Tag Archives: government spending

‘No One Should Be Surprised’: After Long Career Stiffing Workers, Trump Blocks Back Pay for Federal Contractors

Lack of back pay for low-wage contractors also called a “policy and political failure” for Democratic leaders, who were accused of failing to publicly fight the president’s cruelty

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-14-2019

The Trump International Hotel and Tower under construction in Chicago, Illinois., 2006. Photo: Antonio Vernon (public domain)

As a real estate mogul, Donald Trump was notorious for swindling low-wage workers out of pay.

So—as economist Robert Reich put it—”no one should be surprised” that Trump is continuing this cruel practice as president, this time by reportedly refusing to sign any government funding deal that includes back pay for the estimated 580,000 federal contractors who were furloughed or forced to work without pay for over a month due to the shutdown.

“I’ve been told the president won’t sign that,” Sen. Roy Blunt told ABC News, as Democrats made a last-minute push on Wednesday to attach back pay for contractors to the bipartisan federal spending package. “I guess federal contractors are different in his view than federal employees.” Continue reading

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New Report Finally Exposes Congress’ Secret Weapon for Insider Trading

By James Holbrooks. Published 9-27-2017 by The Anti-Media

Photo: Kevin Hutchinson (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s rare that we get a glimpse into how the machine actually operates, but POLITICO just gave us one. The findings of an investigation by the news agency, published Monday, reveal that congressional staffers may play a far larger role in greasing the engine of American government than one might assume. From the article by Maggie Severns:

“A POLITICO review of federal disclosures for 2015 and 2016 found that some senior aides regularly buy and sell individual stocks that present potential conflicts of interest with their work. A smaller number of staffers trade in companies that lobby Congress and the committees that employ them. In all, approximately 450 aides have bought or sold a stock of more than $1,001 in value since May 2015.

“That’s likely just the tip of the iceberg, since most congressional aides aren’t required to report their trades. Only those in positions earning more than $124,406 per year must reveal their investments. Of the 12,500 staffers working for lawmakers, committees and leadership offices, only about 1,700 make that much, according to data compiled by Legistorm and the Brookings Institution.” Continue reading

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Forget Air Force One, Pentagon Wastes Billions and Billions Every Month

President-elect Donald Trump’s focus on single Boeing contract ignores enormous waste of bloated Pentagon budget

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-6-2016

The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon buried a study which uncovered $125 billion in bureaucratic waste, fearing that Congress would cut defense funding if lawmakers found out. (Photo: David B. Gleason/flickr/cc)

The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon buried a study which uncovered $125 billion in bureaucratic waste, fearing that Congress would cut defense funding if lawmakers found out. (Photo: David B. Gleason/flickr/cc)

President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday suggested that he would cancel what he claimed was a $4 billion Boeing contract to build a new fleet of Air Force One planes, saying he wanted the manufacturer to “make a lot of money, but not that much money.”

Trump’s comments came just after the Washington Post published a bombshell investigation showing the Pentagon had hidden a study which uncovered $125 billion in bureaucratic waste, fearing that Congress would cut defense funding if lawmakers found out. Continue reading

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Cutting To The Chase

In case you haven’t noticed, our government is broken. Not too many years ago, a bill dealing with veterans would pass with broad bipartisan support. Extending SNAP and unemployment benefits in a soft job market and economic recovery would be a given. Expanding infrastructure spending might stimulate some debate, but in the end would be recognized as a necessity. Something such as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) would be reauthorized without any real opposition from either side.

But, due to the hyperpartisanship in Washington and the hijacking of one of the main parties by people and ideas that were considered fringe elements as recently as thirty five years ago, what would be considered safe bills are nothing of the sort now. We see what would formerly be considered essential legislation either die in committee, or be loaded up with controversial amendments that more often or not have nothing to do with what the original legislation was about. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some way to strip the garbage out of a bill after it goes through Congress?

President Clinton signing the Line Item Veto Act. Photo via YouTube

President Clinton signing the Line Item Veto Act. Photo via YouTube

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