For two decades, the U.S. military has been unable to submit to an audit, flouting federal law and concealing waste and fraud totaling billions of dollars
Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense’s accounts.
Every month until she retired in 2011, she says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon’s main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy’s books with the U.S. Treasury’s – a balancing-the-checkbook maneuver required of all the military services and other Pentagon agencies.
And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. “A lot of times there were issues of numbers being inaccurate,” Woodford says. “We didn’t have the detail … for a lot of it.”
The federal government wants to support the goal of home ownership. But that goal will not be achieved if government subsidies lead home purchasers to default more on their mortgages. So a second goal is to minimize the defaults on home mortgages.
A projected $650 million in welfare benefits will be distributed to illegal alien parents in 2013, county officials said Monday.
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich announced the latest figures from the Department of Public Social Services, which showed more than $376 million in CalWORKs benefits and food stamps combined have been distributed through July to illegal alien parents for their native-born children.
It’s amazing how little President Obama has learned about economics in his four and a half years in the White House. Growth, incentives, tax reform, tax increases, private investment, the middle class, a second great depression, the sequester—all these issues have one thing in common: Obama doesn’t understand their role in our economy. Nor does he appear interested in finding out.
Congress defined “affordable” as 9.5% or less of an employee’s household income, mostly to make sure people did not leave their workplace plans for subsidized coverage through the exchanges. But the “error” was that it only applies to the employee — and not his or her family. So, if an employer offers a woman affordable insurance, but doesn’t provide it for her family, they cannot get subsidized help through the state health exchanges.
That can make a huge difference; the Kaiser Family Foundation said an average plan for an individual is about $5,600, but it goes up to $15,700 for families. Most employers help out with those costs, but not all.
Arguing federal workers should not get special treatment, Rand Paul says he does not want taxpayers subsidizing the personal health-care plans of any federal employee — including Chief Justice John Roberts — anymore.
immigration benefits the U.S. The economic advantages are significant. Many immigrants are natural entrepreneurs, establishing companies, creating jobs, and driving innovation. Well-educated and highly-trained foreign workers are inventive and productive. Expanded work forces increase business flexibility, allowing companies to quickly respond to changing demands. Larger labor forces also encourage specialization. Labor productivity rises as companies adjust to larger work forces and invest in employees.
Immigration may depress wages for the least skilled workers. However, these are the last jobs that government should seek to protect. Moreover, the work force, like the economy, is not a fixed pie. Immigration makes a more innovative, flexible, and productive economy, leading to new and better jobs. The benefits rise over time, with an expanding economic pie.
….the U.S. unemployment rate is at 7.3 percent, with millions of American workers at all skill levels out of work, and millions more so discouraged that they have left the work force altogether. In addition, at the same time the corporate officers seek higher numbers of immigrants, both low-skill and high-skill, many of their companies are laying off thousands of workers.
For example, Hewlett-Packard, whose Executive Vice President for Human Resources Tracy Keogh signed the letter, laid off 29,000 employees in 2012. In August of this year, Cisco Systems, whose Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Kathleen Weslock signed the letter, announced plans to lay off 4,000 — in addition to 8,000 cut in the last two years. United Technologies, whose Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Organization Elizabeth B. Amato signed the letter, announced layoffs of 3,000 this year. American Express, whose Chief Human Resources Officer L. Kevin Cox signed the letter, cut 5,400 jobs this year. Procter & Gamble, whose Chief Human Resources Officer Mark F. Biegger signed the letter, announced plans to cut 5,700 jobs in 2012.
In the president’s world, the deficit is shrinking rapidly, at the fastest rate “since the end of World War II.” ObamaCare is a great thing, not the drag on business that most businesses say it is. The banking system is safer than ever. His policies have the economy humming — and we’d be doing even better if Republicans would agree to do away with the automatic budget cuts of the sequester (which he signed it into law).
And if only the Republicans would give him everything he wants, namely higher taxes on small business and a free rein to spend, we’d be booming and at no risk of another meltdown.
“The bottom line is we’re not broke, there’s plenty of money, it’s just the government doesn’t have it,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), “The government has a right, the government and the people of the United States have a right to run the programs of the United States. Health, welfare, housing – all these things.”
They saw the World Trade Center towers crumble, and they struggled to find or keep a job in a tough economy. All before the age of 30 or so. Generation Y was born in the 1980s and ’90s—roughly those now between the ages of 18 and 34 (though experts disagree on the precise time frame). These so-called millennials are mostly the children of baby boomers, and at more than 82 million strong, they now outnumber the members of the boomer generation, according to the National Conference on Citizenship.
But the millennials have grown into adulthood with some personality problems that the boomers lacked, according to psychologists who measure such things, including high rates of narcissism, materialism, unrealistically inflated expectations and a startling lack of independence. American college students scored 30% higher on the 40-item Narcissistic Personality Index in 2006 than they did in 1979, for instance, according to a study led by psychologist Jean Twenge of San Diego State University.
Why the middle-class revolt has begun - ”The protesters are performing the same role as middle classes have in developed nations,” Rohde says. “As their standard of living rises, so do their expectations of government.”
Movements in Turkey, Brazil and Iran provide a blueprint for a different kind of economic uprising.
Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all.
Republicans and Democrats in our nation’s capital are busy playing Check and Balance, better known as politics as usual. With jobs and the economy still the number one issue on Americans’ minds, the Republican House is pre-occupied with bills about abortion and the repeal of Obamacare, passing legislation that everyone knows is dead on arrival in the Senate. And so things go, or don’t go, in Washington. But a more interesting playing field for red and blue politics can be found in state capitals across the country. States have long been recognized as “laboratories of democracy,” according to the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, where “novel social and economic experiments [can be tried] without risk to the rest of the country.” And such experimentation is far more likely when a state is dominated by one political party as are both of my “home” states, Kansas and California.
Chinese stocks closed at a level unseen since the global financial crisis in 2009 on Tuesday, as analysts warned a liquidity squeeze was raising the risk of a hard landing for the world’s second largest economy. For more than two weeks, funds have been in short supply on China’s interbank market and the interest rates banks charge to lend to each other have surged to record highs. Instead of pumping money into the system, the central People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has stood firm, on Monday ruling out providing fresh cash and ordering banks to put their financial houses in order.
Five years ago, Joe Miller, then an Army Ranger captain with three Iraq tours under his belt, sat inside his home near Fort Bragg holding a cocked Beretta 40mm, and prepared to kill himself.
He didn’t pull the trigger. So Miller’s name wasn’t added to the list of active-duty U.S. military men and women who have committed suicide. That tally reached 350 last year, a record pace of nearly one a day. That’s more than the 295 American troops who were killed in Afghanistan in the same year.
Daniel Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was part of Task Force Lightning, an intelligence unit. In 2004-2005, he was mainly assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad, Iraq, where he ran more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee, interviewed countless Iraqis ranging from concerned citizens to community leaders and and government officials, and interrogated dozens of insurgents and terrorist suspects. In 2006-2007, Daniel worked with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) through his former unit in Mosul where he ran the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center. His official role was as a senior analyst for the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and part of Turkey). Daniel suffered greatly from PTSD and had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions. On June 10, 2013, Daniel wrote the following letter to his family before taking his life. Daniel was 30 years old. His wife and family have given permission to publish it. ……
I really have been trying to hang on, for more than a decade now. Each day has been a testament to the extent to which I cared, suffering unspeakable horror as quietly as possible so that you could feel as though I was still here for you. In truth, I was nothing more than a prop, filling space so that my absence would not be noted. In truth, I have already been absent for a long, long time.
My body has become nothing but a cage, a source of pain and constant problems. The illness I have has caused me pain that not even the strongest medicines could dull, and there is no cure. All day, every day a screaming agony in every nerve ending in my body. It is nothing short of torture. My mind is a wasteland, filled with visions of incredible horror, unceasing depression, and crippling anxiety, even with all of the medications the doctors dare give. Simple things that everyone else takes for granted are nearly impossible for me. I can not laugh or cry. I can barely leave the house. I derive no pleasure from any activity. Everything simply comes down to passing time until I can sleep again. Now, to sleep forever seems to be the most merciful thing.
You must not blame yourself. The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.
Is it any wonder then that the latest figures show 22 veterans killing themselves each day? That is more veterans than children killed at Sandy Hook, every single day. Where are the huge policy initiatives? Why isn’t the president standing with those families at the state of the union? Perhaps because we were not killed by a single lunatic, but rather by his own system of dehumanization, neglect, and indifference.
Other locations on the IG’s Top Ten list for singular addresses that were theoretically used simultaneously by thousands of unauthorized alien workers, included an address in Oxnard, Calif, where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,874; an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212; an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608; an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302; an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027; and an address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,877.