The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has been reporting on the many ways that money through The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka Stimulus Bill) has been spent. In 2011, TPA Senior Fellow Drew Johnson wrote about The Miccosukee Corporation, the business arm of the Miccosukee Indian Tribe, which pocketed a $20,785 stimulus handout to subsidize a summer youth employment program. The program hired five kids to perform jobs including cashier, handyman and alligator wrestler at the Tribe’s Miccosukee Indian Village (read full story here). As first reported by The Washington Times on Tuesday August 21, 2012, and subsequently by Fox News on August 22, taxpayers funded a $495,000 stimulus grant to purchase ads on MSNBC to promote green jobs training. According to The Washington Times article, “Spending reports under the federal Recovery Act show $495,000 paid to McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations LLC, which the Labor Department hired to raise awareness ‘among employers and influencers about the [Job Corps] program’s existing and new training initiatives in high growth and environmentally friendly career areas’ as well as spreading the word to prospective Job Corps enrollees. The firm ultimately negotiated ad buys for ‘two approved spots’ airing 14 times per week for two months on ‘Countdown With Keith Olbermann’ and ‘The Rachel Maddow Show,’ according to a project report, which listed the number zero under a section of the report asking how many jobs had been created through the stimulus contract.” Since the story first broke, numerous news outlets have picked up on the story (read here, here, here, and here)
With unemployment still above 8 percent, Americans are understandably focused on job creation. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka Stimulus Bill) was supposed to be the salvation of the American workforce. Unfortunately, all that was created was more government bureaucracy and more wasted money. A recent article on Breitbart.com highlighted a report released by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) that deals with another failure of government, job training. The oversight report, “What Works (and What Doesn’t): The Good, Bad and Ugly of Federal Job Training in Oklahoma,” identified and brought to light many of the realities and inherent shortcomings that often plague government-orchestrated job programs. In his piece, Breitbart’s Wynton Hall begins by revealing one of the most alarming discoveries of Coburn’s report. Hall writes “billions of taxpayer dollars are being poured into job training programs that benefit those who run them, not the unemployed workers they are supposed to assist.”
Part of the two month extension of the payroll tax cut package late last year was a requirement that the President make a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline. On Wednesday January 18, the White House officially announced that it will not seek to build the pipeline. According to Politico, “The State Department Wednesday will reject the Keystone XL pipeline, multiple sources following the project tell POLITICO.” The formal announcement by the State Department is expected to occur at 3 pm. The White House did leave a little bit of wiggle room. According to The Hill, “While the administration is expected to reject TransCanada Corp.’s permit application, it will allow the company to re-apply…” This could be seen as keeping the door open to the pipeline when in reality it is probably just a ploy to try and “have it both ways.” The truth is that the XL Pipeline will be good for the economy, the government, and the entire country. It is important to understand the facts about the pipeline. The proposed pipeline, which would carry roughly 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf Coast, would encompass 1,700 miles and cost approximately $7 billion. The pipeline would be an extension of one that became operational in 2010 (you can read TPA’s previous blog posting here).
There has been quite a bit of debate about the Keystone XL Pipeline with one side calling for its construction and the other side trying to make sure that it is never built. In early November President Obama put a halt to the pipeline and the State Department indicated that they wouldn’t make a decision until 2013, well after the 2012 elections. The truth is that the XL Pipeline will be good for the economy, the government, and the entire country. First, it is important to understand the facts about the pipeline. The proposed pipeline, which would carry roughly 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf Coast, would encompass 1,700 miles and cost approximately $7 billion. The pipeline would be an extension of one that became operational in 2010.
On Friday November 18, 2011, the Obama Administration and the Pentagon made a decision to ship jobs overseas and put a critical defense project at risk, all funded by American tax dollars with zero benefit to American workers or the economy. The disqualification of aircraft manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft from the Light Air Support and Light Attack and Armed Reconnaissance (LAS/LAAR) aircraft for the United States Air Force leaves only Brazil’s Embraer to fulfill the order. With Embraer under investigation for corruption, it appears that politics is more important to this Administration than protecting the country and job creation The Taxpayers Protection Alliance has voiced its support for Hawker Beechcraft over Embraer to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in two separate letters (here and here) because of its ability to protect taxpayers and the country.
Tonight President Obama will speak to a joint session of Congress (minus a few Republicans) about his latest plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs. Remember the last time he did that? It cost the country almost a trillion dollars and unemployment skyrocketed. Indications are the total price tag of this package will be between $300 billion and $400 billion. According to The Hill, “the plan is expected to cost between $300 billion and $400 billion and contain a mix of tax cuts and infrastructure projects. The White House spokesman emphasized that the president's plan would be deficit-neutral, implying that spending increases would be matched with cuts and tax increases.” Since President Obama is concerned about jobs (as he should be) and the deficit, the first place to look to “pay” for any new projects should be to look at all the duplicative federal job training programs.