Where is the Money Going?

1 to 16 of about 1557 News
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Oakland VA Lost Thousands of Veterans Claims, Found Them, and Then Lost Them Again

The Oakland, California, regional office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) stuffed 13,184 benefit requests, some dating back to the 1990s, into a file cabinet where they were discovered in 2012, partially processed and then promptly lost. Two records selected during a random sampling of unprocessed informal claims found they missed out on $3,904 in benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder and hearing loss, respectively.   read more

Is it Time for Americans who Earn more than $118,500 a Year to Pay more into Social Security?

According to the Social Security Administration, in 1983, about 11% of all income escaped being taxed by Social Security. By 2012, that number rose to about 17% of all income. The liberal Center for American Progress argues that policymakers should consider changing Social Security taxation to apply to 90% of earnings in order to put more money into the dwindling trust fund. Such a change, had it been implemented in 1983, would have added $1.1 trillion more into the trust fund by 2013   read more

Revenue Opportunity: Charging Families for Transferring Money to Prisoners

JPay Inc., the largest such money-service provider, has contracts in 32 states to facilitate money transfers for prisoners from their relatives. The service has become quite lucrative for JPay, which made more than $50 million in 2013. To send money to an inmate in Oklahoma either online or by phone, a family member must pay a fee ranging from $4 to $12 per transaction. In some cases, the fee can represent as much as nearly 40% of the deposit amount.   read more

1,024 of 1,031 Highest Paid Federal Employees are VA Doctors

Leading the way among those physicians is Dr. Thomas Burdon, a specialist in thoracic surgery based in Palo Alto, California, who makes $402,462 a year. The next highest paid is Dr. Thomas Cacciarelli in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who makes $873 less. Government Executive reported that more than 16,900 federal employees made more than $200,000 in base salary last year. The database does not include the salaries of Department of Defense personnel   read more

Some Governors want to Cut Taxes for the Rich and Increase Taxes for the Poor

GOP Governors Paul LePage of Maine, John Kasich of Ohio and others are considering raising so-called consumption taxes, such as those imposed on sales of cigarettes and gasoline, to generate more state revenue. At the same time, they want to slash income taxes, which would mostly benefit the wealthy. But increasing sales taxes usually hurts lower income earners more than the wealthy because the former has to spend more of their earnings on food and necessities.   read more

Identity Thieves Cheated IRS out of $5.8 Billion…in One Year

The $5.8 billion that the IRS paid to fraud perpetrators in 2013 represented just 20% of all the phony returns it received, according to a report (pdf) by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). In other words, the agency caught and rejected about 80% of the returns sent in by identity thieves.   read more

Health and Human Services Sent Wrong Tax Information to 800,000 Obamacare Enrollees

The Obama administration has sent incorrect tax information to 800,000 customers of Healthcare.gov, the federally run insurance exchange, and is asking those people to wait to file their taxes until they get corrected information. About 50,000 of those who received the erroneous forms are estimated to have already filed their 2014 taxes.   read more

Burger King Plans to Avoid Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Taxes

Burger King and Canadian doughnut company Tim Hortons have merged. The upshot for Burger King is it is no longer a U.S.-based business. By renouncing its U.S. citizenship, Burger King stands to avoid paying between $400 million and $1.2 billion in U.S. taxes over the next four years. But moving to Canada won’t mean it is pulling its lucrative franchises from the U.S., where it currently has 7,155 restaurants. It will still make more than $8 billion annually in sales from American consumers.   read more

This Hepatitis C Drug, Developed with U.S. Government-Funded Research, Costs $300 per Treatment Course in India…and $84,000 in the U.S.

A breakthrough in treating hepatitis C costs almost 300 times more in the U.S. than it does in India, a disparity made all the more outrageous by the fact that the U.S. government helped fund the research for the drug. The cost to produce it is in the range of $68 to $136. “In other words, the U.S. price-cost markup is roughly 1,000-to-1!” said Jeffrey Sachs. Sovaldi was developed with grants from the National Institutes of Health and support from the Department of Veterans Affairs.   read more

Aid to the Poorest of the Poor is Shrinking

Benefits for those with the lowest levels of income, such as unemployed single mothers with children, have been reduced by about 30%. Many of these cuts went into effect as part of President Clinton’s effort to “end welfare as we know it.” “Most observers would think that the government should support those who have the lowest incomes the most,” wrote Moffitt. “But that is not the case.” The assumption is, he added: “If you’re not working, the interpretation is that you’re not trying.”   read more

Majority of U.S. Workers Work for Companies with more than 500 Employees

Big corporations, those with 500 or more workers, employ 51.6% of U.S. workers according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. That number has gone up since 2004, when 49.1% of Americans worked for large companies. The numbers for 2012 showed about 60 million Americans work for “large enterprises,” while 20.4 million count on mom-and-pop businesses, or what the Census Bureau calls “very small enterprises,” with 20 or fewer workers.   read more

Federal Judge Rules U.S. must Return $90 Million to Georgia despite “Ineptitude” of State Officials

“Georgia’s ineptitude in making errors and delay in discovering them is confounding, but does not justify permitting the federal government to keep the $90 million in credits to the detriment of Georgia’s 1.89 million Medicaid recipients,” U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler wrote. Kessler explained that Georgia’s poor shouldn’t suffer because of a mistake of state employees.   read more

U.S. Military Budget 4 Times Bigger than China and 8 Times Bigger than Russia

Last year, U.S. defense spending registered $581 billion. The next closest spender on the military was China … at $129 billion. Third on the list was Saudi Arabia at $81 million. Russia spent $70 billion on defense in 2014, one-eighth of the U.S. expenditures.   read more

State Government Revenues Tops Expenditures Thanks to Pension Fund Investments

The fiscal picture for state governments is looking rosier these days, thanks to state budgets having more revenues than expenditures. And the increase in state revenues is largely because state pension funds are booming in the stock market. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that total state government revenues jumped 16.3% from 2012 to 2013, when their total value rose from $1.9 trillion $2.2 trillion.   read more

Citizen Ballot Initiatives no Match for Corporate Counter-Spending

Most of that money went to defeat citizen initiatives and it was well-spent—the corporations won 96% of the time Health insurance giant Anthem gave $13 million, all but a small amount of it to fight California’s Proposition 45, which would have required state approval to raise insurance rates. The measure lost. Monsanto spent $10.7 million in Oregon and Colorado to defeat measures that would have required genetically modified food to be labeled as such. Both initiatives were defeated.   read more

Rep. Mike McIntyre Set Record for Most Expensive Free Trip Abroad

Former Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-North Carolina) decided to leave the House of Representatives last year after 18 years in office, but before he left he got a special retirement gift from a lobbyist: a nearly $50,000 trip to Australia for McIntyre and his wife Dee.   read more
1 to 16 of about 1557 News
1 2 3 ... 98 Next

Where is the Money Going?

1 to 16 of about 1557 News
1 2 3 ... 98 Next

Oakland VA Lost Thousands of Veterans Claims, Found Them, and Then Lost Them Again

The Oakland, California, regional office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) stuffed 13,184 benefit requests, some dating back to the 1990s, into a file cabinet where they were discovered in 2012, partially processed and then promptly lost. Two records selected during a random sampling of unprocessed informal claims found they missed out on $3,904 in benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder and hearing loss, respectively.   read more

Is it Time for Americans who Earn more than $118,500 a Year to Pay more into Social Security?

According to the Social Security Administration, in 1983, about 11% of all income escaped being taxed by Social Security. By 2012, that number rose to about 17% of all income. The liberal Center for American Progress argues that policymakers should consider changing Social Security taxation to apply to 90% of earnings in order to put more money into the dwindling trust fund. Such a change, had it been implemented in 1983, would have added $1.1 trillion more into the trust fund by 2013   read more

Revenue Opportunity: Charging Families for Transferring Money to Prisoners

JPay Inc., the largest such money-service provider, has contracts in 32 states to facilitate money transfers for prisoners from their relatives. The service has become quite lucrative for JPay, which made more than $50 million in 2013. To send money to an inmate in Oklahoma either online or by phone, a family member must pay a fee ranging from $4 to $12 per transaction. In some cases, the fee can represent as much as nearly 40% of the deposit amount.   read more

1,024 of 1,031 Highest Paid Federal Employees are VA Doctors

Leading the way among those physicians is Dr. Thomas Burdon, a specialist in thoracic surgery based in Palo Alto, California, who makes $402,462 a year. The next highest paid is Dr. Thomas Cacciarelli in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who makes $873 less. Government Executive reported that more than 16,900 federal employees made more than $200,000 in base salary last year. The database does not include the salaries of Department of Defense personnel   read more

Some Governors want to Cut Taxes for the Rich and Increase Taxes for the Poor

GOP Governors Paul LePage of Maine, John Kasich of Ohio and others are considering raising so-called consumption taxes, such as those imposed on sales of cigarettes and gasoline, to generate more state revenue. At the same time, they want to slash income taxes, which would mostly benefit the wealthy. But increasing sales taxes usually hurts lower income earners more than the wealthy because the former has to spend more of their earnings on food and necessities.   read more

Identity Thieves Cheated IRS out of $5.8 Billion…in One Year

The $5.8 billion that the IRS paid to fraud perpetrators in 2013 represented just 20% of all the phony returns it received, according to a report (pdf) by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). In other words, the agency caught and rejected about 80% of the returns sent in by identity thieves.   read more

Health and Human Services Sent Wrong Tax Information to 800,000 Obamacare Enrollees

The Obama administration has sent incorrect tax information to 800,000 customers of Healthcare.gov, the federally run insurance exchange, and is asking those people to wait to file their taxes until they get corrected information. About 50,000 of those who received the erroneous forms are estimated to have already filed their 2014 taxes.   read more

Burger King Plans to Avoid Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Taxes

Burger King and Canadian doughnut company Tim Hortons have merged. The upshot for Burger King is it is no longer a U.S.-based business. By renouncing its U.S. citizenship, Burger King stands to avoid paying between $400 million and $1.2 billion in U.S. taxes over the next four years. But moving to Canada won’t mean it is pulling its lucrative franchises from the U.S., where it currently has 7,155 restaurants. It will still make more than $8 billion annually in sales from American consumers.   read more

This Hepatitis C Drug, Developed with U.S. Government-Funded Research, Costs $300 per Treatment Course in India…and $84,000 in the U.S.

A breakthrough in treating hepatitis C costs almost 300 times more in the U.S. than it does in India, a disparity made all the more outrageous by the fact that the U.S. government helped fund the research for the drug. The cost to produce it is in the range of $68 to $136. “In other words, the U.S. price-cost markup is roughly 1,000-to-1!” said Jeffrey Sachs. Sovaldi was developed with grants from the National Institutes of Health and support from the Department of Veterans Affairs.   read more

Aid to the Poorest of the Poor is Shrinking

Benefits for those with the lowest levels of income, such as unemployed single mothers with children, have been reduced by about 30%. Many of these cuts went into effect as part of President Clinton’s effort to “end welfare as we know it.” “Most observers would think that the government should support those who have the lowest incomes the most,” wrote Moffitt. “But that is not the case.” The assumption is, he added: “If you’re not working, the interpretation is that you’re not trying.”   read more

Majority of U.S. Workers Work for Companies with more than 500 Employees

Big corporations, those with 500 or more workers, employ 51.6% of U.S. workers according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. That number has gone up since 2004, when 49.1% of Americans worked for large companies. The numbers for 2012 showed about 60 million Americans work for “large enterprises,” while 20.4 million count on mom-and-pop businesses, or what the Census Bureau calls “very small enterprises,” with 20 or fewer workers.   read more

Federal Judge Rules U.S. must Return $90 Million to Georgia despite “Ineptitude” of State Officials

“Georgia’s ineptitude in making errors and delay in discovering them is confounding, but does not justify permitting the federal government to keep the $90 million in credits to the detriment of Georgia’s 1.89 million Medicaid recipients,” U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler wrote. Kessler explained that Georgia’s poor shouldn’t suffer because of a mistake of state employees.   read more

U.S. Military Budget 4 Times Bigger than China and 8 Times Bigger than Russia

Last year, U.S. defense spending registered $581 billion. The next closest spender on the military was China … at $129 billion. Third on the list was Saudi Arabia at $81 million. Russia spent $70 billion on defense in 2014, one-eighth of the U.S. expenditures.   read more

State Government Revenues Tops Expenditures Thanks to Pension Fund Investments

The fiscal picture for state governments is looking rosier these days, thanks to state budgets having more revenues than expenditures. And the increase in state revenues is largely because state pension funds are booming in the stock market. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that total state government revenues jumped 16.3% from 2012 to 2013, when their total value rose from $1.9 trillion $2.2 trillion.   read more

Citizen Ballot Initiatives no Match for Corporate Counter-Spending

Most of that money went to defeat citizen initiatives and it was well-spent—the corporations won 96% of the time Health insurance giant Anthem gave $13 million, all but a small amount of it to fight California’s Proposition 45, which would have required state approval to raise insurance rates. The measure lost. Monsanto spent $10.7 million in Oregon and Colorado to defeat measures that would have required genetically modified food to be labeled as such. Both initiatives were defeated.   read more

Rep. Mike McIntyre Set Record for Most Expensive Free Trip Abroad

Former Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-North Carolina) decided to leave the House of Representatives last year after 18 years in office, but before he left he got a special retirement gift from a lobbyist: a nearly $50,000 trip to Australia for McIntyre and his wife Dee.   read more
1 to 16 of about 1557 News
1 2 3 ... 98 Next