Where is the Money Going?

1 to 16 of about 1507 News
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Social Security Administration Still Collecting Debts from Children of Overpaid Recipients Despite Promising to Stop

Acting SSA commissioner Carolyn Colvin publicly said the collection efforts would end, but the collections have continued. Some who were reimbursed for the refunds they never received have said the SSA turned around and came after them again for the overpayments. At least five of these individuals are now suing the agency to halt the practice once and for all. The agency’s actions have stirred up members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.   read more

NASA Spent $349 Million for a Useless Lab Tower for a Project that had Already been Cancelled

The tower “is evidence of a breakdown at NASA, which used to be a glorious symbol of what an American bureaucracy could achieve," wrote the Post's David Fahrenthold. "In the Space Race days of the 1960s, the agency was given a clear, galvanizing mission: reach the moon within the decade. In less than seven, NASA got it done. Now, NASA has become a symbol of something else: what happens to a big bureaucracy after its sense of mission starts to fade.”   read more

For the First Time, Congress Allocates Money to Protect Battlefields from Revolutionary War and War of 1812

More than 200 years after the fact, Congress has finally decided to spend money on preserving battlefields from some of the most critical wars in American history. In a first, lawmakers have expanded the federal matching grants program that until now only supported landmarks from the Civil War. Now the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program will also be able to accept requests to fund and preserve battlefields from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.   read more

Ohio Student Mentoring Program Requires Religious Partnering to Receive Government Funds

Signed into law by Governor John Kasich, the new program comes with $10 million in state funding, but school districts that don’t comply with the parochial mandate won’t see a dime of it. Schools cannot work with only a business and a nonprofit, the Ohio Department of Education says. If religion isn’t included, the mentoring program at a school won’t receive funding. “The faith-based organization is clearly at the heart of the vision of the governor,” said the department's Buddy Harris.   read more

Congressional Republicans and Democrats Join to Raise Annual Campaign Contribution Limit to $1.5 Million a Couple

The new provision was generated behind closed doors, wasn’t disclosed for public debate, and was a surprise when it was found buried in the spending bill. “The impetus for the measure appears to have been driven by the Republican National Committee, which has aggressively sought ways to shake off its fundraising limitations,” wrote the Post. “[It] will create the opportunity for the wealthiest Americans to buy — and federal officeholders to sell — government influence,” said Wertheimer.   read more

New Mexico Fines U.S. over Nuclear Waste Violations

The leak exposed at least 20 workers to radiation. Citing 37 violations of hazardous waste permits, the state has thus far levied $54 million in penalties against the DOE and its contractor. It is expected to take years to clean up the facility at an estimated cost of more than half a billion dollars. Fifty WIPP staff employees have been at work in the underground facility to make an assessment of the degree of contamination and to draft a cleanup plan.   read more

When Cops Lose Civil Rights Violation Judgments, They Don’t Pay the Damages

Joanna Schwartz, an assistant professor at UCLA law school, Schwartz reviewed data on police civil rights settlements from 44 large and 37 small or midsized police departments from 2006 to 2011. In 9,225 cases from large cities, officers paid only .02% of the settlements, or $171,300 out of $735 million. In the small or midsized cities, officers didn’t pay any of the $9.4 million awarded to victims.   read more

This is the Poorest County in the U.S.: Telfair County, Georgia

The average income last year for Telfair residents was $17,536 after falling 1.2% from 2012. That’s more than $6,000 below the federal poverty line ($23,283 for a family of four), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Telfair has only 16,000 residents, 61% of whom are white. African Americans make up 36% of the population.   read more

Truck Manufacturer Loses more than $525,000 after Dispute over $53

The buyer determined after driving the truck about 3,000 miles that the vehicle was defective, and returned it to Paccar, demanding a refund. Paccar went so far as refunding the purchase price of $135,847 plus interest. But it refused to refund the $53 title fee. So the customer sued Paccar in court, and wound up winning a $369,196 judgment, plus a $157,697 attorneys’ fees award. Paccar is now on the hook for half a million dollars all because it wouldn’t cough up $53.   read more

Agriculture Dept. Discovers that Americans Buy Fast Food to Save Time

The USDA spent taxpayer dollars on a study that says, “findings show that Americans purchase fast food as a means of saving time.” Seriously. Other discoveries made by researchers include: “Fast food purchasers have different eating patterns than others,” and “They are more likely to engage in eating while at work and while driving.”   read more

Georgia Supreme Court Curbs Power of Private Probation Industry That Preys on Poor

Court findings showed that “potentially thousands of Georgians had their sentences illegally extended, and several of the named plaintiffs had been improperly hauled off to jail and/or subjected to electronic monitoring for alleged probation violations six years after their probation had ended for minor offenses like possession of marijuana and no proof of insurance.” Alabama Judge Hub Harrington described the practice as a “judicially sanctioned extortion racket.”   read more

Bipartisan Senate Report Warns about Big Banks’ Involvement in Risky Commodities Markets

According to the report, “Until recently, Morgan Stanley controlled over 55 million barrels of oil storage capacity, 100 oil tankers, and 6,000 miles of pipeline....In 2012, Goldman owned 1.5 million metric tons of aluminum worth $3 billion, about 25% of the entire U.S. annual consumption. Goldman also owned warehouses which, in 2014, controlled 85% of the LME aluminum storage business in the United States.”   read more

Industries Lobby Hard to Fly Their Drones as FAA Decision Looms

Amazon has already invested in a fleet of small drones to develop a new way of delivering consumer goods to customers. That’s why the online giant hired lobbying powerhouse Akin Gump and paid the firm at least $120,000 to sway the FAA decision. The new rules will impose many restrictions on drones, requiring operators to have a pilot’s license and limit flights to daylight hours, below 400 feet and within sight of the person at the controls.   read more

Goldman Sachs Gets Harsh Words but Open Pockets from Congressional Subcommittees

Goldman has donated $1.1 million to current subcommittee members since 1989 — $911,000 of which went to Democrats. More than half of that total went to one individual, Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York). In fact, OpenSecrets.org added, “Schumer has received more from Goldman over the course of his career than any other current member of the Senate — and more from Goldman than from any other organization.”   read more

10 Years after 9/11 Commission Recommended it, FCC Finds Funds for National First Responder Communications Network

The commission recommended that the federal government create a way for police and firefighters from different jurisdictions to communicate with each other in a crisis—something they couldn’t do during the response to the 9/11 attacks. Congress authorized the FCC to reserve certain broadcast frequencies for public safety use. The FCC auctioned off a band of wireless frequencies to telecommunications companies, which netted more than $11 billion to establish the network, FirstNet.   read more

Recent Veterans more likely to be Employed than Non-Veterans

In the period from 2011 to 2013, employment among veterans of both genders of the wars was 79%, compared to 70% of nonveterans. Employment among male Gulf War veterans was 84%. Men who served in Iraq and Afghanistan last decade had a lower, though still impressive rate of 78%. Both groups of veterans were better off than nonveteran men, whose employment rate was 75%. Similarly, women who served in both wars have struggled less with unemployment.   read more
1 to 16 of about 1507 News
1 2 3 ... 95 Next

Where is the Money Going?

1 to 16 of about 1507 News
1 2 3 ... 95 Next

Social Security Administration Still Collecting Debts from Children of Overpaid Recipients Despite Promising to Stop

Acting SSA commissioner Carolyn Colvin publicly said the collection efforts would end, but the collections have continued. Some who were reimbursed for the refunds they never received have said the SSA turned around and came after them again for the overpayments. At least five of these individuals are now suing the agency to halt the practice once and for all. The agency’s actions have stirred up members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.   read more

NASA Spent $349 Million for a Useless Lab Tower for a Project that had Already been Cancelled

The tower “is evidence of a breakdown at NASA, which used to be a glorious symbol of what an American bureaucracy could achieve," wrote the Post's David Fahrenthold. "In the Space Race days of the 1960s, the agency was given a clear, galvanizing mission: reach the moon within the decade. In less than seven, NASA got it done. Now, NASA has become a symbol of something else: what happens to a big bureaucracy after its sense of mission starts to fade.”   read more

For the First Time, Congress Allocates Money to Protect Battlefields from Revolutionary War and War of 1812

More than 200 years after the fact, Congress has finally decided to spend money on preserving battlefields from some of the most critical wars in American history. In a first, lawmakers have expanded the federal matching grants program that until now only supported landmarks from the Civil War. Now the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program will also be able to accept requests to fund and preserve battlefields from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.   read more

Ohio Student Mentoring Program Requires Religious Partnering to Receive Government Funds

Signed into law by Governor John Kasich, the new program comes with $10 million in state funding, but school districts that don’t comply with the parochial mandate won’t see a dime of it. Schools cannot work with only a business and a nonprofit, the Ohio Department of Education says. If religion isn’t included, the mentoring program at a school won’t receive funding. “The faith-based organization is clearly at the heart of the vision of the governor,” said the department's Buddy Harris.   read more

Congressional Republicans and Democrats Join to Raise Annual Campaign Contribution Limit to $1.5 Million a Couple

The new provision was generated behind closed doors, wasn’t disclosed for public debate, and was a surprise when it was found buried in the spending bill. “The impetus for the measure appears to have been driven by the Republican National Committee, which has aggressively sought ways to shake off its fundraising limitations,” wrote the Post. “[It] will create the opportunity for the wealthiest Americans to buy — and federal officeholders to sell — government influence,” said Wertheimer.   read more

New Mexico Fines U.S. over Nuclear Waste Violations

The leak exposed at least 20 workers to radiation. Citing 37 violations of hazardous waste permits, the state has thus far levied $54 million in penalties against the DOE and its contractor. It is expected to take years to clean up the facility at an estimated cost of more than half a billion dollars. Fifty WIPP staff employees have been at work in the underground facility to make an assessment of the degree of contamination and to draft a cleanup plan.   read more

When Cops Lose Civil Rights Violation Judgments, They Don’t Pay the Damages

Joanna Schwartz, an assistant professor at UCLA law school, Schwartz reviewed data on police civil rights settlements from 44 large and 37 small or midsized police departments from 2006 to 2011. In 9,225 cases from large cities, officers paid only .02% of the settlements, or $171,300 out of $735 million. In the small or midsized cities, officers didn’t pay any of the $9.4 million awarded to victims.   read more

This is the Poorest County in the U.S.: Telfair County, Georgia

The average income last year for Telfair residents was $17,536 after falling 1.2% from 2012. That’s more than $6,000 below the federal poverty line ($23,283 for a family of four), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Telfair has only 16,000 residents, 61% of whom are white. African Americans make up 36% of the population.   read more

Truck Manufacturer Loses more than $525,000 after Dispute over $53

The buyer determined after driving the truck about 3,000 miles that the vehicle was defective, and returned it to Paccar, demanding a refund. Paccar went so far as refunding the purchase price of $135,847 plus interest. But it refused to refund the $53 title fee. So the customer sued Paccar in court, and wound up winning a $369,196 judgment, plus a $157,697 attorneys’ fees award. Paccar is now on the hook for half a million dollars all because it wouldn’t cough up $53.   read more

Agriculture Dept. Discovers that Americans Buy Fast Food to Save Time

The USDA spent taxpayer dollars on a study that says, “findings show that Americans purchase fast food as a means of saving time.” Seriously. Other discoveries made by researchers include: “Fast food purchasers have different eating patterns than others,” and “They are more likely to engage in eating while at work and while driving.”   read more

Georgia Supreme Court Curbs Power of Private Probation Industry That Preys on Poor

Court findings showed that “potentially thousands of Georgians had their sentences illegally extended, and several of the named plaintiffs had been improperly hauled off to jail and/or subjected to electronic monitoring for alleged probation violations six years after their probation had ended for minor offenses like possession of marijuana and no proof of insurance.” Alabama Judge Hub Harrington described the practice as a “judicially sanctioned extortion racket.”   read more

Bipartisan Senate Report Warns about Big Banks’ Involvement in Risky Commodities Markets

According to the report, “Until recently, Morgan Stanley controlled over 55 million barrels of oil storage capacity, 100 oil tankers, and 6,000 miles of pipeline....In 2012, Goldman owned 1.5 million metric tons of aluminum worth $3 billion, about 25% of the entire U.S. annual consumption. Goldman also owned warehouses which, in 2014, controlled 85% of the LME aluminum storage business in the United States.”   read more

Industries Lobby Hard to Fly Their Drones as FAA Decision Looms

Amazon has already invested in a fleet of small drones to develop a new way of delivering consumer goods to customers. That’s why the online giant hired lobbying powerhouse Akin Gump and paid the firm at least $120,000 to sway the FAA decision. The new rules will impose many restrictions on drones, requiring operators to have a pilot’s license and limit flights to daylight hours, below 400 feet and within sight of the person at the controls.   read more

Goldman Sachs Gets Harsh Words but Open Pockets from Congressional Subcommittees

Goldman has donated $1.1 million to current subcommittee members since 1989 — $911,000 of which went to Democrats. More than half of that total went to one individual, Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York). In fact, OpenSecrets.org added, “Schumer has received more from Goldman over the course of his career than any other current member of the Senate — and more from Goldman than from any other organization.”   read more

10 Years after 9/11 Commission Recommended it, FCC Finds Funds for National First Responder Communications Network

The commission recommended that the federal government create a way for police and firefighters from different jurisdictions to communicate with each other in a crisis—something they couldn’t do during the response to the 9/11 attacks. Congress authorized the FCC to reserve certain broadcast frequencies for public safety use. The FCC auctioned off a band of wireless frequencies to telecommunications companies, which netted more than $11 billion to establish the network, FirstNet.   read more

Recent Veterans more likely to be Employed than Non-Veterans

In the period from 2011 to 2013, employment among veterans of both genders of the wars was 79%, compared to 70% of nonveterans. Employment among male Gulf War veterans was 84%. Men who served in Iraq and Afghanistan last decade had a lower, though still impressive rate of 78%. Both groups of veterans were better off than nonveteran men, whose employment rate was 75%. Similarly, women who served in both wars have struggled less with unemployment.   read more
1 to 16 of about 1507 News
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