Archive for April, 2011
(CNSNews.com) – At a time of growing concern about government spending, the federal government made $125 billion in “improper payments” in fiscal 2010, more than eleven times the total 2010 spending by the U.S State Department.
The $125 billion in improper payments was also more than 7 times the total spending by the Justice Department or by NASA, which runs the U.S. space program, which is preparing to launch its last-ever shuttle flights.
Federal agencies reported improper payments estimated at $125.4 billion in fiscal year 2010, an increase of $16.2 billion from the $109.2 billion estimate in fiscal 2009, the Government Accountability Office said. Ninety-four percent of those payments came from social spending programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, GAO said in its April 15 report.
According to the U.S. Treasury, total State Department spending was $11.017 billion in fiscal 2010–or less than 1/11th the amount the government made in improper spending. The Justice Department spent $16.6 billion during the year, and NASA spent $17.2 billion.
The GAO defines improper payments as “overpayments, underpayments, and payments that were not adequately documented,” as well as fraud. It also noted that improper payments are not necessarily fraudulent, only that they represent instances where the government did not follow its own internal rules for spending taxpayers’ money.
The $125 billion in improper payments came from 70 different programs across 20 federal agencies. “This estimate represents about 5.5 percent of the $2.3 trillion of reported outlays for the related programs in fiscal year 2010,” GAO said.
Ten programs accounted for 94 percent of all improper payments in 2010, led by Medicare, which reported $34.3 billion in improper payments – mainly because of medically unnecessary services and insufficient documentation.
Viewed a different way, the estimated $34.3 billion in improper payments attributed to Medicare in fiscal 2010 nearly equals the $38.5 billion in budget cuts made by Republicans in 2011, the largest spending cut in history.
Other programs making the “top ten” list are as follows:
2. Medicaid (Health and Human Services)
Primary causes: Insufficient or no documentation provided for conducting medical reviews and cases that were either ineligible or their eligibility status could not be determined
3. Unemployment Insurance (Labor Dept.)
Primary causes: Eligibility errors, errors in handling separation issues, and claimants who have returned to work and continue to claim benefits
4. Earned Income Tax Credit (Treasury Dept.)
Primary causes: High turnover of eligible claimants, confusion among eligible claimants, complexity of the law, structure of the program, unscrupulous return preparers, and fraud
Bond King Bill Gross: America Won’t Default – Standard & Poor’s may have cut its outlook for the U.S., but Bill Gross, head of the country’s largest bond fund, tells R.M. Schneiderman we won’t default on our debt—though it may take a fiscal crisis for Washington to solve our deficit problems.
Where to turn when the dollar falls – Credit rating agencies are more worried than ever about America’s fiscal health. Now it’s time for you to act as your own credit rating agency. Here are 4 categories to help you invest abroad.
Obama’s Permanent Spending Binge - If government got by with 20% of GDP in 2007, why not in 2021, when GDP will be substantially higher?
The Russian HAARP
By the way (you may not believe me, but I swear, it is true), the post bellow, that says “Links 04-22-1984″ was first drafted 24 hours before this interview took place on Alex Jones show. I did not have the time to post it yesterday so I just put more links from 04-22 and posted it as 04-22 post. It is good to see that it is not just me that believes we are living the Orwell’s “1984″ and “Animal farm”
iPhone keeps record of everywhere you go - Privacy fears raised as researchers reveal file on iPhone that stores location coordinates and timestamps of owner’s movements. You wanted an iphone, but you got a spy phone. Do they keep a log, on what you read and look at?
Apple, Google Receive Phone Users’ Locations - Apple Inc.’s iPhones and Google Inc.’s Android smartphones regularly transmit their locations back to Apple and Google, respectively, according to data and documents analyzed by The Wall Street Journal—intensifying concerns over privacy and the widening trade in personal data…Don’t do evil, heh?
Facebook Seeking Friends in Beltway - People familiar with the company’s plans said talks to hire former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs to guide the company’s communications strategy, including with Washington, have fallen apart in the wake of a leak to the media that made a deal for him to join the company sound imminent…..”Maybe we will block content in some countries, but not others,”…… I want to puke….
Obama administration officials tried to keep S&P rating at ‘stable’ - The Obama administration privately urged Standard & Poor’s in recent weeks not to lower its outlook on the United States — a suggestion the ratings agency ignored Monday, two people familiar with the matter said. Obama, ruling with iron fist, just needs four more year to “fix” America in his liking…Bow down to the new messiah you worthless subjects!!!
Obama Skips Tornado Destruction, Heads West to Raise Money - President Obama is opting not to visit the tornado-ravaged areas of the South, choosing instead to embark today on a three day tour out West where he will try to boost his political standing by talking up his approach to the deficit and raise millions for himself and fellow Democrats. What are few dead people and couple of destroyed homes…Just casualties. Let’s play some golf and have a good time.
Small amounts of radioactive iodine found in breast milk - The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan has not set safety levels for radioactive substances in breast milk, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. But the reading was below the safety limit of 100 becquerels per kg for tap water consumption by infants under 1 year old. How do they know that 100 becquerels/kg is safe? How did they tested it? Radiation is not safe in any level.
War in Libya Could Drag On, Military Analysts Say – It is OBAMA’s WAR!!! It is another American war that we were dragged in without our consent!!!
Teachers explain how they will push Marxism in school - New York City and Los Angeles teachers explain how they push Marxism and social justice in their classrooms. This video, shot at the 2011 Left Forum in New York City, was provided exclusively to EAGtv.
Did you think that Obama’s speeches in the last two days are just happen to be in front of a random audience? Yesterday he lectured the college students about the “evil rich”, “economic fairness” and today he spoke at facebook users about the “radical conservatives” and “the social contract that they want to end” . In both cases his targeted audience was young people, who think that they know everything, that they have the super powers to change the world’s future, and if they want they can bring us closer to the UTOPIA! Where everything is free and all people are equal no mater what their contribution to the society is.
You know the saying : “Show me a young Conservative and I’ll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I’ll show you someone with no brains.” The Dem’s and Obama are playing those “kids” as Stradivarius, with the only purpose to collect their votes in 2012.
I just wonder how many of them are ready to get rid of their cell phones….Apple named ‘least green’ tech company
Facebook Woos Washington - Obama needs Facebook to help him get reelected. Facebook needs Obama to keep them out of trouble with Congress and countless government agencies.Think about it. Zuckerberg’s company has 600 million members, making it about twice as big as the United States.
U.S. households getting more from Uncle Sam than they pay in - A new study finds that for first time since the Great Depression, tax receipts from households total less than the government paid out in unemployment, Social Security and other programs
Dollar plunges to 2½-year low -The dollar dropped to its lowest level in more than two-and-a-half years on Thursday as buoyant risk appetite prompted investors to sell the currency to fund carry trades.
It’s Official: China Will Be Dumping US Dollars - The dimwits in Washington don’t understand this because their advisors are all Wall Street stooges who don’t think debt or deficits matter. After all, why would they? Their entire business model is now based on endless cheap debt from the US Fed.
$6 Gas? Could Happen if Dollar Keeps Getting Weaker - With the greenback coming under increased pressure from Federal Reserve policies and investor appetite for more risk, there seems little direction but up for commodity prices, in particular energy and metals.
Fleeing the Dollar Flood - The world tries to protect itself from U.S. monetary policy
Gold hits record for fifth session, dollar tumbles - The U.S. dollar is in the midst of a severe downtrend. So the dollar is not the safe haven in view of the difficulty the U.S. government is having in resolving its budget deficit, and gold is benefiting from that
Nation’s Mood at Lowest Level in Two Years, Poll Shows - Americans are more pessimistic about the nation’s economic outlook and overall direction than they have been at any time since President Obama’s first two months in office, when the country was still officially ensnared in the Great Recession, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
If Washington Is So Great, Let’s All Pay for It - The Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank, estimated this week that 45 percent of U.S. households paid not a single dollar in federal income tax for 2010. And The Fiscal Times reported this week that “for the first time since the Great Depression, households are receiving more income from the government than they are paying the government in taxes.” This, in Obamaland, is called job creation. But does anyone believe the trajectory is healthy? No doubt, these events allow Obama to spread the wealth around to those who deserve it — clean energy outfits, teachers unions, czars, etc. — but they also create a growing number of voters with little stake in stopping out-of-control growth.
Labor Board Tells Boeing New Factory Breaks Law - In its complaint, the labor board said that Boeing’s decision to transfer a second production line for its new 787 Dreamliner passenger plane to South Carolina was motivated by an unlawful desire to retaliate against union workers for their past strikes in Washington and to discourage future strikes. The agency’s acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon, said it was illegal for companies to take actions in retaliation against workers for exercising the right to strike.
Box-office power of Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ baffles insiders - “We didn’t take the needle-in-the-haystack approach by running a bunch of TV ads looking for the needles who might want to see the film,” Kaslow said. “We turned that model on its head. When the needles looked for us, we advertised to them. We were getting 9 million online impressions a day from people looking for Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged and [the book’s popular line] ‘Who Is John Galt?’ ”“People are hungry for what these characters are saying,” he said. “They’re telling the government, ‘Don’t entitle me with your gifts and your involvement in my life, because there’s a price I’ll pay for that. Just leave me alone. Let me hang onto my life and pursue my passions and rational self-interest. That’s what will benefit society.’ I am going to watch it Saturday…
Where’s the wealth effect? - Rising assets are supposed to create a feeling of confidence, which in turn leads to more spending. But neither higher stocks nor a rebound in home prices will likely have that effect this time
Is all that glitters gold? - Bullion-wary traders argue, to see the real reason for the latest run-up in gold and silver as pretty much the same driver of the broad risk asset rally: Federal Reserve largesse. That is due to end in June.
GM stock lower amid report of quick govt sale – A report that the US government plans to sell off much of its remaining stake in General Motors this year despite the firm’s lackluster share price caused investors to flee the stock Tuesday.
China Urges US to Protect Creditors After S&P Warning – China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that the United States must take “responsible” measures to protect investors in its debt after Standard & Poor’s threatened to lower its credit rating on the United States due to a bulging budget deficit.
Killers in the Medicine Cabinet: Officials Call Prescription Drug Abuse an ‘Epidemic’ - Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States, killing more people than car crashes in more than one-third of the states, top federal officials warned Tuesday.
Job center blasted for giving capes to unemployed – Workforce Central Florida spent more than $14,000 on the red capes as part of its “Cape-A-Bility Challenge” public relations campaign. The campaign featured a cartoon character, “Dr. Evil Unemployment,” who needs to be vanquished. Why these people still have their jobs?
State Officials Back Off Regulating Freeze Tag, Kids’ Games – Day camp games like tag, wiffle ball, Red Rover and kickball are no longer at risk in New York after state health officials yanked a proposal that threatened the future of those mainstays of child’s play.
Obama ran against Bush, but now governs like him - Silver-tongued, not tongue-tied. A team player on the world stage, not a lone cowboy. A man who’d put a stop to reckless Bush policies at home and abroad. In short, Barack Obama represented Change.
Obama’s Plan For A Fundamentally Different America - Last week, President Obama,in a speechoutlining his plan to reduce the deficit, made a powerful rhetorical case for his vision of “the kind of future we want…the kind of country we believe in.” Few could disagree with the president’s goals of living in a compassionate society where investments are made to “win the future.”
Post Tax Day, Obama jokes about re-thinking position on taxing wealthy – “There’s a moment there when you look at the figure you’re paying and say, ‘wow- let me think about my position on taxing the wealthy here,” he joked, saying also that he did not think his taxes should be “even lower.”
Obama warns students GOP wants to reduce deficit ‘on your backs’ – “I can’t afford to have all of you as bystanders,” Obama told a town-hall meeting at Northern Virginia Community College. “There are powerful voices in Washington; there are powerful lobbies and special interests in Washington. And they’re going to want to reduce the deficit on your backs. And if you are not heard, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”
McDonald’s restaurants overwhelmed by job seekers - McDonald’s and other fast-food chains, once a first job for teenagers, appear to be turning into an employer of more adults: The average age of a fast-food worker is 29.5, up from 22 in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Heading for a McRecovery? - McDonald’s plan to hire 50,000 people in one day and what it says about America’s economic prospects.
The McJobs Economy - When a fast-food “National Hiring Day” resembles the Depression’s unruly food lines, it doesn’t back up President Obama’s rosy picture of economic recovery. Want some fries with that “hope and change”?
On Track for $1 Trillion: Student Loan Debt Greater Than Credit Card Debt - Last June, for the first time in history, Americans owed more on their student loans, a record $833 billion, than on their credit cards, $826.5 billion. The amount owed on student loans increases at a rate of about $2,853.88 per second, meaning we’re on track for total student debt to cross the $1 trillion mark sometime this year.
Financial System Riskier, Next Bailout Will Be Costlier, S&P Says - The financial system poses an even greater risk to taxpayers than before the crisis, according to analysts at Standard & Poor’s. The next rescue could be about a trillion dollars costlier, the credit rating agency warned. DUH!
Keynesianism’s systemic failure - Post-crisis stimulus stimulated little but insupportable debt and inflation. That was the goal – to fight deflation (create inflation) and to stimulate job growth (government deficit spending to counter the falling consumer spending)….Well, they succeeded. Kinda… Now shut up and go back to work (if you have one), you debt slaves!