161 results for tag: Big Government


Policy expert: Issues at Veterans Affairs ‘not a money problem’

Policy expert: Issues at Veterans Affairs ‘not a money problem' The seemingly endless stream of scandals pouring out of President Obama’s Veterans Affairs department — a recent one being the secret quality rating system applied to the different VA medical facilities — isn’t a lack of financial resources but a personnel problem that needs to be addressed head-on by the new administration, policy expert Betsy McCaughey says in a recent column. The New York Post has the commentary: It’s not a money problem. Congress appropriated a record $163 billion to the VA in 2016, more than the department requested. The real problem is a lack ...

VA fires employees who allegedly left deceased veteran in shower for nine hours

Employees at a Florida VA who allegedly left a deceased veteran in a shower for more than nine hours and tried to cover it up have been let go, according to authorities. The Tampa Bay Times has the story: Last week, Bay Pines officials would not provide specifics of any disciplinary action taken as a result of their internal investigation into the Feb. 1 incident. After a Tampa Bay Times story on the incident appeared during the weekend, however, Bay Pines released more details to show the matter was being taken seriously. Bay Pines felt it "necessary to ensure our stakeholders and the public were informed and knew that appropriate personnel ...

Pentagon officials hid study that reveals $125 billion in wasteful spending

According to recently obtained confidential memos, Pentagon authorities buried an internal study that reveals $125 billion in “administrative waste” out of fear Congress would further cut defense spending. The Washington Post has the scoop: Pentagon leaders had requested the study to help make their enormous back-office bureaucracy more efficient and reinvest any savings in combat power. But after the project documented far more wasteful spending than expected, senior defense officials moved swiftly to kill it by discrediting and suppressing the results. The report, issued in January 2015, identified “a clear path” for the Defense ...

Beware the lame duck

The election might be over, but Congress still has time to grow the government and spend more of your hard-earned money with the lame-duck session. Yet again, lawmakers have to vote on a massive spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. What’s the worst that can happen in a lame-duck session? Conservative Review has some examples, including this one: Then there was that time a lame-duck former reindeer farmer changed his vote to help pass a massive $1 trillion spending bill: In 2014, House conservatives almost defeated a $1 trillion continuing resolution. When then-Speaker John Boehner realized the spending bill was going down, he convin...

VA executives awash in bonuses despite ongoing wait-list scandal

Veteran Affairs employees raked in a combined $177 million in bonuses in fiscal-year 2015 even though VA offices across the country remain plagued by reports of mismanagement and continued manipulation of veteran wait-list times. USA Today has the scoop: More than 300 senior executives of the troubled agency received $3.3 million in bonuses, for an average payment of about $10,000 each. The non-executives received about $900 on average. Among those receiving bonuses was the former top VA official in Ohio who retired the same day he received a notice he was going to be fired. Another was the former chief of staff at the Phoenix VA Medical Center ...

These senators just gave the Veterans Affairs secretary a deadline for answering reform-focused questions

A dozen U.S. senators over the weekend requested President Obama’s Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald answer by Nov. 14 four questions about what, if anything, the department has done to address inter-office corruption that led to the falsification of veteran wait-times. “The GAO report states that the VA needs a new comprehensive scheduling plan to ensure that checks and balances are in place so no one can manipulate the current scheduling system. What measures have you put in place to stop manipulation of veterans’ appointment records? What is the timeframe for a new scheduling system?” read the letter. The request comes on the ...

Colorado VA office under investigation for allegedly fudging wait-times

Veterans Affairs employees in Colorado in an effort to cover up actual wait times are under investigation for allegedly keeping unofficial wait lists of veterans seeking care, investigators announced Wednesday. The Virginian-Pilot has the scoop: The VA's internal watchdog announced an audit in a letter to Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Cory Gardner of Colorado. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter. Johnson and Gardner asked for the inquiry after a whistleblower told them the lists were allegedly used at the Denver VA Medical Center, VA health clinics in Colorado Springs and the Denver suburb of Golden. The ...

U.S. attorney general declines to prosecute EPA employee in center of pollution scandal

The Environmental Protection Agency employee in the thick of the scandal that polluted three U.S. rivers due to a Colorado mine wastewater spill will not face prosecution, the U.S. Attorney General’s office says. The Washington Examiner has the details: The EPA's Office of Inspector General said Wednesday that it found evidence the unnamed employee may have violated the Clean Water Act and given false statements. But spokesman Jeff Ladga said the Justice Department will not pursue the case. Instead, the case will be sent to the agency's leaders. "The EPA is required to report to the Office of Inspector General any administrative action taken ...

Study: Common Core benefits to students, educators ‘elusive’

Recent analysis released last month of federal funding for Common Core standards shows the only winners of its implementation are not students but those who set the draft the curriculum and set the agenda. The Washington Times has the details: The study, titled “Smart Money? Philanthropic and Federal Funding for the Common Core,” was released in September by the Education Policy Analysis Archives. It concludes, “In essence, those who set directions for the Common Core and those who provided resources for its implementation have benefited, even as potential benefits to schools, educators, and students are elusive, and the entire claim may ...

IRS persists in singling out, delaying tea-party groups’ tax-exempt-status applications

Authorities at the Internal Revenue Service after promising to speed up processing on long-in-limbo tax-exempt-status applications of conservative groups is reversing course and doubling down on their demands for additional documentation. The Washington Times has the scoop: More jarringly, the IRS then publicly released one of the sets of questions it sent to the Texas Patriots Tea Party — a move the group’s lawyer says puts secret taxpayer return information, supposed to be protected, out in the public. Tax experts say the IRS may be on safe legal ground, since the filing was made as part of a court case, and that’s one of the few narrow ...