3:38 PM, Mar 17, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Federal agencies set a new record for improper payments last year, shelling out $125 billion in questionable benefits after years of declines.
The Feds, as the AP reports, blew the billions on (among other things):
... tax credits for families that didn't qualify, Medicare payments for treatments that might not have been necessary, and unemployment benefits for people who were actually working.
The government, which was going badly enough already, managed to increase the amount it wasted by an impressive:
$19 billion over the previous year, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. In addition to fraud, the errors included overpayments and underpayments, as well as payments made without proper documentation.
A recent poll showed a mere 11 percent of Americans expressing confidence in their government.
Those people, especially, need to read the whole thing.
9:07 AM, Mar 17, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
When President Obama attended the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia last November, the entire delegation required over 5,000 room nights at five different hotels over the cours
The presidential candidates could learn from Indiana’s governor.4:39 PM, Feb 28, 2015 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Lost in much of the reporting about CPAC is that almost all of the likely presidential candidates—really, all of them, with the exception of Rand Paul—seemed to place themselves at the Reaganite hawkish-internationalist end of the foreign policy spectrum. The much-heralded return of Republican isolationism or anti-interventionism wasn’t much in evidence, except during Rand Paul's half hour on the stage.
1:23 PM, Feb 24, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
A bipartisan group of mmore than eighty influential national security experts, from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Michèle Flournoy to Bill Kristol, have written a letter to congressional leadership to urge increased defense spending.
9:05 AM, Feb 13, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Vice President Biden spent about a day and a half in Belgium in early February to meet with various European leaders, but his entourage, security team and other delegation members required up to 209 rooms for up to three weeks surrounding the visit.
9:04 AM, Feb 11, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
In January, the State Department signed contracts for an estimated $1,690,000 million for hotels for President Obama's trip to India. Two of the contracts were for the New Delhi stay, and another two were for Agra, the location of the Taj Mahal. That latter leg of the trip was cancelled when President Obama decided to leave early to pay his respects to the recently deceased king of Saudi Arabia. The president stayed in New Delhi for two nights.
7:33 AM, Feb 3, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is working on a solution to a problem faced by a growing number of Americans as the population ages and relies more on prescription drugs: "What is this pill?" Much in the way a Google image search looks for similar images in Google's vast caches, the NIH's National Library of Medicine (NLM) desires a tool to match users' smart phone photos of mystery pills with hi-res images in the NLM's existing RxIMAGE database
9:10 AM, Jan 20, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Under President Obama, $7.5 trillion has been added to the national debt. The number is being highlighted by the Republican National Committee ahead of President Obama's State of the Union address, which will be delivered tonight from Washington.
12:01 PM, Dec 16, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
When President Obama visited Brisbane, Australia in November for the G-20 summit, the large U.S. delegation required multiple hotels and thousands of "room nights" for the length of the stay, though the president himself spent only one night in his hotel.
5:28 PM, Dec 15, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In one final ignominious act of parliamentary genius, outgoing Senate majority leader Harry Reid rolled Republican troublemaker Ted Cruz of Texas over the weekend, robbing the GOP of a chance to stop Democrats in the lame-duck session.
9:42 PM, Dec 11, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The House of Representatives passed a long-term spending bill Thursday night, just hours before the current continuing budget resolution is set to run out. The vote of 219 to 206, including nearly 60 Democrats, took longer than the alotted 15 minutes as House members from both parties witheld their votes for several minutes.
4:03 PM, Dec 11, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi of California has announced her opposition to the 2015 omnibus spending bill. Congress is attempting to pass the bill to continue funding for the federal government, which runs out at 12 midnight Friday morning. Without passing this bill or a short-term continuing resolution, the government will necessarily shut down.