When you’re exploring a run for the presidency, it’s never too early to start buttering up potential campaign donors. That is likely what Hillary Clinton had in mind when she used a seemingly innocuous conference on women and girls in Little Rock, Arkansas as a platform to plug the controversial Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States.
David Williams | All Articles
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David Williams is the President of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to educating the public through the research, analysis and dissemination of information on the government’s effects on the economy. In his 18 years in Washington, D.C., David has become an expert in finding and exposing government waste and has helped fine tune criteria in identifying and ultimately eliminating earmarks.
For many years, earmarks were business as usual in Washington, D.C. That changed in 2006 when Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives partly due to their excessive spending on earmarks. Responding to that voter pressure, Congress instituted transparency rules for earmarks starting in 2008 and then in 2010, the House and Senate agreed to a two-year moratorium.
Politicians in Washington State are receiving a rude awakening. They jumped through hoops to offer massive tax incentives to Boeing, their “hometown hero” corporation founded in Seattle in 1916, and in return, the company uprooted thousands of Washington jobs and moved them to the Midwest.
The deeply forested state of Oregon may have been in the final one-third of states to join the Union in the latter half of the 19th century, but today the state rates among the very first in the nation working to dismantle the certification monopoly that for decades has quietly strangled America’s timber industry and unnecessarily burdened taxpayers.
Last month President Barack Obama hosted the U.S.-Africa leaders summit in Washington, D.C. Beneath the fanfare of goodwill, the summit saw three of Africa’s longest serving autocrats Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Yahya Jammeh and Paul Biya – the presidents of Equatorial Guinea, Gambia and Cameroon, respectively, all with decidedly checkered human rights records – be honored guests of America at a state dinner held during the summit.
The American public is frustrated with Congress. There is a constant stream of bickering between the two parties and two chambers, while the country falls deeper into debt to the tune of $1.3 billion per day. Congressional approval ratings are an abysmal 13 percent. To top it all off, Congress is in the middle of a five-week recess. Followed by their return on September 8, where they are only expected to be in session for 15 days before they adjourn and head home to try and get re-elected. With such little action from our lawmakers and so much of their time spent elsewhere, there is no better opportunity than now to look into congressional compensation and the many financial perks that go along with being a member of Congress.
I was happy to see that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s recent call for the return of earmarks was met with a stern no from House Speaker John Boehner. Their back and forth on the issue is a reminder of the wasted spending of previous congresses and highlights the importance of maintaining an earmark moratorium in the future.
A new study from the Reason Foundation has again proven what we’ve known for a while now: plastic bag bans don’t help the economy or the environment. The only result of plastic bag bans is the government filling their coffers with more money to be wasted.
President Obama has broken many promises during his first and second terms in office. But, in a sad twist of irony for taxpayers and energy production, the president is intent on keeping one of his 2008 campaign promises, to bankrupt coal plants and force electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket.” After legislative attempts to pass cap-and-trade failed in the Democrat-controlled Congress in 2009, the president made clear that “cap-and-trade was just one way to skin the cat.” The other way: have unelected bureaucrats and attorneys at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate coal out of business.
The relationship between Russia and the United States could be concisely defined as adversarial. For decades the two nations have been at odds, but Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and other recent events have escalated tensions to a height unseen since the Cold War. The United States foreign policy has been clear in its attempt to thwart Russia’s unilateral power grab with President Obama sanctioning the country for its annexation of Crimea.
President Obama is travelling to Brussels, the capital of the European Union, this week to discuss a wide range of topics with international leaders. Ukraine will certainly shadow the president throughout his trip, but there will be also be another source of great discussion centered around the unfulfilled charge on trade agreements. Approximately one year ago, E.U. and American leaders boldly declared that they would seek a free trade agreement that would ambitiously “eliminate all tariffs” on bilateral trade, creating the largest free trade zone in the world by 2015. This is an important milestone to achieve for Europeans and Americans.
Despite their costly taxpayer-funded certification as green, government buildings in Washington, DC registered among the least energy-efficient structures in the nation according to a new analysis last week.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires fuel suppliers to blend biofuels, mainly corn ethanol, into the nation’s gas supply is one of the most misguided mandates ever enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or any federal agency. With the goal of reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, Congress created the RFS in 2005, and later expanded it at the behest of George W. Bush in 2007 under the Energy Independence and Security Act. What has been the result? Greater reliance on imports of foreign sources of energy, mandates of next to non-existent fuel, and higher food prices.
House and Senate Republicans would like you to believe that they are willing to do almost anything — including forcing a government shutdown or a default on the debt ceiling — to stop the implementation of Obamacare. They are rightly appalled at the damage that Obamacare is already doing to our economy and healthcare system, since the implementation thus far has been a train wreck. However, for all the debate, votes to repeal, and genuine opposition from Republicans in Congress, the truth is that the GOP and its profligate ways actually created Obamacare. The story begins in 2005.
We’ve heard it many times before: Our nation is on a fiscal cliff, there’s a dire need to get spending under control and wasteful projects must be eliminated. Then, once members of Congress have completed their recitations of the obvious, they employ all the excuses under the sun to explain why a particular program they support is essential and should not be placed on the chopping block.
As Democrats and Republicans look for spending cuts in their latest discussions to fund the federal government for the rest of the year, the Rural Utilities Service’s (RUS) Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program should be at the top of the list.