Where is the Money Going?

1 to 16 of about 1533 News
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Republican States more likely to Lose Grant Money Since Obama became President

A Reuters examination of federal budget cuts found funding reductions were highest in “red” states like Texas and Mississippi, where grant funding saw a 40% reduction. Programs that lost funding ranged from preschool to anti-drug initiatives. In purple states like North Carolina and Ohio, where Obama’s support was more evenly split with the Republican opposition, the funding cuts were smaller—a 27% drop. Meanwhile, Obama-friendly blue states like California only saw a 22.5% drop.   read more

Koch Brothers Unveil Plan to Outspend Political Parties in 2016 Election Campaign

At $889 million, a figure leaked this week at the Kochs’ annual winter donor retreat near Palm Springs, the brothers’ secretive fundraising network goal would dwarf the $657 million spent by the entire Republican Party during the 2012 election. The Koch budget might even match the total spending by both Republicans and Democrats in next year’s contests. And all the while, the Kochs will largely avoid disclosing the sources of their campaign operation.   read more

For the First Time in at Least 10 Years, a Decline in the Number of Americans Reporting Trouble Paying Medical Bills

The survey revealed the number of people who said they were struggling to pay their medical bills went down from about 75 million people in 2012 to 64 million people last year. The survey also showed that due to the implementation of Obamacare, the number of uninsured working-age adults in the U.S. declined from 37 million in 2010 to 29 million by the second half of last year. The rise in people with health insurance also meant fewer people skipped going to the doctor in 2014.   read more

Will Secret Donors Dominate the Upcoming Election Season?

Candidates’ backers set up nonprofit organizations ostensibly as “social welfare organizations” that don’t have politics as their primary purpose. Instead, they run “issue ads,” that coincidentally mention either the candidate they’re backing or their opponent. Sen. Mitch McConnell used this technique to great effect in his recent defeat of Alison Lundergan Grimes.   read more

Poorest Patients Sued by Some Non-Profit Hospitals

Southeast Alabama Medical Center (SAMC) has a particularly insidious tactic: it forces incoming patients to sign a waiver allowing the hospital to garnish their wages to settle hospital charges and legal fees. Normally, those making less than $30,000 a year are exempt from garnishments, but SAMC and other hospitals skirt this consumer protection with the waiver.   read more

Largest Area of Federal Waters in U.S. to be auctioned for Offshore Wind Power Projects

Twelve companies have been asked to bid on the four lease areas within the 1,160-square-mile patch south of Martha’s Vineyard. The auction, to be held Thursday, will be the largest such sale to date by the federal government. If built out, the project would generate enough electricity to power 1.5 million homes.   read more

Housing Trust, Penniless for 7 Years, Finally Gets Funding to Fight Homelessness

The National Housing Trust Fund, created by Congress in 2008 to support affordable housing projects across the country, has not received any funding since its inception. But the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced late last year that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now strong enough, now that the housing crisis has abated, to contribute to the National Housing Trust Fund. The decision will result in $325 million in block grants being distributed to states starting next year.   read more

Richest 1% Could Own Half the World’s Wealth by 2016

A mere 80 individuals control nearly $2 trillion, reported Oxfam. That amount is nearly the same as what’s owned by 3.5 billion people at the bottom of the scale. Oxfam also reported that the poorest 80% of people have only 5.5% of all wealth on the planet. “Do we really want to live in a world where the 1 percent own more than the rest of us combined?” said Oxfam director Winnie Byanyima. “The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering.”   read more

Fast-Track Trade Agreements=Job Losses for Americans

A study by the nonprofit advocacy group Public Citizen says the U.S. lost nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs following the adoption of 16 free trade agreements. U.S. food exports have stagnated while U.S. food imports have more than doubled in the wake of the agreements. They have been especially difficult on family farms. About 170,000 small family farms have gone under since NAFTA and the 1995 WTO (World Trade Organization) agreement took effect, down 21%.   read more

Atty. Gen. Holder Restricts Federal Involvement in Police Seizure of Cash and Property from Alleged Drug Crimes

The Justice Department program called “Equitable Sharing” was part of the War on Drugs and allowed police departments to confiscate personal property deemed to be connected with a drug crime, share a fraction of it with the federal government and keep the balance for use within the department. Because the program did not require police to prove any connection between the property owners and any criminal act, it was, from the beginning, open to law enforcement abuse.   read more

Understaffed IRS Expected to Cut Back on Enforcement…and Help

The funding reductions have forced the loss of 12,000 positions at the tax agency. Fewer workers will mean longer times on hold for Americans calling the IRS for help. One estimate said the IRS may be able to answer only 43% of the 100 million calls it's expecting this year. Those who do get through to an IRS official will first have to wait an average of 30 minutes on the phone. The budget cut will also mean that taxpayers will have to wait an extra week or more to receive refunds.   read more

Inspector General Finds Bush-Era FEMA Paid for Hurricane Damage Covered by Private Insurer

The inspector general says its office can’t really be sure just how many millions of taxpayer dollars were spent unnecessarily by FEMA because the agency’s insurance reviewers failed to properly document their decisions. The $177 million figure could actually be much higher because it was based on just a sampling of claims. The report suggests that FEMA make an effort to recoup those funds from the insurer. The seven hurricanes collectively resulted in $4.4 billion in insurance payments.   read more

Household Wealth Since the Recession: Average American Down; Members of Congress Up

“Once again, the majority of members of Congress are millionaires," reported CRP. “At a time when income inequality is much debated, the representatives we choose are overwhelmingly affluent,” CRP executive director Sheila Krumholz said. “Whether voters elect them because they are successful or because people of modest means do not run, or for other reasons, is unclear, but struggling Americans should not assume that their elected officials understand their circumstances.”   read more

Grants to be Announced for Recycling of Cigarette Butts

At least one city has already put butt recycling into practice. Salem, Massachusetts, has placed receptacles around the city and sends the butts to be recycled into items such as plastic shipping pallets and even ash trays. The recovered tobacco is composted. Cigarette butts are considered a prime contributor to litter and local pollution, generating up to 1.7 billon pounds of environmental waste annually, according to one study. KAB says smoked cigarettes account for 38% of all litter.   read more

New Jersey Misused $54 Million Meant to Protect Children from Lead Poisoning

“It's another horrible example of the governor taking money that was designated for an important purpose and putting it in the general fund,” said Arnold Cohen. The decision to divert the money, which was used to pay state bills, left the lead fund nearly empty. Lawmakers have yet to approve legislation to restore it. Meanwhile, thousands of children have been left at risk to lead exposure and poisoning, which can result in brain damage, learning disabilities and other health problems.   read more

As IRS Budget Shrinks, Fewer than 1% of Charities are Audited

A report (pdf) from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that only 0.7% of charities were audited in 2013, and that’s down from an already-low 0.81% in 2011. This drop came while returns filed by charitable organizations went from 725,888 to 763,149, an increase of 5%. For comparison, about 1% of individuals and about 1.4% of corporations were audited in 2013.   read more
1 to 16 of about 1533 News
1 2 3 ... 96 Next

Where is the Money Going?

1 to 16 of about 1533 News
1 2 3 ... 96 Next

Republican States more likely to Lose Grant Money Since Obama became President

A Reuters examination of federal budget cuts found funding reductions were highest in “red” states like Texas and Mississippi, where grant funding saw a 40% reduction. Programs that lost funding ranged from preschool to anti-drug initiatives. In purple states like North Carolina and Ohio, where Obama’s support was more evenly split with the Republican opposition, the funding cuts were smaller—a 27% drop. Meanwhile, Obama-friendly blue states like California only saw a 22.5% drop.   read more

Koch Brothers Unveil Plan to Outspend Political Parties in 2016 Election Campaign

At $889 million, a figure leaked this week at the Kochs’ annual winter donor retreat near Palm Springs, the brothers’ secretive fundraising network goal would dwarf the $657 million spent by the entire Republican Party during the 2012 election. The Koch budget might even match the total spending by both Republicans and Democrats in next year’s contests. And all the while, the Kochs will largely avoid disclosing the sources of their campaign operation.   read more

For the First Time in at Least 10 Years, a Decline in the Number of Americans Reporting Trouble Paying Medical Bills

The survey revealed the number of people who said they were struggling to pay their medical bills went down from about 75 million people in 2012 to 64 million people last year. The survey also showed that due to the implementation of Obamacare, the number of uninsured working-age adults in the U.S. declined from 37 million in 2010 to 29 million by the second half of last year. The rise in people with health insurance also meant fewer people skipped going to the doctor in 2014.   read more

Will Secret Donors Dominate the Upcoming Election Season?

Candidates’ backers set up nonprofit organizations ostensibly as “social welfare organizations” that don’t have politics as their primary purpose. Instead, they run “issue ads,” that coincidentally mention either the candidate they’re backing or their opponent. Sen. Mitch McConnell used this technique to great effect in his recent defeat of Alison Lundergan Grimes.   read more

Poorest Patients Sued by Some Non-Profit Hospitals

Southeast Alabama Medical Center (SAMC) has a particularly insidious tactic: it forces incoming patients to sign a waiver allowing the hospital to garnish their wages to settle hospital charges and legal fees. Normally, those making less than $30,000 a year are exempt from garnishments, but SAMC and other hospitals skirt this consumer protection with the waiver.   read more

Largest Area of Federal Waters in U.S. to be auctioned for Offshore Wind Power Projects

Twelve companies have been asked to bid on the four lease areas within the 1,160-square-mile patch south of Martha’s Vineyard. The auction, to be held Thursday, will be the largest such sale to date by the federal government. If built out, the project would generate enough electricity to power 1.5 million homes.   read more

Housing Trust, Penniless for 7 Years, Finally Gets Funding to Fight Homelessness

The National Housing Trust Fund, created by Congress in 2008 to support affordable housing projects across the country, has not received any funding since its inception. But the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced late last year that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now strong enough, now that the housing crisis has abated, to contribute to the National Housing Trust Fund. The decision will result in $325 million in block grants being distributed to states starting next year.   read more

Richest 1% Could Own Half the World’s Wealth by 2016

A mere 80 individuals control nearly $2 trillion, reported Oxfam. That amount is nearly the same as what’s owned by 3.5 billion people at the bottom of the scale. Oxfam also reported that the poorest 80% of people have only 5.5% of all wealth on the planet. “Do we really want to live in a world where the 1 percent own more than the rest of us combined?” said Oxfam director Winnie Byanyima. “The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering.”   read more

Fast-Track Trade Agreements=Job Losses for Americans

A study by the nonprofit advocacy group Public Citizen says the U.S. lost nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs following the adoption of 16 free trade agreements. U.S. food exports have stagnated while U.S. food imports have more than doubled in the wake of the agreements. They have been especially difficult on family farms. About 170,000 small family farms have gone under since NAFTA and the 1995 WTO (World Trade Organization) agreement took effect, down 21%.   read more

Atty. Gen. Holder Restricts Federal Involvement in Police Seizure of Cash and Property from Alleged Drug Crimes

The Justice Department program called “Equitable Sharing” was part of the War on Drugs and allowed police departments to confiscate personal property deemed to be connected with a drug crime, share a fraction of it with the federal government and keep the balance for use within the department. Because the program did not require police to prove any connection between the property owners and any criminal act, it was, from the beginning, open to law enforcement abuse.   read more

Understaffed IRS Expected to Cut Back on Enforcement…and Help

The funding reductions have forced the loss of 12,000 positions at the tax agency. Fewer workers will mean longer times on hold for Americans calling the IRS for help. One estimate said the IRS may be able to answer only 43% of the 100 million calls it's expecting this year. Those who do get through to an IRS official will first have to wait an average of 30 minutes on the phone. The budget cut will also mean that taxpayers will have to wait an extra week or more to receive refunds.   read more

Inspector General Finds Bush-Era FEMA Paid for Hurricane Damage Covered by Private Insurer

The inspector general says its office can’t really be sure just how many millions of taxpayer dollars were spent unnecessarily by FEMA because the agency’s insurance reviewers failed to properly document their decisions. The $177 million figure could actually be much higher because it was based on just a sampling of claims. The report suggests that FEMA make an effort to recoup those funds from the insurer. The seven hurricanes collectively resulted in $4.4 billion in insurance payments.   read more

Household Wealth Since the Recession: Average American Down; Members of Congress Up

“Once again, the majority of members of Congress are millionaires," reported CRP. “At a time when income inequality is much debated, the representatives we choose are overwhelmingly affluent,” CRP executive director Sheila Krumholz said. “Whether voters elect them because they are successful or because people of modest means do not run, or for other reasons, is unclear, but struggling Americans should not assume that their elected officials understand their circumstances.”   read more

Grants to be Announced for Recycling of Cigarette Butts

At least one city has already put butt recycling into practice. Salem, Massachusetts, has placed receptacles around the city and sends the butts to be recycled into items such as plastic shipping pallets and even ash trays. The recovered tobacco is composted. Cigarette butts are considered a prime contributor to litter and local pollution, generating up to 1.7 billon pounds of environmental waste annually, according to one study. KAB says smoked cigarettes account for 38% of all litter.   read more

New Jersey Misused $54 Million Meant to Protect Children from Lead Poisoning

“It's another horrible example of the governor taking money that was designated for an important purpose and putting it in the general fund,” said Arnold Cohen. The decision to divert the money, which was used to pay state bills, left the lead fund nearly empty. Lawmakers have yet to approve legislation to restore it. Meanwhile, thousands of children have been left at risk to lead exposure and poisoning, which can result in brain damage, learning disabilities and other health problems.   read more

As IRS Budget Shrinks, Fewer than 1% of Charities are Audited

A report (pdf) from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that only 0.7% of charities were audited in 2013, and that’s down from an already-low 0.81% in 2011. This drop came while returns filed by charitable organizations went from 725,888 to 763,149, an increase of 5%. For comparison, about 1% of individuals and about 1.4% of corporations were audited in 2013.   read more
1 to 16 of about 1533 News
1 2 3 ... 96 Next