Archive for the ‘BUDGET FOR 2013’ Category


Friday, February 14th, 2014





Wednesday, March 27th, 2013


Pentagon has spent billions on doomed

programs; cash looms large with budget


By Rowan Scarborough

The Washington Times

Sunday, March 17, 2013

  • **FILE** The Pentagon, across the Potomac River from Washington, is seen in this aerial view in March 2008. (Associated Press) **FILE** The Pentagon, across the Potomac River from Washington,
The Pentagon has squandered billions of dollars over the past two decades on weapon systems it never produced and on rosy cost estimates that ballooned to sizes that ate up funds for other projects, according to government reports and defense analysts.

The miscalculations have come back to haunt the armed forces at a time when tighter budgets are forcing it to curtail basic war-fighting preparations such as training, ship and aircraft repairs, and overseas deployments.

Pro-defense conservatives, however, say that despite the procurement mistakes, the country needs a robust military to confront an array of threats — and that costs money.

Still, how the Pentagon misspent billions over two decades has relevancy for the future.

Money devoted to doomed programs such as the Army’s Future Combat System or poured into the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could have come in handy today. Analysts say that if the Pentagon had better-managed the research, development and acquisition of satellites, vehicles and planes, the force in 2013 would be more modern and more resilient against automatic spending cuts, or “sequestration,” that began March 1.

“Of course they would have more money available to do other things,” Thomas Christie, the Pentagon’s top weapons tester from 2001 to 2005, told The Washington Times.

“The Joint Strike Fighter,” Mr. Christie said. “We would have been halfway through the program at half the cost if things had been managed property. I think we screwed that up by trying to combine three different capabilities in one airplane, and then mismanaged it even beyond that. Here we are, 2013. We almost should have finished buying the thing.”

Ben Freeman, national security investigator at the Project on Government Oversight, said poor management has “immensely” affected the armed forces today because misplaced money could have been used to make the force more combat ready.

“One of the problems with sequestration, and one of the reasons all the services are saying ‘it’s so devastating, it’s so devastating,’ is because they’re getting such little bang for their buck,” Mr. Freeman said. “When they do have to cut money from it, it cuts a lot because they’re not getting a lot for that money that they have spent.” (more…)



Sunday, March 24th, 2013


Published on The Weekly Standard (

Biden’s $459,388.65 Hotel Bill in London

‘Approximately 136 hotel rooms for 893 room nights.’

Jeryl Bier

March 22, 2013 9:46 AM

Vice President Biden and his entourage spent a little time in London in early February during his first foreign trip of the second term of the Obama administration.  A document released today revealed that the cost of lodging in London alone was close to half a million dollars. The contract was awarded on January 30, 2013 to the Hyatt Regency London for a total of $459,388.65.


Due to obvious security concerns, such contracts are not open to the competitive bidding normally required on government contracts.  The accompanying document justifying the “sole source” contract notes that the vice president’s group required “approximately 136 hotel rooms for 893 room nights.” Based on these figures and the total contract price, each hotel room at the five star hotel cost the U.S. government about $500 per night.

Published on The Weekly Standard (

Biden’s One-Night Paris Hotel Tab:


Jeryl Bier

March 22, 2013 10:50 AM

As it turns out, Vice President Joe Biden’s London stay in February was not the most expensive part of his trip. A government document released on February 14, 2013 shows that the contract for the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand came in at $585,000.50.


The documentation for this contract is not as detailed as the London one, so the cost per room is not available.  However, just like his London hotel, the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grand is a five star hotel. Again, security concerns prevent these type of contracts from being open to bidding, but if the government was able to do some comparison shopping, the Hotel Intercontinental has a special offer, “Find a lower price elsewhere and your first night is free.” The Vice President stayed in Paris for one night.



Saturday, March 9th, 2013


The Wall Street Journal

  • March 8, 2013

The Drama Over, Time For Smart Budget Cuts

Since 2002, total federal spending has increased nearly 89% while median household income has dropped 5%.


Mr. Coburn is a Republican senator from Oklahoma.

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  Another source of potential savings is duplication of federal services, which accounts for $364 billion spent every year, according to the Government Accountability Office. Washington spends $30 million for 15 financial-literacy programs run by 13 separate agencies. Taxpayers also spend $3.1 billion on 209 separate science, technology, engineering and mathematics education programs across 13 agencies. Why not fund one good program in these areas instead of dozens that don’t work and waste money? ……

Since 2002, total federal spending has increased nearly 89% while median household income has dropped 5% and median wealth has dropped 23%.

Now that budget sequestration is under way, it looks less like the fiscal apocalypse that had been predicted and more like a long-overdue intervention with politicians who are addicted to borrowing and spending.

I agree with President Obama that sequestration’s across-the-board rather than specific cuts are a “dumb” way to reduce spending. That is why I voted against the plan two years ago. But if sequestration is dumb, it’s even dumber not to cut spending at all.

Cutting spending can be a powerful pro-growth strategy, but the outcome of sequestration depends on how the administration chooses to cut. Not all dollars are spent equally: The Obama administration’s decision to spend federal dollars studying how cocaine affects the reproductive habits of Japanese quail didn’t multiply anything other than quail. (more…)



Thursday, February 28th, 2013



Tuesday, February 19th, 2013


Economic Judgment Day

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE: The Departments of Defense, State and Justice are authorized by the Constitution and are generally accepted legitimate federal government functions. Most of the rest ought to be done at the state and local levels or by the private sector. The current spending and debt crisis eventually will force debate on the role of the federal government — which programs necessitate taxpayer funding and which can be eliminated. The time is closer than most think — just ask any Greek citizen or resident of Stockton, Calif.

The current debate about the debt vote is minor league compared to what will happen when the government literally cannot spend more than it is taking in. That time may be nearer than you think. It is true that the U.S. government can always “print” money to pay its bills, but at some point, printing more money becomes self-defeating because the resulting increase in the government bond interest rate and required interest payment will spiral out of control. At that point, the government will be forced to operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, as any individual or business is forced to do when they can no longer get credit. Several California cities are now in this situation.

The U.S. government now receives about $200 billion a month in revenue and spends about $320 billion a month. Any responsible business or individual faced with a situation where receipts are only 60 percent of expenditures would make changes before their credit was cut off or, at the very minimum, have a plan for which bills to pay first — but not the U.S. government.

It appears that President Obama is once again going to produce a budget that assumes very high levels of deficit spending can go on forever. It also appears that Senate Democrats will continue to not bother to pass a budget. Note that the purpose of a budget is to allocate scarce resources (your money) and to make sure that spending does not exceed the funds that are available. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the ultimate spoiled child, accusing the taxpayers of engaging in child abuse by not giving him an unlimited allowance. (more…)



Wednesday, February 13th, 2013



Text of Sen. Marco Rubio’s GOP Response

to Obama

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 10:34 PM

By: The Associated Press


The text of the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, as prepared for delivery by Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, and provided by the press office of the speaker of the House:


Good evening. I’m Marco Rubio. I’m blessed to represent Florida in the United States Senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of his second term. Tonight, I have the honor of responding to his State of the Union address on behalf of my fellow Republicans. And I am especially honored to be addressing our brave men and women serving in the armed forces and in diplomatic posts around the world. You may be thousands of miles away, but you are always in our prayers.

The State of the Union address is always a reminder of how unique America is. For much of human history, most people were trapped in stagnant societies, where a tiny minority always stayed on top, and no one else even had a chance.

But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.

Like most Americans, for me this ideal is personal. My parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and give their children the chance at an even better one. They made it to the middle class, my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. I didn’t inherit any money from them. But I inherited something far better – the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams.

This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs.

Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle-class prosperity.

But President Obama? He believes it’s the cause of our problems. That the economic downturn happened because our government didn’t tax enough, spend enough and control enough. And, therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.

This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.

And the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle-class taxpayers – that’s an old idea that’s failed every time it’s been tried.

More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back.

More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them.

And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs. It’s going to create uncertainty. (more…)



Friday, February 8th, 2013



Pat McCrory Meets a Democratic Mess

| February 6, 2013 |

Rick MartinezBy Rick Martinez, News Director for WPTF Radio and columnist for The News and Observer

Pat McCrory didn’t run for governor intent on cutting unemployment benefits and limiting Medicaid access. But that’s what he might have to do to fix the fiscal and operational messes left behind by his Democratic predecessors.

Folks, there’s no nice way to put this: Democratic leaders such as Govs. Bev Perdue and Mike Easley, Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight and House Speaker Joe Hackney either refused to read the state’s balance sheets or were simply asleep at the wheel during their time in office. The problems they left behind in the unemployment insurance and Medicaid programs aren’t the result of the recession. They’re based in systematic neglect. (more…)



Tuesday, January 29th, 2013


The Wall Street Journal

  • January 28, 2013

The Case for Across-the-Board Spending Cuts

Claims to support a ‘scalpel’ over a ‘meat ax’ become excuses for doing nothing.

  • By JEFF BERGNERMr. Bergner, an adjunct professor at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va., has served as a congressional staffer and as an assistant secretary of state.

    EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  So let’s give up the politically pointless effort to pick and choose among programs, accept the political reality of current allocations, and reduce everything proportionately. No one program would be very much disadvantaged. In many cases, a 1% or 3% reduction would scarcely be noticed. Are we really to believe that a government that spent $2.7 trillion five years ago couldn’t survive a 3% cut that would bring spending to “only” $3.5 trillion today? Every household, company and nonprofit organization across America can do this, as can state and local governments. So could Washington.

You know the cliché: America’s fiscal condition might be grim, but lawmakers should avoid the “meat ax” of across-the-board spending cuts and instead use the “scalpel” of targeted reductions. The problem with this argument is that, given today’s politics, it is nonsensical.

Targeted reductions would be welcome, but the current federal budget didn’t drop from the sky. Every program in the budget—from defense to food stamps, agriculture, Medicare and beyond—is in place for a reason: It has advocates in Congress and a constituency in the country. These advocates won’t sit idly by while their programs are targeted, whether by a scalpel or any other instrument. That is why targeted spending cuts have historically been both rare and small. And in a government as closely divided as today’s, there is virtually no prospect for meaningful targeted spending cuts.

The most likely way to achieve significant reductions in spending is by across-the-board cuts. Each reduction of 1% in the $3.6 trillion federal budget would yield roughly $36 billion the first year and would reduce the budget baseline in future years. Even with modest reductions, this is real money. (more…)



Monday, January 28th, 2013



HENSARLING: Government to use

Sandy ‘relief’ as cover for … more


Billions earmarked in non-storm-related expenses

By Rep. Jeb Hensarling

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Texas Republican, is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  The Sandy relief bill passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate — the same Senate that has refused to pass a budget in the last three years — includes $150 million for fisheries as far away as Alaska, $8 million to purchase cars for the Homeland Security and Justice Departments, $58.8 million to replant trees that were damaged on private land, $135 million to improve weather forecasting, and $10.78 billion largely for future construction improvements to public transportation not even related to Hurricane Sandy. In fact, 64 percent of the so-called “emergency” funding in this bill will not be spent until 2015 or later.
There is no doubt that Hurricane Sandy rendered unspeakable damage to lives and property on our East Coast. It truly represents one of the great natural disasters of recent history. For millions of our fellow citizens, the devastation has been unfathomable. We are a compassionate nation, and that is why this week the House of Representatives is taking up its second Hurricane Sandy relief bill.

Sadly, Hurricane Sandy isn’t the only disaster we face as a nation. The tragic reality is that our nation is broke. We have amassed more debt in the last four years than was accumulated from President George Washington through President Bill Clinton. Our spending trajectory is unsustainable by any account. Our swelling $16.4 trillion debt threatens our national security, our economic well-being and our children’s very future. If we don’t quit spending money we don’t have, it is they who will become the next victims — think Greece. It is past time to re-examine the proper role of the federal government in providing disaster relief and how that relief is financed. (more…)

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