It is a Corruption Problem Not Waste

By: Friday September 7, 2012 12:14 pm

A new report by the Institute of Medicine has been getting a fair amount of attention. The report not surprisingly found that the American health care system is radically more expensive than it should be. It found that in 2009 the nation spent an estimated $750 billion in unnecessary health care spending. From their press [...]

Corporations that Spent Big on Lobbying Saw Big Drops in Their Taxes

By: Wednesday April 18, 2012 9:18 am

The Sunlight Foundation looked at the eight companies that spent the most on lobbying and found that all of them saw their reported tax rates drop. This drop in tax rates effectively reduced the taxes the companies paid in 2010 by $11.2 billion. From Sunlight Foundation: On average, companies we examined reported paying a slightly [...]

War Profiteering by Any Other Name Still Smells Foul

By: Friday March 4, 2011 1:16 pm

The United States Army doesn’t really need or want any more Humvees because they are effectively impractical death traps in the modern conflict zone. The Army is very public about wanting to use the billion dollars it would spend on Humvees on something else it thinks might actually be useful. This effort, though, is being [...]

Washington’s Revolving Door Makes More Obvious Bribes Unnecessary

By: Thursday February 17, 2011 11:17 am

Imagine that I were a large, wealthy company, say Walker Investment Corp, that would like a government official to take actions that would result in millions of additional profits. I won’t just walk into the government official’s office with a suitcase full of hundred-dollar bills and say if you do me this favor I will [...]

Money to Give: How Defense Contracts Exacerbate and Perpetuate Our Deficit Woes

By: Wednesday February 16, 2011 3:01 pm

The American people don’t particularly like most tax increases, or any specific government spending cuts, but in general they do fear we spend too much on our military, which is also by far the largest chunk of discretionary spending in the federal budget. The latest Gallup poll found that a plurality of Americans, 39 percent, [...]

In America, There Are Three Forms of Political Corruption, and Only One Is Really Illegal

By: Wednesday February 2, 2011 4:59 pm

The bane of any functioning government system is corruption. Corruption doesn’t just cause unfair and poor allocation of resources, it eventually undermines faith in the government. This, in turn, can create an extremely destructive, self-reinforcing, downward spiral, eventually undermining the entire system. The frightening thing for America is that there exists three main forms of [...]

Corporations Throwing Politicians Expensive Parties – How Is This Not Criminal Corruption?

By: Tuesday January 18, 2011 12:56 pm

It appears many of the most important corporate special interest groups in Texas are going to throw a super-awesome party for Gov. Rick Perry and his friends. Via Matt Yglesias from the Dallas News: The Republican governor and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst were the featured attraction Monday night at an invitation-only soiree for donors giving as [...]

Ending Government Waste, Corporate Welfare Should be Progressive Priorities

By: Wednesday December 1, 2010 5:25 am

With Washington in the grips of a new wave of deficit hysteria and people in power feeling at this moment an overwhelming desire to make the less advantaged among us sacrifice in the name of austerity, it is normal for progressives to sound defensive around the cackle of deficit chickenhawks. While it is critical that [...]

Pelosi Fundraiser at UnitedHealth Lobbyist’s Home

By: Friday September 11, 2009 3:19 pm

Well, that didn’t take long. The same day that Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid announced that they “would support any provision that increases competition and accessibility for health insurance – whether or not it is the public option favored by most Democrats” the chief lobbyist for UnitedHealth, Steve Elmendorf, sent an email blast inviting people to a $5,000/PAC or $2400/individual fundraiser in his home for Nancy Pelosi.