tribally controlled colleges, state and local governments, public housing authorities and foreign institutions
Aircraft Carrier USS Gerald Ford Plagued With Glitches, Cost Overruns Despite a 22 percent cost overrun, glitches found testing key weapons and radar systems on the U.S.S. Gerald Ford will require the Navy to enter its first new generation aircraft carrier into maintenance soon after its 2016 commissioning, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Group Wants to Expand Fraud-Ridden ‘Obamaphone’ Program The real problem with the Lifeline Program that provides free cell phones – commonly known as “Obamaphones” – to low-income individuals is not that it’s been abused, but that not enough low-income Latinos are using the subsidized phones, according to The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
Google: Your emails are not private At least, that's what the internet giant articulated in a brief that was filed last month in federal court and recently surfaced by Consumer Watchdog.
Government continues to run up debt...but "official" debt has not changed The Treasury Department's Financial Management Service, which publishes both the official Daily Treasury Statement and the official Monthly Treasury Statement, is reporting that in July the federal government ran a deficit of $98 billion but that the federal government's debt remained exactly $16,699,396,000,000 for the entire month.
$299K Grant To Help Pacific Islanders Understand Their Own Language A team from the University of California-Santa Cruz (UCSC) will spend nearly $300,000 of U.S. taxpayer money to study a rare language spoken by just 45,000 people in the Mariana Islands, which include the North Mariana Islands in Micronesia, a United States commonwealth, and Guam, a U.S. territory located in the northwestern Pacific.
IG: FEMA Spending $76M More on Trailers That Disaster Victims Don’t Want Changes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) made to its temporary housing program last year “will increase program costs by an estimated $76 million and place a greater burden on future displaced survivors,” according to a June 2013 report by the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general.
Lawmakers pitch national park on the moon Two House Democrats have proposed legislation that would establish a national historical park on the surface of the moon to mark where the Apollo missions landed between 1969 and 1972.
Federal Govt. Spends $500,000 to Make Apps More Energy Efficient The federal government hopes spending half-million dollars researching ways to develop more energy efficient software for mobile applications – instead of a longer lasting battery – could eventually produce more energy efficient software for much larger programs.
State Department to Spend $450,000 Protecting Transgenders - Overseas The primary goal of the grant “is to ensure that incidents of violence are documented and investigated and that victims receive appropriate legal - See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/state-department-spend-450000-protecting-transgenders-overseas#sthash.V7ycpexw.dpuf
GAO: Government not cutting waste Congress and the Obama administration have scrapped just a fraction of the duplicative programs targeted for cuts by Government Accountability Office (GAO), the agency’s chief told lawmakers.
Feds Spending $800,000 to Teach Responsible Fatherhood The Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (AFC) is providing $800,000 in funding to create a Responsible Fatherhood Research Network. - See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/feds-spending-800000-teach-responsible-fatherhood#sthash.30ikr3CL.dpuf
IRS Employees Held 4 Conferences at Vegas Casinos; Cost: $671,990 A new Inspector General report on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conferences and costs shows that among 225 conferences held around the country between 2010 and 2012, at least 4 events took place at luxury hotel-casinos in Las Vegas at a cost to taxpayers of $671,990.
Feds Will Pay $40,267 for Unwanted Tortoise Drop-Off The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is planning to spend $40,267 in taxpayer funds to provide the public with a centralized drop off location for pet tortoises and tortoises found in developed or urban areas and provide for their temporary care.
IRS Spent $1.1 Million on BlackBerries and Aircards It Didn't Use According to an audit report released in January 2013 by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the Internal Revenue Service spent $1 million in taxpayer dollars to purchase BlackBerry™ smartphones and wireless internet “aircards”— that subsequently went unused.
IRS doled out $92 million in employee bonuses More than $92 million in bonuses averaging $5,500 per employee have been handed out by IRS executives to thousands of the tax agency’s employees since 2009, according to data obtained by The Washington Examiner.
Failing VA officials collected massive bonuses for years Top executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters and in regional offices across the country routinely collected merit and other bonuses for more than five years that in some cases totaled more than $100,000, The Washington Examiner has found.
Feds Help Fund Pole Dancing – For Linemen An Austin, Texas dance company has received a $10,000 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant for its upcoming performance featuring electricity linemen dancing on utility poles.
Report: Fisker could be biggest taxpayer loss since Solyndra The luxury hybrid maker Fisker Automotive is in dire financial straits after receiving $192 million in government-backed loans and receiving market assistance from tax credits, and if the company goes bankrupt it could become the largest loss to taxpayers since the failure of Solyndra in 2011.
Bomber Benefits: Tsarnaev family received $100G in benefits The Tsarnaev family, including the suspected terrorists and their parents, benefited from more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded assistance — a bonanza ranging from cash and food stamps to Section 8 housing from 2002 to 2012, the Herald has learned.
Deficit-Fighting Congress Will Spend Millions on Unwanted Army Tanks The US Army is kind of over the M-1 Abrams tank. At more than $7 million a pop, there's not much call for the heavy gas-guzzlers on modern battlefields. But some of the most conservative self-styled deficit hawks on Capitol Hill refuse to do away with their treaded gravy train.
GAO calls for national federal real estate strategy The Government Accountability Office is calling for a national strategy to help the federal government resolve the challenges of managing its multibillion-dollar real estate portfolio, including the lingering issue of selling vacant or underutilized properties it no longer needs.
Congress Prepares $100 Million Bipartisan Flu Tax Congress is preparing to take action on a bipartisan proposal to raise taxes on flu vaccines. This is not a tax on the wealthy, but rather on a broad swath of Americans, or at least those who choose to be immunized against the flu.
Waste of Money?: Proposed ban on violent video games in public spaces “It’s the typical waste of taxpayer money and effort that capitalizes on a national tragedy to support a culture war agenda,” Christopher Ferguson, a professor of psychology at Texas A&M who has researched and written extensively about the impact of violent video games on their players, said.
Federal Times: DoD still swamped by excess parts For almost a quarter-century, the Government Accountability Office has said the military’s management of equipment and parts stockpiles is one of the government programs most vulnerable to waste, fraud and mismanagement.
U.S. News: How Taxpayer Money Gets Lost in the Wind In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama pledged to eliminate federal programs that are "excess weight." If the president still wants to keep this promise, he could start by tackling federal subsidies for wind energy, which a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says are rife with wasteful spending.
Anti-Waste Senator Coburn: Fire federal emplyees who are ‘paid to do nothing’ Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, says that federal employees who don’t do their jobs should be laid off before critical employees like food inspectors and air traffic controllers are furloughed due to sequestration.
Colorado lawmakers aghast at state agency’s ‘shopping spree’ Colorado state lawmakers reviewing an audit of how the Department of Revenue ran its medical marijuana enforcement program half-jokingly called for oxygen Wednesday when they learned of what one senator called a “shopping spree” for expensive furniture, unnecessary electronics and a fleet of cars that went largely unused.
Biden's One-Night Paris Hotel Tab: $585,000.50 As it turns out, Vice President Joe Biden's London stay in February was not the most expensive part of his trip. A government document released on February 14, 2013 shows that the contract for the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand came in at $585,000.50.
FL Moves to Ban EBT Card Use at Strip Clubs Florida lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban those receiving government assistance from using their electronic benefits (EBT) cards at strip clubs, casinos, liquor stores, and gun stores.
‘Oz’ film costs Michigan taxpayers $40 million Thanks to Michigan’s film subsidies, the production of Disney’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” forced the state to pay nearly $40 million to Hollywooders critics consider the Wicked Witch of the West.
Maine governor takes on USDA to fight food stamp fraud Maine Gov. Paul LePage blasted the United States Department of Agriculture for denying his request for a waiver to allow the state to require food stamp recipients to provide photo identification when using their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards as way to cut down on fraud.
New Phone App Tracks Government Waste Federal spending seems more outrageous when it hits close to home, and now smart phone users are able to monitor government waste instantly with the “Open the Books” mobile phone application.
Fiscal hawks say government waste, unspent funds could offset sequester Republican Sen. Tom Coburn has identified several programs at the Pentagon he'd set aside, including a video called "grill sergeants" in which the instructors show their favorite recipes; money for a plan to send a space ship to another solar system; funds to find advancements in beef jerky from France; and $6 billion on questionable research, including what lessons about democracy and decision-making could be learned -- from fish.
A watery waste of taxpayers’ money TO MISSOURI lawmakers, it’s a common-sense community development project. To what seems like almost everyone else, it’s a bizarre waste of taxpayer money and an ecological disaster that a few members of Congress refuse to drop.
Why Should Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year? On television, in interviews and in meetings with investors, executives of the biggest U.S. banks -- notably JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon -- make the case that size is a competitive advantage. It helps them lower costs and vie for customers on an international scale. Limiting it, they warn, would impair profitability and weaken the country’s position in global finance.
Medicare, Congress waste $334 million by overpaying for infusion drugs Because Congress locked some drug costs at 2003 prices, Medicare has wasted $334 million dollars over the last six years by failing to buy medication at the best possible discount, according to a new investigation that reinforces just how prevalent waste and abuse are inside the government's main health program for senior citizens.
10 Biggest Risks That Threaten Taxpayer Dollars Climate change is a new addition to the 30 “high” risks confronting federal government finances, according toa report issued by the Government Accountability Office. The risk list—updated for each session of Congress—targets programs with “greater vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement or the need for transformation to address economy, efficiency, or effectiveness challenges.”
Waste: Biggest Porker of 2012? See the Nominees Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) announced the nominees for its 2012 Porker of the Year. People may cast their ballots for the candidate they think was the most reprehensible Porker in 2012 in an online poll at www.cagw.org
Watchdog sees pork in Sandy relief bill The House of Representatives today passed a package of more than $50 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief that will provide immediate aid to disaster-stricken areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, despite a flood of Republican opposition.
OK Governor spends half-a-million out of state Half-a-million tax dollars in Oklahoma.. sent out of state. A State Representative calls the Governor a hypocrite for turning back millions of Federal dollars, and now using money he says we don't have.(From our sister station in OKC)
Hollywood Gets Tax Incentive Extension in Cliff Deal Section 317 of the freshly approved legislation includes an extension for "special expensing rules for certain film and television productions." Congress first enacted production tax incentives favorable to the domestic entertainment industry in 2004, and extended them in 2008, but the deal was meant to expire in 2011.
'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Includes 'NASCAR Tax Credit' The "fiscal cliff" deal reached by the Senate and the White House on New Year's Eve, and passed in legislative form by the Senate early New Year's Day, includes many giveaways to special interests--including an extension of a perk enjoyed by "motorsports entertainment complexes" otherwise known as the "NASCAR tax credit."
Obama Returns to Hawaii at an Added Cost of Over $3 Million In a move that is rich in irony, President Obama agreed Tuesday night to sign an emergency deficit reduction bill that does almost nothing to rein in spending and then jetted out to Hawaii to resume his vacation at an extra cost of more than $3 million to taxpayers.
'Sandy Bill' Becomes Mini Auto Bailout The legislation to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy has been turned into something of a mini auto bailout, according to those familiar with the Obama administration's request. The request includes millions of dollars worth of cars, to be paid for by the federal government.
Government spent more than $16 billion on advertising, marketing in last decade The government has spent more than $16 billion over the last decade on outside advertising, marketing and public relations contractors, feeding a cottage industry of inside-the-Beltway and Madison Avenue firms that help federal agencies burnish their images and tailor their messages, an investigation by the Washington Guardian and Northwestern University's Medill News Service has found.
Watchdog: Coburn report IDs $68 billion in DOD spending cuts The Pentagon is squandering billions of dollars annually on everything from its own brand of beef jerky and microbreweries to religious debates involving mythical Klingons from the TV show "Star Trek," according to a scathing report on military spending issued today by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.
Rules fail to restrain big-spending VA officials Big-spending U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs officials got star treatment when they planned a $6.1 million pair of controversial human resources training conferences in Orlando last year.
Quarter-billion-dollar stimulus grant creates just 400 jobs Battery maker A123 Systems vowed thousands of new jobs when it received a nearly quarter-billion-dollar stimulus grant in late 2009, but federal job-tracking figures show only a few hundred positions were created before the company joined a growing list of federally backed energy businesses that ended in bankruptcy.
Spending on White House dinners soars under Obama President Obama has spent far more lavishly on White House state dinners than previous chief executives, including nearly $1 million on a 2010 dinner for Mexico's president, according to documents obtained by The Washington Examiner.
TARP cost $24 billion, says CBO Originally projected to have made a profit for taxpayers, a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the Troubled Asset Relief Program instead cost $24 billion.
VA admits spending $100 million on conferences in 2011 t turns out the Department of Veterans Affairs spent $100 million on conferences last year - not the $20 million it previously claimed - and it didn't account for that money to a Congressional committee demanding details, either.
Solyndra lawsuit: Full refund to taxpayers Many Americans were upset when solar-panel maker Solyndra filed for bankruptcy last September owing taxpayers more than $500 million, but retiree Robert Grady Jr. was different. The more he read about the failed company, the more irritated he became. Read more: Solyndra lawsuit: Full refund to taxpayers
GM denies losses of $49,000 on every Chevrolet Volt General Motors is dismissing a media report describing the Chevrolet Volt, its extended-range electric car, as a major money loser. Those reports, the automakers says in a statement, are "grossly wrong."
Administration: Bingo Games Can Promote Food Stamp Use The USDA wants to add to the record 46.7 million Americans who receive food stamps, including seniors the agency says could be convinced to sign up for the government program through parties featuring games like Bingo and crosswords.
California Spending More On Prisons Than Colleges, Report Says There's a direct relationship between how much money the Golden State spends on prisons and how much it spends on higher education, according to a report put out by the non-partisan public policy group California Common Sense. When one goes up, the other goes down.
Report: US Health Care System Wastes $750B A Year The U.S. health care system squanders $750 billion a year — roughly 30 cents of every medical dollar — through unneeded care, byzantine paperwork, fraud and other waste, the influential Institute of Medicine said Thursday in a report that ties directly into the presidential campaign.
Solyndra investors could reap tax windfall Two investment companies stand to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks under a bankruptcy exit plan for failed solar company Solyndra, government lawyers say.
You Paid $52,000 for a Movie Parody for a Commercial A $52,000 parody of the opening sequence in the movie "Patton" commissioned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and paid for with taxpayer dollars was released by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
More Taes or Spending Cuts? CBO Says We Must Decide Congress‘ chief scorekeeper warned that the country’s top lawmakers can’t continue to put off big decisions on the budget and the economy much longer, and said either path — belt-tightening now or even deeper cuts later — will be painful.
Some California ‘Meter Maids’ Are Making Nearly $100K a Year Brian Calle at the Orange County Register notes that for just 10 Hermosa Beach state employees, taxpayers are paying more than $1 million in bloated salaries, health, and retirement benefits. These are not highly-trained specialists, but what are sometimes referred to as “meter maids” .
Former TARP IG met 'huge, huge resistance' from Treasury, DOJ Neil Barofsky, the first and now-former Special Inspector-General for the Troubled Asset Recovery Program (SIGTARP), says he met "huge, huge resistance from day one" within and without the federal government and on Wall Street in his effort to investigate how the $700 billion expenditure was administered, what was done with the tax dollars by the banks and other financial institutions that received loans through it in the great bailout of 2008, and whether the effort accomplished what Congress intended.
USDA spends $2M, gets one intern, program fails United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials spent $2 million on an internship program that had one intern, as it failed to use properly $63 million in federal funding provided for USDA to protect itself from hackers.
Solyndra Applauds: "Bank of Washington" Solyndra’s CEO labeled President Barack Obama’s administration “The Bank of Washington.” Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/02/obamas-bank-of-washington-applauded-by-solyndra-ceo-in-email/#ixzz22QaEx2Bo
Who Will Pay For $7 Billion Amtrak Renovation? Amtrak is proposing a $7 billion transformation of Union Station, intended to triple passenger capacity and transform the overcrowded station into a high-speed rail hub for the Northeast.
Medicare Bonuses? Guess Who's Getting Them? House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa berated a top Obama administration official at a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday over a Medicare bonus program that federal investigators say is ineffective and should be cancelled.
GAO: 2011 Debt Ceiling Showdown Cost $1.3 Billion A new report from the Government Accountability Office finds that last year’s debt ceiling showdown between House Republicans and the White House cost the government $1.3 billion – increasing market uncertainty and raising federal borrowing costs.
35 states got too much stimulus funding Thirty five of the 50 states got more economic stimulus funding to help them with their Medicaid budgets than they should have, according to the Inspector-General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-IG).
NASCAR wins fight to keep taxpayer funding A deeply divided House voted to continue letting the Pentagon use taxpayer money to sponsor sports leagues and teams — a victory chiefly for NASCAR, which had fought feverishly to maintain tens of millions of dollars that go to some of its teams every year.
Should You Be Taxed... Just to Drive? The San Francisco Bay Area is considering a long-range plan to become the first place in the nation to tax drivers for every mile they travel, with an average bill of up to $1,300 per year.
Senators tell judges to cancel Hawaii junket Senate Republicans told the 9th Circuit Court to cancel its mid-August trip to Hawaii, saying the court failed to prove why the trip was necessary even though it had been given weeks to respond.
Transportation Workers Receive Big Pay Hikes, Worth It? The average salary of TxDOT's 10 highest paid workers topped $200,000 as of April 1 — 21.4 percent above that average a year earlier. The top three salaries, at an average of almost $251,000, were 42.5 percent higher than the top three salaries' average a year earlier.
A $6 billion nuke shack? Department of Energy officials concede that existing government installations can handle everything they want done at their proposed $6 billion Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear Facility
Army told to spend or lose mobile tech funds The Pentagon is planning deep spending cuts this year to a new mobile computing network for soldiers — a move that critics say punishes Army technology buyers for not spending appropriated funds fast enough.
$267B more to Operation Twist The Federal Reserve announced it is committing $267 billion for continuing Operation Twist, the central bank’s program to keep long-term interest rates low and stimulate the economy.
Kan. company suspected of Medicare fraud for penis pumps A new report by federal auditors says a Kansas-based company may have paid out as much as $4.2 million in potentially fraudulent Medicare claims for penis pumps, and the auditors are asking the company to refund the government the money.
How Many Limos Do D.C. Departments Own? In these troubled economic times, it is perhaps not surprising that the federal government is a bit touchy on the question of just how many limousines it owns and operates.
Waste, fraud in Iraq put all eyes on DoD contracting A commission's final report declared between $30 billion and $60 billion lost to waste and fraud and sounded alarms about, what it called, the inadequate acquisition workforces at the Departments of Defense and State.
Auto Bailout or UAW Bailout? The Treasury Department expects taxpayers to ultimately lose more than $20 billion on the Detroit auto bailout. President Obama defends those losses as necessary to prevent the domestic auto industry from collapsing.
CBO: Federal debt to double in 15 years Federal debt will double by the middle of the next decade and reach more than twice the size of the entire U.S. economy by 2037 unless Congress changes course on taxes and spending, the Congressional Budget Office said in its latest analysis.
Top GSA official tried to hide report on Vegas bash A top administrator at the General Services Administration who worked on President Obama’s presidential transition team sought to keep secret the agency report that uncovered massive waste at a lavish taxpayer-funded GSA conference in Las Vegas, records show.
Senator Tom Coburn on the “Debt Bomb” That We All Will Face Coburn: “The reason I’m known as ‘Dr. No’ is because I actually believe in the Constitution. I believe in the enumerated powers in Article I, Section 8. I believe the Constitution was filled with nos for us in Washington and yesses for everybody else in America.”
Feds Propose New Rules to Fight Foodstamp Fraud Food stamp recipients are ripping off the government for millions of dollars by illegally selling their benefit cards for cash — sometimes even in the open, on eBay or Craigslist — and then asking the government for replacement cards.
Solar Company Admits Using Your Tax Dollars to Create Jobs Overseas The chairman of First Solar, speaking to a House subcommittee on Wednesday, admitted that his taxpayer-backed company has created more jobs overseas than it has within the United States. Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/05/16/first-solars-3-1-billion-in-doe-loan-guarantees-created-mostly-overseas-jobs-video/#ixzz1v3W5HDgg
HHS Sends $5.9 Million to Program Run by Obama Buddy The Department of Health and Human Services last week announced it had awarded a $5.9 million grant to a University of Chicago Medical Center program tied to Michelle Obama and run by Eric Whitaker, one of President Obama’s closest friends.
Is TSA Wasting Millions of Your Tax Dollars? A new congressional report accuses the Transportation Security Administration of mismanaging its acquisition and management of airport screening equipment by storing millions of dollars in high-tech gear in a Texas warehouse instead of deploying it to airports
AP Exclusive: Waste watchdog got no-bid contract Gov. Rick Scott's chief of staff helped steer a no-bid consulting contract worth $360,000 to a friend who now leads a task force rooting out state government waste. Steve MacNamara was still working for the Florida Senate when he recommended Sarasota business consultant Abraham Uccello for the contract to streamline the Legislature's computer systems.
US trade deficit widens to $48.3 billion in August
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. trade deficit jumped sharply in August as exports fell to the lowest level in nearly three years while imports increased, led by a surge in shipments of cell phones from China.
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