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Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Trump’s 2018 Budget Blueprint (link)

Posted by FactReal on March 16, 2017

President Trump’s White House released today his budget proposal for 2018.

Scroll down for winners and losers.

The budget is called “America First – A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.”

Here is the link to the budget (PDF): #https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf
– Defense Department: INCREASE: $52.3 billion, 10%
– Veterans Affairs: INCREASE: $4.4 billion, 5.9%
– Homeland Security: INCREASE: $2.8 billion, 6.8%
– Health and Human Services: DECREASE: $15.1 billion, 17.9%
– State Department: DECREASE: $10.9 billion, 28.7%
– Education: DECREASE: $9.2 billion, 13.5%
– Housing and Urban Development: DECREASE: $6.2 billion, 13.2%
– Agriculture: DECREASE: $4.7 billion, 20.7%
– Environmental Protection Agency: DECREASE: $2.6 billion, 31%
– Labor: DECREASE: $2.5 billion, 20.7%
– Transportation: DECREASE: $2.4 billion, 12.7%
– Energy: DECREASE: $1.7 billion, 5.6%
– Commerce: DECREASE: $1.5 billion, 15.7%
– Interior: DECREASE: $1.5 billion, 11.7%
– Justice: DECREASE: $1.1 billion, 3.8%
– Treasury: DECREASE: $519 million, 4.1%

Winners and losers in Trump’s budget blueprint

-Trump’s Budget Takes a Cleaver to Cronyism and Waste at the Energy


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Miami-Dade Commissioners’ Slush Funds Paid by Taxpayers

Posted by FactReal on August 17, 2011

One more example how government bureaucrats misuse taxpayer money to benefit themselves.
Via America Times
Despite steep spending cuts and looming layoffs, Miami-Dade County commissioners continue to stockpile cash that they spend with few restrictions and scant oversight.

Commissioner Sally Heyman is sitting on $804,000 in unspent money, Jose “Pepe” Diaz controls $461,000, Bruno Barreiro has $361,000 and Dennis Moss $354,000. Taken together, commissioners have more than $3 million in surplus taxpayer funds set aside for their personal spending whims.

The money comes from the commissioners’ individual office budgets, which are $814,000 each per year, but aren’t required to be used solely for office expenses such as staff salaries or paper and pens. Instead, the funds are regularly doled out by individual commissioners to favored groups within their districts with virtually no checks or balances; allocations are subject to a perfunctory vote at the end of commission meetings and are rarely denied.

Critics deride the money as slush funds, a stash of political pork that commissioners pass out to curry favor with constituents. Commissioners defend the practice, declaring they best know how money should be spent in their district, and that the funds support good causes.

“If that’s not illegal, it should be,’’ said Dominic Calabro, president and CEO of Florida Tax Watch, a Tallahassee-based government watchdog group, who called the free spending “ripe for mischief” and “blatantly wrong.”

In recent years, commissioners made sure they kept firm control of the taxpayer-funded bounty: They passed an ordinance in 2007 mandating that each commissioner gets to carry over unspent funds at the end of the year, even as they are given a fresh, fully funded office budget for the new fiscal year. The ability to roll over surplus money allows commissioners to build a mountain of cash that can be handed out before an upcoming election. […]

Two years ago, a Palm Beach County grand jury — charged with addressing a “crisis of trust in public governance” after a string of public corruption convictions — called for a slate of reforms. Topping the list: ending county commissioners’ discretionary funds…[T]he process of commissioners individually handing out the funds smacked of unseemly political patronage that “at a minimum, politicized the manner of funding” and created a negative effect “in both fact and perception.” […]

Palm Beach County commissioners discontinued the practice. Broward County commissioners aren’t provided discretionary funds.

Yet Miami-Dade County elected officials have continued the practice, and some commissioners are already signaling they will fight a change.

Sally Heyman, whose district includes Aventura and Bal Harbour, said she should be able to continue steering office funds to nonoffice uses at her discretion. If not, she said, nonprofits are “not going to be getting anything at all. The money wouldn’t be available.”

Barreiro said the use of office funds for nonoffice discretionary purposes is “done to benefit the community. Commissioners each fund programs in our areas.”

The commissioner, whose district includes Miami Beach and Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, defended his hefty carry-over funds, saying they illustrate his frugality. “One reason I have been saving is I am looking forward to improving the computer system in my office,” he said. “You know, the computers become outdated quickly.”

This biggest spender this year: Commissioner Diaz, who handed out $227,505 of office funds to constituent groups. Diaz was on vacation and unavailable for comment, his office said Friday.

The debate about how commissioners can use their office funds is not new.

Two years ago, amid increased scrutiny of the practice, two other sources of discretionary funding were zeroed out. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez axed the commissioners’ “Discretionary Reserve” and “County Services Reserve” accounts, eliminating $400,000 in funds per commissioner that could be doled out with few restrictions. Those discretionary funds were in addition to the office funds. With those gone, commissioners have turned to their handsome “office” budgets. “When flagged, they have been clever about calling it something else. It is no longer a ‘discretionary’ fund but is buried in the office budget,” said Douglas Halsey, a lawyer with White & Case, which is taking a hard look at Miami-Dade discretionary spending on its own on a pro bono basis.
“It is clear that county commissioners have for years enjoyed being able to use taxpayer dollars for patronage purposes.”

As Gimenez is pledging to end discretionary funding and require surplus monies be returned to the general fund, some commissioners may take no chances and begin rapidly unloading their largess before the fiscal year runs out Sept. 30. Commissioners are in recess for August and return in September.

Last week, county commissioners closed their meeting by taking turns individually doling out, in rapid fire, nearly $100,000 in office funds.

Barreiro handed $18,000 to American Coach Lines to hire the bus company to transport seniors in his district to holiday parties later this year. Heyman doled out $10,000 to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

Commissioner Audrey Edmonson allocated nearly $5,000 toward backpacks for the “District 3 Annual Back-to-School event.” Commissioner Barbara Jordan allocated $235.65 for expenses “related to District 1’s Annual Senior Valentine’s Day Dance.”

All the spending raises a looming question: If commissioners can save so much of their office fund for future years or spend it on nonoffice expenses, why do they get such a big office budget?

As part of a countywide budget-cutback totaling some $400 million, Gimenez has proposed cutting the Board of County Commissioners’ overall budget by 10 percent. But there are other departments under commission control, including the Office of Protocol, the commission auditor and Intergovernmental Relations.

As a result, commissioners could choose to slash those budgets while keeping their individual office budgets at current levels .

Posted in Economy/ Finance, USA-Florida | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

IRS: Taxing ALL Rich People Not Enough to Pay U.S. Deficit

Posted by FactReal on August 11, 2011

A recent IRS report proved that if government confiscated the entire annual earnings from the so-called rich, it would not provide enough money to pay the annual budget deficit:
● People with annual incomes over $1 million earned a total of $727 billion in 2009.
● People with incomes of $10 million per year or more earned a total of $240 billion in 2009.

The $727 billion from those millionaires would not be enough to cover the 2011 U.S. budget deficit which is estimated to reach $1.5 Trillion. It would not have been enough to cover any of Obama’s deficits which ran up to $1.3 Trillion in 2010 and $1.4 Trillion in 2009.

Here is the 2009 income data according to the IRS:

The Charleston Daily Mail explained there are not enough “rich” people to cover the deficit:
Soak the rich, eh?

They do not have the money.

A report from the Internal Revenue Service found that the rich — 8,274 people with incomes of $10 million per year or more — earned a total of $240 billion in 2009.

Even of you confiscated every dime they earned, you would barely have enough money to cover government spending for 24 days.

Of course, about a quarter of that money already goes to the federal government for federal income. So make that 18 days.

Another 227,000 people earned $1 million or more in 2009.

Millionaires averaged taxes of 24.4% of their income — up from 23.1% in 2008.

They, too, did not earn enough money to come anywhere close to covering the annual deficits that are $1.5 trillion a year.

Barack Obama was the first president to sign a budget with a $1 trillion deficit into law.


We must cut. We cannot afford to buy everything we want.

– IRS report, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/09inalcr.pdf

Posted in Economy/ Finance | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Obama’s Fiscal Record: A Brief History

Posted by FactReal on July 20, 2011

Via Committee on the Budget of the U.S. House of Representatives: (Hat tip: Mark Levin)
  Despite newfound concern with the debt overhang stifling economic growth, President Obama’s record falls far short of his rhetoric.  Let’s review the decisions made by President Obama and Congressional Democrats over the past couple of years, and the disappointing results of their policy choices:

January 20, 2009 
President Obama sworn into office

  • President tells the American people in his Inaugural Address: “Those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.” [http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/inaugural-address]
  • Debt Held By Public = $6.31 trillion [Does not include Intragovernmental Holdings or Debt]

February 17, 2009
President Signs into Law the Spending Stimulus

  • The stimulus adds $821 billion in new spending according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
  • The White House promises this infusion of spending and borrowing would keep unemployment rate below 8%.  As millions of Americans are painfully aware, that promise was broken.
  • Debt Held by Public = $6.48 trillion

February 26, 2009
President Issues FY2010 Budget

  • The President’s budget adds $2.7 trillion in new debt in FY2010 and imposes $1.4 trillion in new taxes.
  • Debt Held by Public = $6.58 trillion


March 11, 2009
President Signs FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act

  • The massive spending bill includes 8,696 earmarks at a cost of $11 billion.
  • The spending bill adds $19 billion in new spending above the baseline – an 8.6% spending increase.
  • Debt Held by Public = $6.66 trillion
Keep reading… 

Posted in Economy/ Finance, Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NYT: Government Doesn’t Shut Down During “Shutdowns”

Posted by FactReal on April 8, 2011

So, the media and liberal politcians are busy selling fear about the so-called government shutdown to blame Republicans and distract Americans from the real issues: The U.S. is highly indebted and running on deficits.

Here are the highlights of the budget fight:
● Democrats failed to pass a budget last year even though they controlled the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate.
● The U.S. debt is $14.3 TRILLION.
● The federal government ran a budget deficit of $223 billion in the month of February alone!
● The House of Representatives [where Republicans are majority] are proposing about $61 billion in spending cuts…that’s about equal to one week’s worth of deficit spending in the month of February.
● The Senate [where Democrats are majority] wants only $4.7 billion in spending cuts…that’s about equal to one-half of one day’s deficit spending in February.

Even the leftist New York Times had to recognize that government does not really shut down during a “shutdown.”

Via America Times:

SOCIAL SECURITY The government would continue to make Social Security payments to the 53 million beneficiaries. “We will continue to process applications for benefits, but it might take longer if a shutdown does occur,” said Mark Hinkle, a spokesman for Social Security. “Our local offices will open for limited services. We are working on the specifics.”

A huge backlog of applications for Social Security disability benefits would grow even larger, agency officials said.

HEALTH CARE Medicare, the program for people who are 65 and older or disabled, would continue to pay doctors and hospitals for several weeks, using money from its trust funds.

The National Institutes of Health would not admit new patients to its research hospital or begin new clinical trials of drugs, devices or other treatments. However, research studies already begun would continue.

TAXES. The Internal Revenue Service would not audit tax returns and would not issue refunds to taxpayers who file returns on paper. But the agency would process returns filed electronically, a majority of all filings, and would issue refunds for those returns. Douglas H. Shulman, the I.R.S. commissioner, said federal taxes would still be due on April 18. (The deadline had already been extended three days because of a local holiday here.) The I.R.S. plans to keep enough people on hand to cash incoming checks because the government needs the money.

HOUSING If a shutdown occurs, the Federal Housing Administration, the world’s largest insurer of mortgages, could not make new loan guarantees for homebuyers.

PASSPORTS As a national security agency, the State Department would continue operations, but some activities, like issuing passports for travelers and visas for foreigners coming to the United States, could stop or face significant delays. Emergency consular services would continue.

POSTAL SERVICE Post offices would maintain their regular hours and mail delivery would continue.

FOOD STAMPS Since the government makes the money available to states by the beginning of each month, advocates for food stamp recipients predicted no immediate impact on benefits. “They should be O.K. for the month of April,” said Stacy Dean, a food stamp expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

MILITARY Active-duty personnel would continue to work and earn pay during a shutdown, but would generally not receive paychecks until Congress appropriated money at some later date. While troops in combat zones and assisting Japanese earthquake relief would continue operations, they might not be paid until a new budget was approved.

Many civilian employees of the Defense Department could be furloughed, but some would continue working, if their duties were deemed essential to national security or to the protection of life and property.

Civilian employees of the armed forces perform myriad duties, including payroll, security and air traffic control. Brian M. Leonard, president of a union local representing civilian employees of the Marine Corps, said, “The Defense Department is not telling us which employees will be furloughed, how they will be notified or whether they will be paid.”

PARKS AND MUSEUMS National parks would be closed and the Smithsonian Institution’s museums are planning to close.

WELFARE (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). Benefits have been authorized through the end of September, so experts predicted that cash assistance payments would not be affected. States share in the costs and could substitute their own money to make up for delays in the arrival of federal dollars.

“Our expectation is that it’s not going to have a big impact,” said LaDonna A. Pavetti, of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.


LAW ENFORCEMENT The Justice Department would continue work to protect national security, enforce criminal laws and combat drug trafficking and gun violence. At department headquarters and at the offices of United States attorneys around the country, prosecutors would continue criminal litigation without interruption. Federal prisons would continue to operate.

But the Justice Department would curtail or stop work on most civil litigation.

Read more:

Posted in Government Waste, Left | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: What Shuts Down? Who’s to Blame?

Posted by FactReal on April 7, 2011


Social Security checks would still go out. Troops would remain at their posts. And virtually every essential government agency would remain open. That’s the little-known truth about a government shutdown. The government doesn’t shut down. (April 5, 2011)
So it remains that the parties stand at an impasse, leaving the government teetering on the brink of a partial shutdown. But despite President Obama’s apocalyptic warnings, a shutdown is not the catastrophe he paints it to be. Even if Congress and the president fail to reach agreement, Social Security checks are still mailed, and essential services continue, including military, law enforcement, VA care, and others.

During the 1995 shutdown, approximately 800,000 federal workers were initially furloughed. Given the growth of the federal workforce since then, today that number would likely be higher. Still, that leaves most of the federal workforce and military still working. In fact, the Department of Defense, power grid maintenance, border patrol, Coast Guard, air traffic controllers, inpatient and emergency outpatient medical care, and other vital services continued. But, in anticipation of a partial shutdown, Congress should immediately pass a Department of Defense appropriations bill to ensure that our military is fully funded in any scenario. Speaker Boehner is pushing for just that…

Last year, when Democrats were majority in the U.S. Senate and the House, they failed to pass a budget.
Government shut-down blame game – some facts:
Obviously the first and most important point to be made about the possibility of the government shutting down this week is the fact that had Democrats, who held a majority in both the House and Senate last year, done their basic job of passing a budget, this wouldn’t be an impending problem.

Now, unsurprisingly, it has devolved into a political battle pitting the Republicans on the side of cutting spending as their constituency insists upon (and voted for) against Democrats who, failing to do their job last year, now are dragging their feet in the Senate (the House passed a continuing resolution to fund government 46 days ago) and making veto threats from the White House.

Funny, how politics works, isn’t it?  Those who didn’t do their job [the Democrats] last year or provide any leadership on the subject are now actively working against passage of a stop-gap funding measure and prepared to blame those who are attempting to fix the problem for any government shutdown which might occur.

Remarkably, a partial shutdown is a reality simply because the Democratic leadership is drawing a line in the sand over a few billions of dollars in cuts, what Fox News’ Megyn Kelly accurately described as “teaspoons in the ocean.” The United States is $14.3 trillion in debt, and according to a CBO report, the federal government ran a budget deficit of $223 billion in February. Meanwhile, the Senate sits on its hands over cuts that amount to a few days of deficit spending. Heritage’s J.D. Foster explains:

With all the focus on legislative tactics, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that the battle is between the modest spending cuts passed by the House and Senator Reid’s shamefully puny cuts. The issue is not whether the course of government will change dramatically. It won’t. President Obama and congressional Democrats already drove spending rapidly higher. Even under the House bill, spending would continue to grow substantially. This battle is only the first of many.

[…] The fact remains that the [Republican-led] House passed a budget, the [Democrat-led] Senate has not, and Democratic leadership is posturing for political gain. Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

Perhaps if President Obama were more willing to lead in 2010, when his party first abdicated its responsibility to pass a budget, Congress and the American people would not be where we are today – staring a partial government shutdown straight in the eye, all while trillions of dollars in debt await future generations. Majority Leader Reid and President Obama now must put politics aside, agree to modestly cut spending…

The big picture: United States is $14.3 trillion in debt. The federal government ran a budget deficit of $223 billion in the month of February alone!
So, what are Congress and President Obama doing about it?  The House of Representatives [where Republican are  majority] took the first step to get deficit spending under control by passing a Continuing Resolution to fund the government for the rest of the year for $61 billion less than 2010…this cut was equal to about one week’s worth of deficit spending in the month of February

The Senate [where Democrats are majority] is now about to try to pass a bill to fund the government for the rest of the year…Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) proposes to cut spending a total of $4.7 billion…That’s about equal to one-half of one day’s deficit spending in February

[T]he fact remains the House acted; the Senate failed.  The House passed cuts equal to the deficit for a week in February. Senator Reid proposes a mere half-day’s worth. The blame for a shutdown would lie plainly at the feet of Senator Reid, who as Majority Leader failed to move a bill, and at the feet of President Obama, who following the precedent of his recent budget submission once again simply failed to lead.

Posted in Economy/ Finance, Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »