Following a scathing exposé that uncovered details on a lavish government conference in Las Vegas, the head of the General Services Administration (GSA) resigned, while two top deputies were fired and four managers were placed on administrative leave. GSA chief Martha Johnson admitted in her resignation letter to a "significant misstep" at the federal agency — which handles real estate for the government — and as a result, she acknowledged, "taxpayer dollars were squandered."
When Ann Johnston, Mayor of Stockton, California, informed the city council in March that Stockton was about to go bankrupt, making it the largest municipal bankruptcy in history, it took her six hours to explain why. The primary reason was overborrowing, overspending, and thinking that the good times would go on forever. They didn’t.
A long-standing legal charade was played out again recently, when Federal Express paid $3 million to settle an employment discrimination case brought by the U.S. Department of Labor. Federal Express was accused of both racial discrimination and sex discrimination. FedEx denied it.
“I was floored by what we discovered,” declared Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Sessions, Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, had asked his staff to compute the long-term costs of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). After three months of combing through the hundreds of pages of the law and comparing their expected costs to the United States’ fiscal outlook for the next 75 years — just as the government currently does for other programs such as Social Security and Medicare — Sessions’ staff estimated that ObamaCare has created a $17 trillion unfunded liability for the U.S. government.
The budget plan of Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan passed the House on Thursday 228 to 191, mostly along party lines. In fact, not a single Democrat voted for it, signaling that it won’t see the light of day in the Democrat-controlled Senate as predicted here. The previous day, the House overwhelmingly rejected 382-38 the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction proposal, which incudes tax increases as well as spending cuts. Last week, the administration-supported budget bill was also voted down, 414-0, which leaves the legislative branch of the U.S. government in limbo.
The statist rulers of the so-called “BRICS” countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — have been subtly calling for an end to the U.S. dollar’s status as the world reserve currency for years. Now, they are making more moves to turn that rhetoric into reality, proposing a jointly controlled “development” bank and working to sideline America’s already-troubled Federal Reserve Notes in trade by relying more heavily on their own fiat currencies.
In a 51-47 vote, the U.S. Senate nixed a Democratic proposal to confiscate billions of dollars in tax breaks from some of the largest oil companies. Sixty votes were needed to push through Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-N.J.) bill, which would have stripped billions in tax deductions from the "big five" oil companies, which includes BP, Exxon, Shell, Chevron, and ConocoPhilips.
In his attempt to explode the myth that there is unlimited demand for U.S. government debt, former Treasury official Lawrence Goodman explained that there is high perceived demand because the Federal Reserve is doing most of the buying.
Remember $1.83 per gallon gasoline? Seems like a very distant memory? That was the national average price we paid for the precious liquid when President Obama took over the White House in January 2009.
The Obama administration is surging forward with a first-of-its-kind EPA rule for new power plants, in what Republicans and industry groups say will inflate electricity prices and possibly kill off coal, the preeminent U.S. energy source. The EPA announced the rule Tuesday, with a goal to curb carbon dioxide emissions by imposing strict regulations on new coal-fired plants, including a limit that caps plant emissions to not more than 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of energy generated.