Accounting / Budgets: Government
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Mar 14, 2016 Justice Dept. Condemns Profit-Minded Court Policies Targeting the Poor
QUOTE: The Justice Department on Monday called on state judges across the country to root out unconstitutional policies that have locked poor people in a cycle of fines, debt and jail.
New York Times Dec 18, 2013 Military retirees 'screwed' in budget deal
QUOTE: Military retirees stand to lose a full percentage point from their cost-of-living raises when they retire after a minimum of 20 years of service....House budget chief Rep. Paul Ryan's website states that military retirement "provides an exceptionally generous benefit, often providing 40 years of pension payments in return for 20 years of service," in an explainer on why benefits should be trimmed.
CNN (Cable News Network) Dec 07, 2013 Playing Pension Games (Fair Game)
QUOTE: Securities laws require issuers of municipal debt to provide the information investors need to make informed decisions when buying or selling these instruments. But lax disclosure practices remain, making it hard to spot signs of problems...
New York Times Oct 05, 2013 A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning
QUOTE: interviews with a wide array of conservatives show that the confrontation that precipitated the crisis was the outgrowth of a long-running effort to undo the law, the Affordable Care Act, since its passage in 2010 — waged by a galaxy of conservative groups with more money, organized tactics and interconnections than is commonly known.
New York Times Feb 24, 2013 A Costly and Unjust Perk for Financiers
QUOTE: Millions of general partners in investment funds receive carried-interest income when they earn profits for their clients. Since these partners do not have to risk any of their own capital, carried interest is really a taxpayer-subsidized fee for managing their clients’ money....This state of affairs denies our Treasury much-needed revenue; fuels public cynicism in government; and is evidence of the “crony capitalism” that favors some economic sectors over others
New York Times Dec 14, 2012 Tax Plan Is Popular, but Not Quite Fair
QUOTE: The political appeal of a proposal that limits deductions without actually naming any — inciting the powerful interests and lobbyists that support them — seems obvious. But many tax experts said that a fixed dollar cap is anything but the evenhanded approach to closing loopholes it appears to be.
New York Times Aug 10, 2012 Why Asset Forfeiture Abuse Is on the Rise: It’s time to build a wall of separation between government power and the profit motive.
QUOTE: throughout the United States, government agencies increasingly rely on “civil forfeiture” to bolster their strained budgets. The more assets these modern-day tax collectors seize, the more money they have for new equipment and other things....We should all be concerned that district attorneys—who are, by law, supposed to pursue justice first and foremost—are perpetrating abuses of property rights so that they can fill their coffers with money that comes primarily from people who have not been convicted of any crime.
Reason Apr 19, 2012 CPI Conspiracy Theories Persist Even With Broad ChecksI
QUOTE: The [Bureau of Labor Statistics]’s price-gathering and statistical methods are standard practice from Japan to Switzerland. That hasn’t averted a lashing from critics who say the government is engaged in a campaign to hide inflation of 10 percent a year or more. Assurances by Federal Reserve policy makers that inflation remains “subdued” also haven’t deterred the skeptics.
BusinessWeek Oct 26, 2011 Europe Agrees to Basics of Plan to Resolve Euro Crisis
QUOTE: European leaders, in a significant step toward resolving the euro zone financial crisis, early Thursday morning obtained an agreement from banks to take a 50 percent loss on the face value of their Greek debt.
New York Times Aug 02, 2011 Reaping Millions in Nonprofit Care for Disabled
QUOTE: [Young Adult Institute Network] and the Levys have earned many admirers in the field for the quality and range of their programs...But their spending is seldom scrutinized, and, even when state officials turn up questionable expenses, there are few consequences.
New York Times Jul 25, 2011 A Bonanza for Airlines as Taxes End
QUOTE: the agency no longer had the authority to impose the various federal taxes that airlines add to the price of each ticket. So as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday, the federal government began losing an estimated $25 million a day in tax revenue. But did airlines simply pass on this savings to customers? No, they did not.
New York Times Jul 24, 2011 The 14th Amendment, the Debt Ceiling and a Way Out
QUOTE: former President Bill Clinton identified a constitutional escape hatch should President Obama and Congress fail to come to terms on a deficit reduction plan before the government hits its borrowing ceiling. He pointed to an obscure provision in the 14th Amendment...
New York Times Jul 13, 2011 Amid Minnesota Crisis, Pawlenty Faces Scrutiny
QUOTE: ...Mr. Pawlenty’s fiscal record as governor is drawing closer scrutiny. And while Mr. Pawlenty did face economic and political challenges in balancing the state’s budget each year, his record includes what critics say was an overreliance on one-time accounting maneuvers that failed to address the underlying problems.
New York Times Jun 22, 2011 Medicare: Facts and Convictions (The Stone)
QUOTE: The moral of my story is that understanding and effectively taking part in a debate requires awareness of the level at which we and our opponents are operating at any given point...Once we’ve pushed the debate on Medicare or any other policy matter to the point where convictions become the sole basis of disagreement, it is time to vote.
New York Times Jun 22, 2011 Some Greeks Fear Government Is Selling Nation
QUOTE: “But at these extremely low levels, especially for those companies quoted on the stock exchange, we have to be very wary,” he added. “If we go by today’s values, as a result of the recession and the crisis the country finds itself in, it will be really selling the crown jewels at a pittance of their cost.” Mr. Papandreou’s government has not managed to make a convincing case for the sell-off to many Greeks, where the idea of a fire sale has taken hold, setting off a wave of national indignation.
New York Times Jun 21, 2011 Oversight Group Did Not Refer Housing Complaints
QUOTE: The federal agency overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage finance giants, failed to refer to criminal investigators and other authorities almost 100 complaints about possible foreclosure abuse and mortgage fraud at the companies over a recent two-year period, according to a report issued late Tuesday by the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
New York Times Jun 16, 2011 Call Off the Global Drug War (OP-ED)
QUOTE: [US] Drug policies here are more punitive and counterproductive than in other democracies, and have brought about an explosion in prison populations. At the end of 1980, just before I left office, 500,000 people were incarcerated in America; at the end of 2009 the number was nearly 2.3 million. There are 743 people in prison for every 100,000 Americans, a higher portion than in any other country and seven times as great as in Europe.
New York Times Jun 16, 2011 A Schizophrenic, a Slain Worker, Troubling Questions
QUOTE: Massachusetts, which compared with other states faces a relatively modest budget shortfall of $1.5 billion, is hardly alone in cutting money for mental health care. State mental health departments, serving vulnerable populations with little political clout, almost always get disproportionately squeezed during tough times. During the current fiscal crisis, many states have sharply reduced both inpatient and community-based mental health care.
New York Times May 23, 2011 In Europe, Rifts Widen Over Greece
QUOTE: Fissures among Europe’s currency partners are becoming even deeper and more widespread than was previously evident, raising new doubts about whether the group can resolve the regional debt crisis that has simmered for more than a year.
New York Times May 14, 2011 In Prison Reform, Money Trumps Civil Rights
QUOTE: A majority of those swept into our nation’s prison system are poor people of color, but the sudden shift away from the “get tough” rhetoric that has dominated the national discourse on crime has not been inspired by a surge in concern about the devastating human toll of mass incarceration. Instead, as Professor Bell predicted, the changing tide is best explained by perceived white interests. In this economic climate, it is impossible to maintain the vast prison state without raising taxes on the (white) middle class.
New York Times May 04, 2011 Raise Taxes, but Not Tax Rates
QUOTE: As the bipartisan fiscal commission appointed by President Obama stressed last year, tax revenues can be increased substantially by limiting the deductions, credits and exclusions that are essentially government spending by another name.
New York Times Apr 20, 2011 Even in an era of budget cuts, these government programs won’t die
QUOTE: But they have survived, again and again, thanks to powerful lobbies or high-placed patrons in Congress… “If lawmakers can’t cut programs that cost a few million, how are they going to cut deficits that are going to be in the trillions?”
Washington Post Apr 20, 2011 The New Anti-Abortion Math
QUOTE: Terrible sex education programs and a lack of access to contraceptives leads to a huge number of births to poor women… The Texas baby boom… marches off to underfunded schools... One of the first things the cash-strapped Legislature tried to cut was family planning.
New York Times Mar 29, 2011 Why We’re Fasting
QUOTE: The budget proposes cuts in the WIC program... in international food and health aid... and in programs that aid farmers in underdeveloped countries. Food stamps are also being attacked, in the twisted “Welfare Reform 2011” bill... These supposedly deficit-reducing cuts — they’d barely make a dent — will quite literally cause more people to starve to death, go to bed hungry or live more miserably than are doing so now. And: The bill would increase defense spending.
New York Times Mar 10, 2011 Dumbing Deficits Down
QUOTE: [Republicans] claim to care deeply about deficits — but they’ve spent the past two years putting cynical, demagogic attacks on any attempt to actually deal with long-run deficits at the heart of their campaign strategy.
New York Times Mar 09, 2011 Wisconsin Senate Limits Bargaining by Public Workers
QUOTE: Democrats, meanwhile, condemned the move as an attack on working families, a violation of open meetings requirements (most of them did not know there was to be a vote until not long before), and a virtual firebomb in state that already found itself politically polarized and consumed with recall efforts, large scale protests and fury from public workers.
New York Times Feb 21, 2011 Why America's teachers are enraged
QUOTE: Thousands of teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public sector workers have camped out at the Wisconsin Capitol, protesting Republican Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to reduce their take-home pay -- by increasing their contribution to their pension plans and health care benefits -- and restrict their collective bargaining rights.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 06, 2011 Study finds funding gap between D.C. specialty and neighborhood schools
QUOTE: The two public high schools, 21/2 miles apart in Northwest Washington, serve vastly different student populations. And they do it with vastly different levels of financial support, according to an analysis of school spending by a District advocacy group.
Washington Post Jan 16, 2011 The War on Logic
QUOTE: But the same spending would still be necessary if we were to undo reform. So the G.O.P. argument here is exactly like claiming that my mortgage payments, which I’ll have to make no matter what we do tonight, are a cost of going out for dinner.
New York Times Jan 07, 2011 In Battle Over Health Law, Math Cuts Both Ways
QUOTE: Much of the health care debate will center on cost — to the government and to employers. On Thursday, Republicans issued their own report, called “Obamacare: A Budget-Busting Job-Killing Law,” which concluded, “The health care law will cost the nation $2.6 trillion when fully implemented, and add $701 billion to the deficit in the first 10 years.” The Republicans’ projections were in contrast to the budget office’s analysis of the health care law, and a related budget reconciliation measure, after they were adopted last March.
New York Times Jan 03, 2011 Strained States Turning to Laws to Curb Labor Unions
QUOTE: Faced with growing budget deficits and restive taxpayers, elected officials from Maine to Alabama, Ohio to Arizona, are pushing new legislation to limit the power of labor unions, particularly those representing government workers, in collective bargaining and politics...in some cases — mostly in states with Republican governors and Republican statehouse majorities — officials are seeking more far-reaching, structural changes that would weaken the bargaining power and political influence of unions, including private sector ones.
New York Times Dec 22, 2010 Alabama Town’s Failed Pension Is a Warning
QUOTE: the declining, little-known city of Prichard is now attracting the attention of bankruptcy lawyers, labor leaders, municipal credit analysts and local officials from across the country. They want to see if the situation in Prichard, like the continuing bankruptcy of Vallejo, Calif., ultimately creates a legal precedent on whether distressed cities can legally cut or reduce their pensions, and if so, how.
New York Times Dec 02, 2010 My take: Where's the outrage over Noah's Ark park?
QUOTE: I write not to raise First Amendment questions about elected officials transforming themselves into self-appointed curators, but to ask whether these officials are really concerned (as they claim) about the use of taxpayer funds to weigh on matters of the spirit....Are you equally outraged over millions in tax breaks to a group promoting fundamentalism?
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 26, 2010 Treasury Hid A.I.G. Loss, Report Says
QUOTE: The United States Treasury concealed $40 billion in likely taxpayer losses on the bailout of the American International Group earlier this month, when it abandoned its usual method for valuing investments...
New York Times Jul 02, 2010 Illinois Stops Paying Its Bills, but Can’t Stop Digging Hole (Payback Time)
ABSTRACT: For the last few years, California stood more or less unchallenged as a symbol of the fiscal collapse of states during the recession. Now Illinois has shouldered to the fore, as its dysfunctional political class refuses to pay the state’s bills and refuses to take the painful steps — cuts and tax increases — to close a deficit of at least $12 billion, equal to nearly half the state’s budget.
New York Times May 07, 2010 Seeking Lower Property Taxes on a House of Sinking Value
QUOTE: Challenging property taxes is becoming a national sport, as homeowners contend they are paying too much as their houses decline in value. Some, too, have lost their jobs or have seen their salaries cut and can no longer afford their hefty property taxes.
New York Times May 02, 2010 Cash-strapped states go online, hoping to tax sales
QUOTE: Online retailers are vehemently fighting the bills, filing lawsuits and severing business ties in states that have passed sales tax legislation. At stake is not only the small discount that many shoppers enjoy, but the low-price business model that fueled the explosive transformation of Amazon and Overstock.com into giants of the $130 billion e-commerce industry.
Washington Post Apr 30, 2010 The Bitter Pills in the Plan to Rescue Greece
QUOTE: Racing to secure financial aid and avoid a debt default, the Greek government has agreed to austerity measures totaling 24 billion euros (about $32 billion) that will include cutting some workers’ pay and some public sector jobs as well as opening up parts of the economy, Greek officials said Friday.
New York Times Mar 27, 2010 States Seeking Cash Hope to Expand Taxes to Services
QUOTE: few states have gone where political leaders in Michigan and Pennsylvania are now suggesting: adding scores of services to their states’ sales tax requirement and lowering the tax rate under a widened tax base.
New York Times Mar 01, 2010 Both parties fall prey to make-believe politics
QUOTE: A disconnect between the language of politics and the nation's actual problems is growing. The politics of the budget offer a splendid example.
Washington Post Oct 26, 2009 A congressman, a lobbying firm and a swift path to earmarks: Democrat supported funds for tech companies, many of which supported him
QUOTE: Federal investigators are scrutinizing [Representative Peter J.] Visclosky's earmarks and whether a member of his staff tried to raise campaign money by promising funding.
Washington Post Oct 26, 2009 Sidewalks become battlegrounds
QUOTE: The nation's crumbling sidewalks have disabled residents taking their wheelchairs to the streets, a potentially dangerous practice that has cash-strapped cities and disability-rights advocates at odds over how to fix the problem.
USA TODAY Oct 09, 2009 Should Medicare Benefits Start Later in Life? (Economix)
QUOTE: Instead of heeding the frightening messages emanating from self-styled “protectors” of Medicare, such as Ms. [Betsy] McCaughey, the elderly might search their souls on the moral platform for the political economy of sharing in a civilized society.
New York Times Oct 08, 2009 Lexington: Of debt and deadbeats
QUOTE: Arthur Brooks, the head of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank, feels that the real culture war in America today is not about gay marriage or abortion, divisive though those issues are, but about capitalism.
Economist Sep 21, 2009 When Less Paperwork Means No Science: The Paperwork Reduction Act and Unintended Consequences for Public Health Research
QUOTE: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 has had the unintended effect of impeding research and evaluation in public health.
Science Progress Jun 25, 2009 Scrutiny Grows as U.S. Pays Staffers' Student Loans
QUOTE: Congress and federal agencies are expected to spend as much as $60 million in fiscal 2009 on a little-known taxpayer-funded perk: repaying government employees' college loans
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Nov 13, 2008 The New Old Age: Rationing Health Care
QUOTE: The biggest change in the last 40 years, Mr. Callahan said to me, is that there are no limits. There's nothing we can't do for an old person, and there's a lot of pressure to do it. This is considered progress, and its considered ageism to be skeptical. But we can't go on this way. It's unaffordable. And it's the hardest dilemma in our society because theres no good way to deal with it other than saying no.
New York Times Nov 08, 2008 Citing Workload, Public Lawyers Reject New Cases
QUOTE: Public defenders’ offices in at least seven states are refusing to take on new cases or have sued to limit them, citing overwhelming workloads that they say undermine the constitutional right to counsel for the poor...in the most open revolt by public defenders in memory, many of the government-appointed lawyers say that state budget cuts and rising caseloads have pushed them to the breaking point.
New York Times Sep 16, 2008 Capitol Strives to Define ‘Homeless’
ABSTRACT: With unemployment and foreclosures rising and growing numbers of families struggling to find affordable housing, lawmakers in Congress are debating who should be considered homeless... with too few shelter beds and services available to help the homeless who are already living on the streets, the debate over whether to expand significantly the pool of people eligible for such limited aid has sharply divided advocates for the homeless and upended political alliances.
New York Times Sep 12, 2008 Palin admits truth on Bridge to Nowhere
QUOTE: What Palin said during the interview was actually the truth about what happened to end the Bridge to Nowhere. (Though, of course, she didn't acknowledge that there was a wide discrepancy between the truth and the story she's been telling voters.) As my colleague Mike Madden has ably documented in this space before, what Palin "killed" was a dead bridge.
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